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A Level in English Literature at The Douay Martyrs School

Course description

English is an exciting subject following on naturally from GCSE English Literature. At AS and A-Level you will learn to become a more skilled reader of plays, novels, poems and non-fiction texts and increase your ability to talk and write about texts with confidence. The knowledge and skills you acquire in A-Level English will help you in your other A-Level subjects. Of course, English is acknowledged by Higher Education and employers as an influential qualification with many applications.

Course content

The AS and A-Level course enables all students to enhance their appreciation of literature throughout the ages. An Independent Critical Study of 2,500 words is required as part of the A-Level English Literature course, so good writing skills are essential. The emphasis is on breadth and depth of knowledge, which teaches students to work independently and prepares them for study at degree level.


The course offers students opportunities for: improving research skills, reading and writing essays, class debates, access to ICT for extension work, extra study sessions, help with planning coursework essays and mentoring. Students will also have the opportunity to visit theatres and museums. In the past two years students have seen Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado about Nothing’ and ‘Romeo and Juliet’; Michael Morpurgo’s play "Private Peaceful" and "Warhorse" and Sheriff’s "Journey’s End". They have also visited The Imperial War Museum and have been offered the opportunity to attend a study day at London University.



Entry requirements

GCSE English Language and English Literature to a B grade or above.

Enthusiasm and interest, a love of reading and writing, the desire to join in discussions and answer questions verbally and a commitment to work hard and meet departmental deadlines are all important requirements.



Exam Board and Syllabus

AQA – AS 7711, A-Level - 7712


The AS Examinations are:

Paper 1: Love Through the Ages: Shakespeare and poetry – 50% of the AS grade.

Paper 2: Love Through the Ages: Prose – 50% of the AS grade.


The A-Level Examinations are:

Paper 1: Love Through the Ages – 40% of the A-Level grade.

Paper 2: Texts in Shared Contexts – 40% of the A-Level grade.


Extended Essay:

Independent Critical Study: Texts Across Time (2,500 words) – 20% of the A-Level grade.

Further information

For further information contact Miss A Bacon, Head of English or Ms T Shanahan - Key Stage 5 English Coordinator.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Douay Martyrs School directly.

Last updated date: 13 April 2015
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 year for AS, and a further 1 year for A Level