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English Literature A Level (AQA) at Brigshaw High School and Language College

Course description

English Literature is the study of a range of texts written in a variety of forms by a range of writers. You will explore what writers have to say about many themes such as love, conflict, death, and betrayal. In the study of literature you will develop the skills of close reading, analysis, independent thinking and the construction of a clear and decisive argument. You will read poetry, novels, plays and other texts written by Shakespeare to the most modern publications.

Course content

The A Level course builds upon the skills you have acquired at GCSE level. There are two examined units, and one coursework element (NEA).

Paper 1A - Literary genres: Aspects of Tragedy

This unit requires you to study three texts – one Shakespeare, one modern play and one further pre-1900 text. You will deepen your GCSE skills here, for example by looking at the historical definition of tragedy and see how it applies to the texts.

Paper 2B – Texts and genres: Elements of political and social protest writing

This unit requires you to study three texts: one post-2000 prose text; one poetry and one further text, of which one must be written pre-1900. You will deepen your GCSE skills, for example by learning about the contexts in which the texts were written, and the different ways they have been and may be received by readers.

Entry requirements

English Language and English Literature at grade 5. For more information please speak to your English teacher. Alternatively see Miss Grice for further details


Paper 1 and paper 2 are assessed through a 2 hour 30 minute examination.

There is a non-examined coursework element (NEA) worth 20% of the final mark, entitled ‘Theory and Independence’ which involves analysis of critical standpoints in relation to texts. You will study two texts: one poetry and one prose text, informed by study of the Critical anthology. You will then produce two essays of 1,250–1,500 words, each responding to a different text and linking to a different aspect of the Critical anthology. One essay can be re-creative. The re-creative piece will be accompanied by a commentary.

Future opportunities

Careers and university courses in journalism, communications, teaching, law, management and many others. 

Further information

For more information please speak to your English teacher. Alternatively see Miss Grice for further details

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 29 November 2017
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