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English Literature A Level at Lady Hawkins' High School

Course description

A Level Syllabus: AQA (B)

If you love reading and enjoy discussing and writing about fiction; if you want to improve your skills of critical analysis and work in a supportive atmosphere with enthusiastic and experienced teachers, then A Level English Literature is for you!

The exploration of reading texts is an interesting and enriching way to approach literary texts. In Year 12 (AS English) students are introduced to all three genres - poetry, prose, drama - within a shared context through a combination of close and wide reading.

The A2 course in Year 13 builds on this foundation and both widens and deepens students’ literary studies by moving from a defined area of study to the whole of English Literature from Chaucer to the present day; and by providing opportunities for the students to develop their own interests.

What key skills will I learn on this course?

The course helps students develop a number of skills, including:

  • How narrative works in texts.
  • How to make connections across texts.
  • An awareness of critical methods and readings.
  • A broader understanding of genre and categorisation.

What kind of student is this course suitable for?

This course will appeal to students who:

  • Are analytical.
  • Enjoy reading a wide variety of literature.
  • Enjoy expressing their opinions and justifying their comments on texts.
  • A development of critical and analytical skills.

What opportunities may I have beyond the classroom?

  • Theatre visits
  • Lecture Days

Course content

Paper 1: Literary Genres - ‘Aspects of Tragedy’

Students will study Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’ and ‘Death of a Salesman’ by Arthur Miller.

Paper 2: Elements of Political and Social Protest Writing

Students study three texts: two prose, one poetry, in preparation for an ‘open book’ written exam of three hours.

Coursework Assessment: Theory and Independence

Students study a short Critical Anthology.

Entry requirements

Those students who wish to study a Level 3 course will need a good GCSE Grade (B or above). Level 2 courses can be offered to those who have not met this.


Paper 1: Literary Genres - ‘Aspects of Tragedy’ 40% of A Level.

It is examined by a two and a half hour written exam.

Paper 2: Elements of Political and Social Protest Writing 40% of A Level

Students study three texts: two prose, one poetry, in preparation for an ‘open book’ written exam of three hours.

Coursework Assessment: Theory and Independence 20% of A Level

Students study a short Critical Anthology and produce two essays of 1,250 - 1,500 words, each linking to a different aspect of the Anthology. One essay can be a creative writing response accompanied by a commentary. This is marked by the teacher and moderated by AQA.


Financial information

Financial Assistance

Herefordshire Council expects sixth form students to pay £270 per term for transport to sixth form. There is a 16-19 Bursary Fund which may give some students financial support. Please contact the school for further information.

For eligible students, the Bursary Fund can provide financial assistance to young people whose access to, or completion of education is inhibited by financial constraints or barriers. The fund can help towards the cost of essential course-related costs such as travel to sixth form, equipment, books and educational visits including to university open days or interviews.


EMA is for 16 to 18 year olds living in Wales, who want to continue their education after school leaving age. If you’re eligible, you could get £30 a week, paid every two weeks.

You don’t need to study in Wales to get EMA. As long as you live in Wales and you meet the criteria then you can apply for EMA.

You must adhere to the learning contract in order to receive the payments. Failure to attend lessons and/or registrations will result in no payment for the corresponding week.

For further information, contact Lady Hawkins’ School or Student Finance Wales.

Future opportunities

English Literature is viewed as a versatile and highly respected course by universities and employers. Career opportunities include:

  • Law
  • Publishing
  • Education
  • Creative Writing
  • Media Studies
  • Journalism

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Lady Hawkins' High School directly.

Last updated date: 24 November 2017

Key information