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English Literature AQA AS and A Level at Larkmead School

Course description

This is a subject which is now a reformed A level which means that the result of the AS exams does not contribute to the overall A level mark and grade. If a student leaves the course after AS then this new type of AS is worth 40% of the UCAS points of the full A level for University entry in 2017 and beyond. If a student completes the two year A level course then it is only assessment at the end of the second year that counts towards the full A level grade

Course content


Students will study one of the following options:

  • Option A: Aspects of Tragedy
  • Option B: Aspects of Comedy Students study four texts: one Shakespeare play, one further drama text, one poetry text and one prose text.

This will be taught as 2 units:

Unit 1: Literary Genres: Drama

Unit 2: Literary Genres: Prose and Poetry


Unit 1: Literary Genres (studied in first year) Students will study one of the following options:

  • Option 1A: Aspects of Tragedy
  • Option 1B: Aspects of Comedy

Students will study three texts: one Shakespeare text; a second drama text and one further text, of which one must be written pre- 1900.

Unit 2: Texts and Genres (studied in second year) Students will study one of the following options:

  • Option 2A: Elements of Crime Writing
  • Option 2B: Elements of Political and Social Protest Writing

Study of three texts: one post-2000 prose text; one poetry and one further text, one of which must be written pre-1900. The exam will include an unseen passage.

Unit 3: Non-exam Unit: Theory and independence (completed in second year). Study of two texts: one poetry and one prose text, informed by study of the Critical Anthology.

You will write two essays of 1250 -1500 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.


How you will learn (investigations, course work etc.):

Through: presentations, independent research, group work, debates, discussions, essay writing, academic critical reading, coursework.


Skills you will need:

  • Self-motivation
  • A love for reading
  • Independent learning and self-organisation
  • Problem solving
  • Reviewing and modifying
  • Critical analysis
  • Resilience
  • Be prepared to debate and discuss different interpretations
  • Develop the confidence to challenge assumptions 


Entry requirements

To study AS/A Levels you will normally need: A minimum of 5 GCSEs at Grade C or above.



2 papers each, exam is 1 hour 30 minutes

  • Paper 1 is closed book
  • Paper 2 is open book
  • both are worth 50 marks
  • each paper amounts to 50% of AS level


Paper 1:

  • written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • closed book
  • 75 marks
  • 40% of A-level

Paper 2:

  • written exam: 3 hours
  • open book
  • 75 marks
  • 40% of A-level

Non-exam Unit: Theory and independence

  • Two essays of 1250 -1500 words 
  • 50 marks
  • 20% of A-level
  • assessed by teachers
  • moderated by AQA

Future opportunities

English Literature will provide a broad basis for career paths such as: Journalism, Politics, Media, Law, Speech Therapy, Historian, Psychology, Foreign Languages, Teaching, TEFL .

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Larkmead School directly.

Last updated date: 22 September 2016

Key information


  • More information
    • Larkmead School is part of the Abingdon 14-19 consortium. As we are part of a consortium, students have the opportunity to select a range of A-level subjects spread across the three Abingdon secondary schools. Each subject is taught by experienced staff with excellent results.


      In addition to academic study, Larkmead sixth form students engage in a Personal development curriculum as well as sessions based on study skills, culture and careers advice. Every student is offered individual advice and guidance about the next phase of their education whether that be university, apprenticeships or paid employment.


      During study periods, students are expected to study in either the designated sixth form area in the Learning Resource Centre or allocated study rooms. Between lessons, students can relax in the sixth-form common room which boasts a range of facilities.


      There is a well-structured enrolment and induction process for students wishing to join the sixth form, starting with a Consortium 16-19 Information Evening as well as a meeting for prospective students in November, followed by a meeting for prospective parents in March, and an induction day in the summer after the GCSE exams are finished. Once students have received their exam results in August, there are a number of enrolment clinic sessions to help students choose their courses and followed by a brief induction period before lessons commence.