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English Literature AS/A2 at Trinity School

Course description

English Literature A Level introduces students to a wide range of texts across a very broad time period. This course encourages them to debate and challenge the interpretations of other readers as they develop their own informed personal responses. The approach of the specification is ‘historicist’; this means that texts are considered within their historical context and no text is considered in isolation. This course will appeal to students who have a passion for reading literature and who are keen to extend their horizons in reading.

Course content

Year 1 (Year 12) - ‘Love Through the Ages’ – Shakespeare and Poetry. In component one students study one Shakespeare play and one AQA Anthology of Love Poetry Through the Ages. There is a choice of two Anthologies: Pre-1900 and Post-1900.

‘Love Through the Ages’ – Prose. In component two students study two prose texts and will study how to approach an unseen text. Students explore representations of love by a variety of prose authors over time.


Year 2 (Year 13) - Component one: ‘Love Through the Ages’. Students study three texts and will be examined on ‘unseen’ material in the exam. Of the three set texts, one will be a poetry text, one will be a prose text, and one will be a Shakespeare play. One of either the poetry or prose text must be pre-1900.

Component two: ‘Modern Times: Literature from1945 to the Present Day’ comprises a combination of unseen material and set texts. Of the set texts, at least one must be post-2000. Students will study one prose text, one poetry text and one drama text.

Component three – ‘Texts Across Time’ Independent critical study. Students write a comparative critical study of two texts on a theme of their choice. One text must have been written before 1900, and the texts have to be by two different authors. (Non exam assessment).

Entry requirements

A grade B or above in GCSE English Literature and English Language is preferred.

A passion for reading fiction: classic and modern literature is essential.


Year 1 - Two Examinations:-

Paper One - Love Through the Ages: Shakespeare and Poetry. One hour 30 minutes 50% of AS.

Section A: one passage - based question on a Shakespeare play.

Section B: one question on a previously studied poem, printed on the exam paper.

Closed Book (no texts allowed)

Paper Two – Love Through the Ages: Prose.One hour 30 minutes 50% of AS

Section A: one compulsory question on an unseen prose text

Section B: one comparative question on two prose texts

Closed Book (no texts allowed)


Year 2 - Two examinations plus one coursework unit:

Paper One – Love Through the Ages (3 hours) 40%

Section A: one passage - based question on a Shakespeare play

Section B: compulsory essay on two unseen poems

Section C: one essay question (from two) linking one poetry and one prose text.

This section is open book


Paper Two – Modern Times: Literature from 1945 to the Present Day (2 hours 30 mins) 40%

Section A: questions on the set texts.

Section B: questions on contextual linking. There is one compulsory question on an unseen extract and one essay question linking two texts

Coursework Unit – Texts Across Time 20% of A Level

Non-exam assessment – Independent critical comparison of two texts (max 2,500 words)

Assessed by teachers.


Future opportunities

English Literature A Level is an excellent preparation for any degree course or career. The high level thinking skills required for analysing and comparing texts, and in considering different interpretations,are transferable to many subjects. Your ability to present a clear line of argument and to communicate clearly in both written and spoken modes will also be highly valued by any employer.

Successful English students often go on to different careers such as: Teaching, Media, Journalism, Marketing, careers in the Public Sector, and professions like Law, Banking and Insurance.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 01 November 2016
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