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English Literature A-Level at Merrill Academy

Course description

If you’ve enjoyed studying English Language and Literature at GCSE, then taking this subject at A level allows you to develop your interest and enthusiasm further. You will nurture the kinds of skills that you began to nourish at GCSE, thinking about the themes that writers have explored in their work; writing critically about your understanding; experimenting with different genres through your creative talents and applying critical theories.

English Literature at A level is for anyone who loves to read both fiction and non-fiction texts and enjoys the challenge of academic study. It is a useful complement to other A levels, whether in Science, Humanities or Mathematics.

Course content

At Merrill, you will take the AQA qualification. This is because the work required for the different elements of the course play to your strengths and allows you to be given the necessary support for skills you generally find harder to develop. The AS course consists of two units:

Unit 1

  • Examination: 2 hours which is worth 60% of total AS marks: 30% of total A-level marks.
  • 4 texts for study: 2 x novel post 1990 and 2 x poetry 1800-1945. 2 sections, one question from each section.
  • Section A will involve close analysis of aspects of narrative in one text. One question per text.
  • Section B will involve comparing an aspect of narrative across three texts. Choice of two questions.

Unit 2

  • Coursework.
  • 40% of total AS marks: 20% of total A-level marks.
  • Minimum 2 texts for study within dramatic genre of Comedy (for study from September 2012).
  • A portfolio of 2 pieces of written coursework.
  • First piece on an aspect of dramatic/comic genre with regard to a Shakespeare play. Max 1500 words.
  • Second piece on an aspect of dramatic/comic genre with regard to another play. Can be text in translation. Max 1500 words. The course allows you to read with more insight and engage with a range of challenging literary texts from different time periods and through different narrative perspectives.

Entry requirements

To Study A's Levels or Applied Learning courses at level 3 you must have gained a grade C or above in English and Maths and have a minimum of three other GCSE's at grade C or above

Subject Specific

5 A* - C’s including English and Maths.


The course is divided into coursework and examination units.

Coursework is worth 40% of the final grade and the examination is worth 60%.

Financial information

No additional costs; however, we recommend that you purchase your own copy of the book in order to make detailed notes.

Future opportunities

A Level English will provide you with an excellent set of transferable skills and knowledge useful for many career roles including Administration and Management.

Further study at degree level can lead into careers in Teaching, Journalism, Literary Criticism.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Merrill Academy directly.

Last updated date: 20 April 2015

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