Course Outline

A level Literature focuses on different ways of reading and on the connections which exist between texts. Our specification (AQA B) is based on the genres of Tragedy and Crime Writing. In the exam there are two papers and also a Non Exam Assessment (NEA).

EngLit2018 6thform 01


 Paper One - Aspects of tragedy: Drama

You will study Othello, Death of a Salesman and the narrative poems of John Keats.



Paper Two -Elements of Crime Writing

AgathaChristieThe crime writing texts are Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Kate Atkinson’s When Will There Be Good News? and a selection of crime-related poetry.








WritingThe A-Level Course also contains a Non Exam Assessment (NEA), which aims to encourage you to develop your passion for literature independently, through a range of critical frameworks. You will produce two pieces of writing on two separate texts, applying two different critical frameworks to them. This process is supported by the AQA Critical anthology, which has accessible extracts on the following critical methods and ideas:

  • Narrative theory
  • Feminist theory
  • Marxist theory
  • Eco-critical theory
  • Post-colonial theory
  • Literary value and the canon.


Entrance requirements and skills needed

The course is designed for students who enjoy reading and who enjoy the study of Literature. You will need good analytical skills and the ability to write coherent essays.


Assessments - AQA qualification

The A Level qualification is 80% exam based, 20% non-exam assessment (NEA)
Paper One - Aspects of tragedy
  • Two hour closed book examination
  • One passage and one essay based question on Shakespeare
  • One essay based question linking other two tragedy texts
  • 40% of A Level
Paper Two - Elements of Crime Writing
  • Three hour open book examination
  • One passage based question on unseen text
  • Two other essay questions, one on a set text, one linking other two texts
  • 40% of A Level
Non-Exam Assessment
Two essays of 1250-1500 words, each responding to a different text and linking to a different aspect of the Critical anthology


Why study English Literature?


English Literature is classified as a facilitating subject by The Russell Group (a group representing 24 leading UK Universities). This means it is a subject more frequently required for entry to degree courses than others. Choosing English Literature at advanced level leaves open a wide range of options for university study.

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