A-Level English Literature (AQA 7717)

What does this course involve?

English Literature is a highly respected A level that is valued by universities and employers. For many years, the subject was a ‘Facilitating Subject’ – one of 9 subjects that was considered highly desirable for entry to the Russell Group Universities.

If you enjoy reading and delving into stories and the craft of writing, then this is the course for you. English Literature is also very effective in developing transferrable skills such as communication, an understanding of how language works, close analysis, and the ability to construct a well-argued case. These skills are highly valued in a range of university courses and graduate careers such as: Business and Finance, Journalism, Teaching, Print Media, social media, History, Law, Broadcast Media, Marketing, Advertising, Publishing – even Politics!

How is this course assessed?

English Literature is assessed on two final exams and one piece of NEA:

Aspects of Tragedy (40%)
This paper is focused on the genre of tragedy. You will study two Shakespearean masterpieces in the form of King Lear and Richard II. You will also study an anthology of tragic poetry that includes the work of Chaucer, Milton, Frost and Rossetti.

Political Protest Writing (40%)
For this paper, you will study dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, as well as The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Alongside these novels, you will also study the poetry of William Blake and some unseen extracts.

Independent NEA (20%)
Students will carry out two independent studies on a novel and poetry collection of their choice. This will involve engagement with critical theories to look at these texts through different lenses.


The department organises Theatre Trips, British Library Workshops and an A Level Conference trip is arranged across the two years. There is also an opportunity to write for the Sixth Form Reviewer.