English Language
English Literature

What do I need to study the course?


GCSE grade C or above in English Language


What does the course involve?


With exciting text and data based sources of language, the English Language AS level gives you the opportunity to explore how language works in various contexts.  You will learn to apply theories from academic research to raw data acquired from your own observations, and examine the part that context plays in our use of language. This course encourages students to develop their interest and enjoyment of English through analysis, exploring data and developing their skills as producers and interpreters of language.


Offering clear skills progression from GCSE, this course allows students to build on the skills already gained and prepare for their next steps. The variety of assessment styles used, such as data analysis, discursive essays, directed writing, original writing and research-based investigative writing, allows students to develop a wide range of skills. These include critical reading, data analysis, evaluation, the ability to develop and sustain arguments and a number of different writing skills which are invaluable for both further study and future employment.


What next?

This course is an ideal qualification for a degree in Journalism, Creative Writing, English Studies or Linguistics or in a Humanities subject where it is important to be able to explore texts with a real attention to detail. The analytical skills and detailed exploration are also a supportive addition for students taking science subjects.

What do I need to study this course?


Ideally, students wishing to study A-Level English Literature would have already attained a grade B or above in both GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature.  The minimum requirement is grade C in the aforementioned GCSEs but only students with a genuine passion for literature should consider this A-Level.


What does the course involve?

This specification has a distinct philosophy which centres on different ways of reading and the connections that exist between texts within a literary genre.  Students gain a solid understanding of how texts can be connected and how they can be interpreted in multiple ways so that students can arrive at their own interpretations and become confident autonomous readers. Students are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed for exams, but also experience a rich, challenging and coherent approach to English literature that provides an excellent basis for further study in the subject.


The specification encourages the exploration of texts in a number of different ways:

  • the study of literature within a specific genre
  • the study of various texts, chosen from a set text list
  • writing about texts in a number of different ways.


How is the course assessed?



Literary Genres: Aspects of Tragedy

Students study three texts (Othello, Death of a Salesman and The Great Gatsby) plus a collection of poems that have connections the tragedy genre. Students are assessed via two exams (each worth 50%):-

  • Exam 1: Drama texts (Othello / Death of a Salesman). A closed book exam which comprises of 2 tasks (1hr30)
  • Exam 2: Poetry and Prose (The Great Gatsby / Poetry).  An open book exam which comprises of 2 tasks (1hr30)



Paper 1: Literary Genres

Choice of options:

  • 1a: Aspects of Tragedy
  • 1b: Aspects of Comedy

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

Students are assessed via a closed book written examination which is worth 40% of A Level.


Paper 2: Texts and Genres

Choice of two options:

  • Option 2a: Elements of Crime Writing
  • Option 2b: Elements of Political Writing

Study of three texts: one post 2000 prose text, one poetry and one further text, one of which must be written pre 1900.

Students are assessed via an open book examination which is worth 40% of A Level.


Non examination assessment

Study of two texts, one poetry and one prose text, informed by study of the Critical Anthology.

Two essays of 1250-1500 words, each responding to a different text and a different aspect of the Critical Anthology.

This is worth 20% of A Level.


What next?

English Literature is a traditional, academic subject which is very well-respected by universities and employers. In the long term, a degree in the subject can lead into a diverse range of careers including journalism, politics, teaching and the performing arts.


Links & Resources

Abbey Multi Academy Trust,

c/o Chapter House,

Abbey Grange Church of England Academy,

Butcher Hill, Leeds, LS16 5EA

Tel: 0113 257877


Bishop Young Academy

Bishops Way



LS14 6NU


Tel: 0113 273 9100  Fax: 0113 273 4216


Company No.: 07705552