A Level English Literature

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Course Code : H75


Guided Learning Hours : 320


Support Period : Through to Summer 2018 exams



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Studying English Literature will broaden your horizons both intellectually and career-wise, as it will give you valuable analytical and expressive skills that are highly prized by any employer.

Our English Literature A Level will introduce you to aspects of narrative, using both novels and poetry to show how narratives are created by authors and the different ways in which readers can respond.

You'll study a wide variety of texts within their wider historical and cultural contexts, some of which you'll choose yourself. You'll be introduced to different ways of reading texts and to critical ideas which you'll learn to apply to literary texts.

You'll also study various genres through material dating from 1300 to post-1800.  Drama will include the central role played by Shakespeare in English literature.


This course will prepare you for the AQA English Literature A Level specification (7712) exams.

Set Texts:

  1. Othello by Shakespeare
  2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  3. Skirrid Hill by Owen Sheers
  4. All My Sons by Arthur Miller 
  5. Spies by Michael Frayn
  6. A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller 
  7. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

You'll have the opportunity to choose your own texts in Component 3: Texts Across Time.

Study Components:

  1. Love through the ages
  2. Texts in shared contexts: Modern times: literature from 1945 to the present day
  3. Texts across time

Component 1: Love Through the Ages

You'll study four texts: one Shakespeare play, one poetry anthology and two prose texts. You'll also respond to an unseen prose extract in the exam.

You'll study representations of love across time by a variety of authors, across a variety of dramatic genres, and in various poetic styles.

Areas that you could explore include: romantic love of many kinds; love and sex; love and loss; social conventions and taboos; love through the ages according to history and time; love through the ages according to individual lives (young love, maturing love); jealousy and guilt; truth and deception; proximity and distance; marriage; approval and disapproval.

Component 2: Texts in Shared Contexts: Modern times: literature from 1945 to the present day

The aim of this topic area is to encourage you to explore aspects of literature connected through a shared period of time.

This component takes the end of World War 2 as its historical starting point and explores both modern and contemporary literature’s engagement with some of the social, political, personal and literary issues which have helped to shape the latter half of the 20th century and the early decades of the 21st century.

You'll study one prose, one poetry and one drama text, at least one of which will have been written post-2000.

Areas that you could explore include: wars and the legacy of wars; personal and social identity; changing morality and social structures; gender, class, race and ethnicity; political upheaval and change; resistance and rebellion; imperialism, post-imperialism and nationalism; engagement with the social, political, personal and literary issues which have helped to shape the latter half of the 20th century and the early decades of the 21st century.

Component 3: Texts Across Time

In this unit, you'll write a comparative independent critical study of two texts on the theme of your choice. You should choose texts which allow you to write about comparative similarity and difference and give access to a range of critical views and interpretations, including over time.

Possible themes include, but are not limited to:

  1. The struggle for identity
  2. Crime and punishment
  3. Minds under stress
  4. Nostalgia and the past
  5. The gothic
  6. Satire and dystopia
  7. War and conflict
  8. Representations of race and ethnicity
  9. Representations of sexuality
  10. Representations of women
  11. Representations of men
  12. Representations of social class and culture

The A Level English Literature course is perfect if you're looking to fill gaps in your school education or prepare for college or university. It's the essential foundation if you're thinking about studying English Literature at a higher level.

Studying English Literature will also demonstrate that you have excellent communication skills, an essential trait for most jobs.

You don't need any previous experience or qualifications to enrol in our A Level English Literature online course. That's because we believe in making learning - and a rewarding future - as accessible as possible. However, GCSE English Language at C level is recommended.

An A Level English Literature can be the first step towards college or degree-level study of English Literature and many other subjects.

The study of English Literature is valuable to many jobs and industries, such as:

  1. Journalist
  2. Writer
  3. Editor
  4. Teacher
  5. Publishing
  6. Media
  7. Marketing

It will also benefit a wide variety of jobs that require effective communication.

In the workplace, you'll find your A Level English Literature will demonstrate to employers that you have the ability to commit to learning, and have acquired good communication, reasoning and analytical skills - essential in practically every walk of life.

Your A Level in English Literature can count towards entry to college or university for many subjects. You should contact the institution you're interested in attending to find out their entry requirements.

Students who complete this course often go on to study an English Literature, English Language, History or Journalism degree. 

We believe in making learning accessible and affordable for all, so you'll have the option to pay for your course through an interest-free payment plan. You'll pay a small deposit when you enrol and the rest by monthly direct debit. Our plans are flexible, so you can extend the terms or pay your balance off sooner if you choose.

You can also pay for your course in full when you enrol.

Speak to our course advisors for more information on our payment plans.

Once you enrol, you’ll have access to our Student Community, which will allow you to see your course materials, contact your tutor, submit your assignments and connect with your fellow students. Your course materials have been specially designed for online learning by experts in the field. 

You’ll also have access to a huge range of resources that will aid your studies:

  1. Live Induction Webinar
  2. Interactive Quizzes
  3. Progress Checks
  4. Peer Discussions
  5. E-books
  6. Personal Journal
  7. AQA Resources

You’ll be assigned an expert academic tutor who will be with you from enrolment to graduation. They’ll answer questions about coursework, study materials, assessments and exams, and help you work through any part of the course you’re stuck with.

They’ll also give you test papers and mock exams to ensure you’re ready to pass your assessments. All your papers will be marked and given constructive feedback so you know exactly what your strengths are and what you can improve.

Our dedicated student support team will be on hand to assist you with administrative tasks, using the Student Community, and any other non-academic queries you may have.

You'll have to source the texts for this course yourself. Many can be found second-hand or for free online. The set texts are:

  1. Othello, Arden, Shakespeare, Third Series, ISBN 978-1903436455
  2. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald,  (Penguin Modern Classics) 2000, ISBN 9780141182636
  3. Skirrid Hill, by Owen Sheers (Seren, 2005), ISBN 978-1854114037
  4. All My Sons, by Arthur Miller (Penguin Modern Classics, 2009) ISBN 978-0141189970
  5. Spies, by Michael Frayn (Faber and Faber 2011) ISBN 978-0571268856
  6. A View from the Bridge, Arthur Miller (Penguin Modern Classics, 2010, introduction from the author and Philip Seymour Hoffman) ISBN 978-0141189963
  7. The Yellow Wallpaper, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, from The Yellow Wallpaper and Selected Writings, (Virago), ISBN 978-1844085583

There are three final assessments for the A Level English Literature specification 7712:

  1. Paper 1: Love through the ages
  2. Paper 2: Texts in shared contexts: Modern times: literature from 1945 to the present day
  3. Non-exam based assessment (coursework): Texts across time

These exams are set nationally by AQA and take place every summer. You must sit all papers in one exam diet.

Important Exam Information

Please be aware that you're responsible for making your own exam arrangements. We'll help you find a suitable exam centre, usually a nearby school or college, and give you all the information you need to book your place. You'll have to pay an examination fee as well as a centre fee which will vary depending on the exam centre.

Find out more information about your exams.

You'll have to buy the set texts for this course yourself. Many can be found cheaply second-hand, or for free online. The full list can be found under 'What will I get?'

Exam centre and registration fees are additional to your course fees. The cost will vary according to the exam centre you use.

Contact our course advisors for more information on additional fees.

Find out more information about arranging your exams.




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