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.
You'll have the opportunity to choose your own texts in Component 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.
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:
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.
If you have any disabilities which you believe may impact your studies or assessments, please inform your Course Advisor before
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:
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 be able to get started right away with a small deposit and pay the rest by monthly direct debit. Our plans are flexible, so you can pay your balance off sooner if you choose.
If your company will fund your course, we can help you arrange this.
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 work through step-by-step modules so you can easily keep track of your progress.
You'll have the opportunity to join a live induction webinar when you start your course. It's designed to help you navigate your way around the student community, to offer you help and support, and most importantly to give you a warm and friendly welcome to ICS Learn. We usually hold one a week, and you can attend any one that suits you.
You’ll have access to a huge range of resources that will aid your studies, including:
You'll have to source the texts for this course yourself. Many can be found second-hand or for free online. The set texts and their recommended editions are:
You’ll be assigned an expert academic tutor who'll be with you from enrolment to graduation. Their support is unlimited and you can contact them by phone, email or via the Student Community. They’ll answer any questions you have 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 exams. 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.
There are three final assessments for the A Level English Literature specification 7712:
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 note that you're responsible for making your own exam arrangements. We'll remind you when it's time to do this, and give you all the information you need to find a suitable exam centre. You'll need to pay a fee to the centre.
Find out more about arranging your exams here.
You'll have to buy the set texts for this course. Many can be found cheaply second-hand, or for free online. You can find the full list under 'What will I get?'
Exam centre and registration fees aren't included in your course fees, as they'll be paid directly to your exam centre. The cost will vary depending on which centre you choose, with private schools and colleges generally being more expensive than state schools.
Find out more about arranging your exams here, or contact our A Level course advisors by phone, email or web chat. We're happy to help!