The study of A-level English Literature allows us to explore some of life's most complex topics: love, loss, loneliness, fear and happiness. In short, through the power of the written word, you'll take a deep dive into the strengths and frailties of human emotion.
From Shakespeare to Wyatt, to Tennessee Williams and Margaret Atwood, you'll critically examine a range of texts which sum up ‘Love Through the Ages'. You'll become confident placing poems and novels into context, identifying historicist links and comparing and contrasting characters, themes and narrative voices.
What you'll learn
Unit 1 - Love through the ages: Shakespeare's Othello
We begin with an extraordinary tragedy of love and betrayal from the Bard himself. Othello, a Moorish prince, marries his beloved Desdemona and all is well. Until – that is – Othello’s servant Iago begins to sew discord between them and Othello finds himself cruelly manipulated. Through one of Shakespeare’s finest works, you’ll begin to explore our theme, ‘Love through the Ages’.
Unit 2 - Love through the ages: Poetry - Anthology (Pre 1900)
Is there a more timeless expression of love than the poem? You’ll dive right in with your critical analysis of this unique art form by studying Renaissance poetry from Wyatt and Donne before moving on to the Cavalier poets Lovelace and Wilmot. Next, you’ll critically analyse Romantic poems such as ‘The Garden of Love’ by William Blake and ‘She Walks in Beauty’ by Lord Byron and Victorian poems such as ‘Remember’ by Christina Rosetti and ‘At an Inn’ by Thomas Hardy.
Unit 3 - Love through the Ages: Prose - The Great Gatsby
Set in the whirl of post-consumerism in 1920s New York, Scott Fitzgerald explores the nature of love in relation to extreme wealth and power. In the exam, you’ll be comparing the text to the pre-1900 poems in the exam, so you’ll be looking for links and points of comparison throughout this unit. You’ll cover themes like ‘dreams and status’, ‘loyalty vs sex’ and ‘self-destruction’.
Unit 4 - Love through the ages: Unseen poems
The course now shifts into a new theme: modern times. All the texts in paper two will be from the 20th and 21st centuries, so it is important to consider what issues may have influenced writers in recent years.
Unit 5 - Texts in shared contexts: Drama - A Streetcar Named Desire
This English literature course now shifts into a new theme: modern times. All the texts in paper two will be from the 20th and 21st centuries, so it is important to consider what issues may have influenced writers in recent years. Tennessee Williams’s play ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ explores the struggle for identity in post-war America as cultures and personalities clash.
Unit 6 - Texts in shared contexts: Prose - The Handmaid's Tale
Margaret Atwood wrote this novel in response to shifting gender roles in the 1980s but it’s still remarkably relevant today. The story is set in a disturbing dystopia and the stifling writing style places the reader at the heart of a brutal regime. You’ll compare this novel with ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, examining the characters, themes and voices in the two texts.
Unit 7 - Texts in shared contexts: Poem - Skirrid Hill (Post-2000)
In this section of the English Literature A-level course, you’ll have a chance to practise analysing a range of 20th and 21st-century prose. In the exam, you’ll answer a question about an unseen prose extract; you will read closely, form opinions and interpret a short section from a modern novel.
Unit 8 - Texts in shared contexts: Unseen prose extract
In this section, you’ll have a chance to practise analysing a range of 20th and 21st-century prose. In the exam, you’ll answer a question about an unseen prose extract; you will read closely, form opinions and interpret a short section from a modern novel.
Unit 9 - Independent critical study
This unit of A-level English Lit will be completed alongside the rest of the course. You’ll read two complete texts (including at least one from before 1900) and work independently to explore the links and connections between them. With your tutor, you will decide on an area of study and a title for your essay. Your final essay will be 2500 words and will include a detailed bibliography showing the research you have completed.
AQA qualifications are internationally recognised and taught in 30 countries around the world, highly valued by employers and universities and enable young people to progress to the next stage of their lives. AQA qualifications suit a range of abilities and include GCSE courses, IGCSE courses and A-level courses.
Upon successful completion of this home learning A-level English Literature course, you will receive an A-level in English Literature, issued by AQA. This syllabus (7712A) has been chosen specifically because it is best suited to distance learning. Your certificate is identical to that issued to students at any other school, college or university.
How is this course assessed or examined?
You can enrol now for A-level English Literature AQA examinations from Summer 2023.
You will be required to complete the three assessments for A-level English Literature:
- Paper 1: 3 hours, 40% of A-level, 75 marks
- Paper 2: 2 hours 30 minutes, 40% of A-level, 75 marks
Non-Exam Assessment (NEA):
- Coursework Task 1: 2,500 words, 20% of A-level, 50 marks
It is strongly recommended that you have studied English Literature to GCSE or equivalent level before starting this course. This A-level English Literature syllabus is a difficulty level three: the equivalent difficulty of an A-level or BTEC, usually suitable for most learners of all ages.