A-level English Literature

Tap into a wealth of inspiration and creativity with A-level English Literature.

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Overview

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.

Extra info

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Awarding Body

aqa@8x

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.

Course Outcome

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:

Written Exams:

  • 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 

Entry requirements

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.

FAQs

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Exam Results: I need to resit my exams, can I enrol with Oxbridge?

At Oxbridge, we take enrolments all year round. Once you’re enrolled, you’ll be able to get started right away. Studying online means your work and revision fit around you and your lifestyle. For example, if you have a part-time job or need to study alongside other subjects, you’ll be able to find time to fit our online courses into your schedule.

Enjoy flexible, convenient, affordable learning, fully supported by expert tutors who are passionate about their subjects. We pride ourselves on the quality of our course tutors and know that they hold the key to success. Whatever your goals, dreams or aspirations, Oxbridge is here to help you facilitate them.

Exam Results: When will I receive my certificate?

Oxbridge students who sat their exams through our partnership exam centres will usually receive their certificates in November. Certificates will be sent out by recorded delivery.

Wondering what to do next? There are so many options available, it’s important to get the right advice. Whether your choice is to continue onto further education, go into job training or get an apprenticeship and whether your grades are high or low – there are always options! Speak to an adviser today to see how we can support you on your next steps…

Exam Results: I didn't pass English or Maths, what do I do next?

First of all, don’t worry – everything will be okay. Unfortunately, if you didn’t get a grade 4 or higher (equivalent to a C or above) in your English and Maths, you will have to re-take it in order to pass. Oxbridge is ready and available to support you with this. Get in touch via live chat, phone or email.

Exam Results: I have individual unit marks, but no overall grade. What should I do?

Check for a cash-in code on your statement of entry. If there isn’t one, cash-in may not have been applied for. Cash-in can be applied for retrospectively from your exam centre and once entered you can expect an overall grade in one week.

Exam Results: I haven't done as well as I expected in my exams. Is there anything I can do?

Yes! There are a number of post-result services available. Your entering centre will be able to provide you with further information and will process any requests for you. If you’re not sure where to turn, our friendly learning advisers are on hand and ready to help you.

Can I study this AQA A-level course if I do not live in England?

Yes! All of our learning is online, however, you will need to sit your exams in England. Find out more about exams.

What can I do with my A-levels?

A-levels are a universal way to demonstrate academic competency in a multitude of disciplines. A-levels are subject-based qualifications that lead to either university, further study, training, or work. A-levels serve as a standardised way to demonstrate your academic ability and are very common entry requirements to most higher-level courses.

Why study an online A-level course from home?

A-levels can be studied from home with Oxbridge, using our online platform. On average we find that students receive 20% higher grades and pass around 30% more quickly than in a traditional college.

How many UCAS points is an A-level course?

A-levels are the most common way to access university in the UK. The system in which this is done is called UCAS. This stands for: “the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service”. See the A-level UCAS tariff points breakdown below:

  • A* – 56
  • A – 48
  • B – 40
  • C – 32
  • D – 24
  • E – 16
What A-Level courses should I take?

If you’re planning on going on to a degree, your chosen university will usually publish their entry requirements for each course on their website. See how these subjects feel and decide if you would enjoy them as they will form much of the base knowledge for your degree.

If you’re not entirely sure what to study, there are some standard subjects that many students choose to help them secure a place at a prestigious university, such as one of the Russell Group universities. These courses are known as the ‘facilitating courses’ and include Biology, Chemistry, Physics, English Literature, Geography, History, Maths, Further Maths, Modern Languages and Classical Languages.

Generally speaking, taking two facilitating subjects will allow you to keep your progression options open. For further help and guidance, we have written a detailed guide on How to Choose A-Levels.

How long does it take to study an A-level?

It’s possible to study an A-level course both full-time and part-time. Normally students would study for two years, but with Oxbridge, you can also fast-track your course to complete it in one year.

What are A-Levels?

A-levels (also known as Advanced level qualifications) entail in-depth study of a chosen subject in order to open doors to further study including University, training, and work.

A-levels courses tend to focus on specific academic subjects such as Mathematics, English and the Sciences: Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The course material and the exams you take will be the same everywhere.

Does this A-level English Lit course have assignments?

Yes, During your A-level English Literature course, you’ll be required to complete one introductory assignment, as well as 10 other projects. These do not contribute to your final grade but provide you with an opportunity to submit work to your tutor for marking and feedback. This will help you to gauge your progress as you work through the course.

You will also complete one non-exam assessment (NEA), which will count for 20% of your final mark. This coursework is completed during your learning and sent to your exam centre for marking. You’ll be given more details once you’re enrolled.

Why study A-level English Language online?

Studying this English Literature A-level course online will allow you to fit your studies into your busy lifestyle. As you complete this engaging, interactive course in your own time and at your own pace, you’ll have the unlimited support of your expert tutor to guide you. You’ll receive a clear induction and well-structured assignments to help you develop the skills and knowledge needed to prepare you for the exam.

Who should study A-level English Literature?

This AQA A-level English Literature course is ideal for anyone who wishes to study English at university or to gain some of the skills most sought after by employers, like critical thinking, research and analysis and creative expression.

How much do exams cost?

Exam fees vary depending on where you sit them. Planning on studying A-levels or GCSEs with us? Learn more about our exam process for these course categories.

Students can contact our partnership centre to find out more – you can find their details on MyOxbridge under NEAS and Exams.

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