A-Level English Literature

Our course code: X902

Course fee £695 or from £52 per month

Enrol on this course

A-Level English Literature will encourage you to read widely as a critical and independent reader. You will immerse yourself in a wide range of literary texts that span centuries, gaining an understanding of how to read closely and analyse a range of critical views and you’ll learn how to express informed and independent opinions and judgements about them based on sound evidence.

You will also learn how to incorporate critical viewpoints into your essays to support and develop your own arguments. An A-Level in English Literature provides an important foundation for any degree or a career involving excellent written communication, research and analytical skills. It will open up many careers including Journalism, Teaching, Law, Academia, Media, Advertising, Marketing, Politics and the Performing Arts.

A-Levels are the gold standard for education in the UK, recognised by universities and employers alike as a mark of significant achievement. The English Language can be used to inspire, motivate and challenge us in countless different ways. Having an A-level demonstrates a thorough understanding of a subject, will boost your career prospects and will open up new opportunities for you. This A-Level English Literature course has been written to the latest specifications and has been designed to give you the best possible chance of success.

You’ll have everything you need to succeed, starting with a clear induction and well-structured assignments to help you to develop the skills and knowledge you need to prepare for the exam.

You will benefit from:

  • A brand new course, written to the latest specification with dynamic and engaging content
  • Fast track is available on this course (for exams in 2022)
  • A free e-textbook to aid your learning
  • Access to a network of partnership exam centres (guaranteed exam venue)
  • Unlimited tutor support – we help you write a study plan and support you throughout
  • Exam pass guarantee (If you don’t pass the first time, we’ll support you to the next exam)

A-level English Literature will encourage you to read widely as a critical reader and help you gain an understanding of how to analyse a range of critical views.

  • Exam Pass Guarantee

    If you don’t pass the first time, we’ll support you to the next exam for free

  • Guaranteed exam centre

    Access to our Country-wide network of exam centres (guaranteed exam venue)

  • Unlimited Tutor Support

    Get as much help and support as you want from your personal course tutor via email and phone.

  • Awarding body: AQA
  • Our course code: X902
  • Qualification code: 7712A

The 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 GCSEs, IGCSEs and A-levels.

Study Hours

You should allow for between 200 and 300 hours’ study time, plus additional time for completing assignments.

Study Method

Our course is delivered via our online learning platform as this provides learners with a dynamic and engaging experience. Don’t worry, if you prefer, you can print the learning materials yourself. The learning resources are in a range of different media including videos, quizzes, and interactive activities.

Course Duration

Enrol today to start your learning journey.

You will benefit from our unlimited tutor support for a period of up to 24 months from the date of enrolment.


All enrolments now will be for exams in Summer 2022.

Official exams

You will be required to complete the two standard written exams:

  • 3 hours, 40% of marks
  • 2 hours 30 minutes, 40% of marks
  • 1 coursework task, 20% of marks (see NEA below)

We provide a guaranteed exam space in one of our exam centres around the Country, to take away the hassle of needing to find your own. Check where your closest exam centre is.


During your course, you’ll be required to complete the following:

  • 1 introductory assignment
  • 10 assignments

These do not contribute towards 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.

Non-exam assessment (NEA)

  • 1 coursework task , 20% of marks

Part of the A-level assessment for the new specification is a non-exam assessment (NEA). This coursework is completed during your learning and sent your exam centre for marking. You’ll be given more details once you’re enrolled.


Course Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this home learning course, you will receive an A-Level in English Literature, issued by AQA. This syllabus (7712A) has been chosen specifically because it is the best suited to distance learning. Your certificate is identical to that issued to students at any other school, college or university.

Additional Information

Difficulty - Level 3

Entry requirements - It is strongly recommended that you have studied English literature to GCSE or equivalent level before starting this course.

UCAS Points - 56

Course Content

1: Love through the ages: Shakespeare’s Othello

The course begins with this extraordinary tragedy of love and betrayal. Othello, a Moorish prince, marries his beloved Desdemona, a Venetian lady, and they are blissfully happy. Unfortunately, Othello’s servant Iago sews discord between them, and the dignified Othello is cruelly manipulated.

It is a wonderful play with extremes of emotion and kicks off the theme of Love Through the Ages which will be further explored in Sections 2, 3, and 4.

2: Love through the ages: Poetry - Anthology (Pre 1900)

Here, you’ll study a selection of poems from across the centuries exploring the key theme of love. This is a perfect opportunity to research the social contexts that influenced the key poets and to understand how writers influenced each other. From courtly love to unrequited passion, you will find yourself learning quotes and remembering these poems for the rest of your life.

You’ll study:

  • Renaissance Poems
  • Cavalier Poems
  • Romantic Poems
  • Victorian Poems
3: Love through the ages: Prose - The Great Gatsby

This novel brings the theme of Love through the Ages into the 20th century. Set in the whirl of post-war consumerism in 1920s New York, Scott Fitzgerald explores the nature of love in relation to extreme wealth and power. This text is compared to the pre-1900 poems in the exam, so you will be looking for links and points of comparison throughout the unit.

Themes covered include:

  • Dreams and status
  • Loyalty vs sex
  • Self-destruction
4: Love through the ages: Unseen poems

Having become familiar with literary study in the previous units, this section requires you to apply your knowledge and skills to unseen poems. In the exam, you will read and compare two poems that you have not studied before. This unit gives you the opportunity to practice comparing a range of examples.

You will become confident with:

  • Close reading
  • Placing poems into context
  • Finding historicist links
5: Texts in shared contexts: Drama - A Streetcar Named Desire

The course now shifts into a new theme: Modern Times. All the texts in Paper 2 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’ play A Streetcar Named Desire explores the struggle for identity in post-war America as cultures and personalities clash.

Themes covered include:

  • The context
  • Blanche vs Stanley
  • Blanche’s growing madness
  • Freedom and escape
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 is 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 in the exam and there are links to be made in the characters, themes, and voices in the two texts.

Themes covered include:

  • The context
  • The setting
  • Narrative style
  • Religion
  • Freedom and escape
7: Texts in shared contexts: Poem - Skirrid Hill (Post-2000)

This stunning collection of poetry from 2005 explores the opposing concepts of separation and belonging. Modern themes like gender issues, struggle for identity, and the impact of war is raised and the poet uses a free-verse form with intricate patterns of rhyme, motif, and narrative voice to create a range of complex effects.

You will cover themes such as:

  • Nature – The association between modern society and the natural landscape in which we live
  • Sex and relationships/gender roles – The twists and turns in a relationship as individuals bond, bicker and break up
  • Growing up and growing old/parents and children – Shifts in the bond within families as members grow up and grow old
  • Identity – The struggles in a fast-paced world.
8: Texts in shared contexts: Unseen prose extract

In this section, you will have a chance to practice analysing a range of 20th and 21st century prose. In the exam you will answer a question about an unseen prose extract; you will read closely, form opinions, and interpret a short section from a modern novel. We will look at a range of writers from Jeanette Winterson to Arundhati Roy.

Themes covered include:

  • The struggle for identity in the modern world
  • Responding to shifting gender roles
  • Culture clashes in a world of mass communication
  • Exploring the impact of modern science on everyday living
  • The impact of war on modern life
  • Defining good and evil in a post-religious society.
9: Independent critical study

This unit will be completed alongside the rest of the course. You will read two complete texts (including at least one from before 1900) and work independently to explore 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.

Show 3 more modules

Frequently Asked Questions

We have some answers to common student questions, but if you can't find the answer you're looking for then please contact us and we will do everything we can to answer your questions.

Yes. there will be additional fees for your exams that are payable to the centre upon booking Your personal tutor can provide more details.

Yes, you can find out more by clicking here.

Yes! You study the same curriculum, take the same examinations and get the same qualification. The only difference is that the course is specially designed to be studied from home in your own time.

We are able to offer places at partnership exam centres across the UK for our students, therefore, guaranteeing an exam venue. If you choose to find your own exam centre, you can, you will need to register with them as an external or private candidate. Fees vary across the country so we recommend enquiring prior to enrolment.

You will need to pay separately for your final examinations.

You will have access to your personal tutor, via email, who will mark your assignments and guide you through the course to help you get ready for your examinations. In addition, you will be supplied with a comprehensive Study Guide that will help you through the study and assessment process. Your personal tutor will be highly experienced in their subject area and qualified to teach.

Most students finish comfortably within the course duration period given. However, if you do need more time, your personal tutor support can be extended for an additional fee.

Please check our main FAQs section or Contact Us, we have experienced course advisers who will be delighted to help!

That’s fine, this course can be studied anywhere and is completed by submitting Tutor marked assignments (TMAs).