A-Level English Literature


General Certificate of Education in English Literature


Students must achieve a Grade 6 or above in English Literature


1 x A level




Course Description

The specification encourages independent study of a range of texts across a range of eras and within a shared context. Studied together they create an understanding of English Literature that will deepen students' knowledge and love of the subject.

In Year 12 students read 3 core texts: Shakespeare, a collection of Pre 19th Century poetry, and a Post 19th Century novel. These texts are interlinked through the central theme: Love through the Ages. Students also read a variety of unseen fiction texts, and also unseen poetry.

In Year 13 students explore texts written within a narrower and clearly defined time period: WW1 and its aftermath, or Modern times: literature from 1945 to the present day. Working within historicist principles, this wider text study involves thinking about a wide range of relevant contexts, some of them to do with the production of the text at the time of its writing, and also how the text can be interpreted by readers now. Students are examined on the content covered in Year 12 in Paper 1, and also on their Texts across time study from Year 13. Students are also required to fulfill an Independent Study, in which they write a comparative critical study of two texts on a theme of their choice. The title 'Independent critical study' highlights the important idea that, within a literature course, students should have the opportunity to work independently.


4.1 Love through the ages

4.2 Texts in shared contexts

4.3 Independent critical study: texts across time

Assessed by

A-level 7712/1 - Love through the ages

A-level 7712/2 - Texts in shared contexts

A-level 7712/C - Non-exam assessment: independent critical study

Potential Careers

English Literature is an excellent, well-regarded foundation for access to a wide range of careers including but not exclusive to: law, finance, publishing, journalism, science writing and teaching.

Further Information


June 2024


View the calendar in full

English News

View more news stories