English Literature

AS and A2 LEVEL English Literature

IMG_2577The new course consists of 4 units of work undertaken over the two year period. The first two units lead to an AS award at the end of Year 12. The standard required is that of A Level but, obviously, the amount of work covered can be achieved in one year.

  • Units 1 (2 hours) and 3 (2 hours, 30 minutes) are written under examination conditions.
  • Units 2 and 4 are examined through coursework and both require two separate pieces.
  • As can be seen, candidates studying for the full A level will cover a minimum of 7 texts. Additionally, they will study a variety of supplementary texts to enable them to prepare for unit 3.


1. Texts in Context Candidates answer two questions: one on the set poetry text, the other linking their wider reading to the focus of a given extract.Topic and Text Information:
1C The struggle for Identity in Modern Literature
Section A: Wider Reading (Comparing Extracts)
Section B: Poetry (‘The World’s Wife by Carol Ann Duffy)Assessment: Written Exam 2 hours

Weighting: 60% of the total AS marks; 30% of the total A Level marks.

2. Creative Study Candidates produce a coursework folder containing two pieces of writing comprising 2,000 words in total.

The first piece will be a personal informed response to the set prose text (‘The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood) and may be a re-creative task. The second piece will be an analysis of the set drama text.

Assessment: Coursework

Weighting: 40% of total AS marks; 20% of total A Level marks.


3. Reading for Meaning Candidates answer a question involving unprepared and wider reading on the theme ‘Love through the Ages.’

Topic list:

  • Read in the literature of love including the three genres of prose, poetry and drama
  • Literature written by both men and women
  • Literature through time (from Chaucer to the present day).

Assessment: Written Exam 2 hours, 30 minutes

Weighting: 60% of total A2 marks; 30% of total A Level marks

4. Extended Essay and Shakespeare Study Candidates will study three texts, none of which will have been studied at AS and one of which will be a Shakespeare play

Two coursework essays will be produced:

  • An extended essay which will compare two texts of the candidate’s choice (3000 words)
  • An essay focusing on a chosen extract of a Shakespeare play requiring a detailed commentary on the extract, assessing its significance in the whole play (1000 words)

Assessment: Coursework

Weighting: 40% of total A2 / 20% of total A Level marks

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