Minerva Learning Trust

English Literature

A Level AQA (Specification B)

The course offers opportunities for students to develop analytical expertise by engaging critically with a wide range of literary texts. Students will analyse and reflect critically on a wide variety of literary texts and critical theories, as well as assessing and reflecting on their own processes of essay production.

A Level English Literature focuses on: 

  • Aspects of Comedy with a focus on drama (particularly Shakespeare) and prose fiction  
  • Genre Elements of Crime through a variety of unseen and studied texts, both prose and poetry, 19th, 20th and 21st Century texts will be studied  
  • Critical Theory - Marxist, Feminist, Post-Colonial and Narrative theory can all be studied 


Paper 1 - 40% 

  • Extract-based question on a Shakespearean comedy text
  • Essay on aspects of comedy in a Shakespearean comedy text 
  • Comparative study of two other comedy texts relating to aspects of comedy 

Paper 2 - 40% 

  • Essay on an unseen crime text 
  • Detailed exploration of a studied crime text 
  • Comparative study of two crime texts with relation to an aspect of the genre 

Non-Exam Assessment (Coursework) - 20%

  • Narrative investigation of a novel for independent study 
  • Critical response to a collection of poems for independent study 

Skills Developed and Career Prospects

Studying English Literature allows students to develop their ability to express themselves with increasing competence, sophistication and independence, whilst encouraging analytical literary study of a wide variety of highly sophisticated literary texts. Students will undertake a varied programme of reading and develop skills of responding critically and perceptively to them. They will learn to analyse texts in detail, investigate literary concepts and develop skills of independent study. These are skills highly valued in the job market and essential in higher education.

A Level English Literature complements essay based A Levels including Sociology, English Language and History. It also has clear connections with Politics and Classical Civilisation. As a discipline which demands thorough and perceptive analysis of texts, it enhances all programmes of study. The course leads to a qualification which not only facilitates access to all higher education establishments, but also a wide range of career opportunities, including Teaching, Writing and Journalism.

High Storrs Sixth Form Entry Requirements

A minimum of five GCSEs at Grade 9 - 4. This MUST include Grade 5 or above in English Language, AND English Literature AND Mathematics for entry to this course.