An A level in English Language and Literature will help the learner to use English appropriately, accurately and creatively.


This discipline explores connections between linguistic and literary methods resulting in a deeper understanding and appreciation of the English language and literature. Through creative engagement with a wide range of texts and genres,

Board: AQA

students develop key skills in critical reading, interpretation and evaluation, and produce written work across a variety of writing styles, including imaginative, discursive and argumentative. 

Course Structure

Teaching begins in September (January for 18 month courses). In the first year you will cover the following topics:

  • Imagined Worlds
  • Poetic Voices
  • Remembered Places
  • Re-creative Writing
  • Critical Commentary

Students may take the AS exam at the end of the first year of the programme. The second year then builds on this foundation for the completion of the full A level. In the second year you will focus on the following topics:

  • Remembered Places
  • Imagined Worlds
  • Poetic Voices
  • Writing about Society
  • Critical Commentary
  • Dramatic Encounters
  • Making Connections

Exam Structure

AS Exam Format

Paper 1 Paper 2
Views and Voices
1 hour and 30 minutes
People and Places
1 hour and 30 minutes

A2 Exam Format

Paper 1 Paper 2 Non-examination assessment
Telling Stories
3 hours
Exploring Conflict
2 hours and 30 minutes
Making Connections
2,500-3,000 words

English Language and Literature One-Year A level

The board, format and content are the same as the two-year programme, but the course is covered in the space of one year. The stand-alone AS papers would not be sat.


Programme Requirements

Students need at least grade C at GCSE English and GCSE English Literature, or equivalent.

Related Further Study and Careers

English language and literature provides excellent preparation for students wishing to study degrees in English Literature, English Language, Linguistics or communications in general. It is a good companion A level to many other essay-based subjects.

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