St Augustine's Catholic College

A Level English Literature

“I’ve had a really good time in all my English lessons. I can’t wait to continue studying Literature at university”.

80% of this A Level is exam based, with a mixture of open and closed book conditions. The remaining 20% is made up of an investigative piece of coursework. The course is taught over the full two years and all components are taken/submitted at the end of the two year teaching period. The emphasis is on literary texts across the three genres of poetry, prose and drama. The course aims to understand texts in context and change in literature over time.

All exam questions are equally weighted.

Exam Paper 1: Love through the ages 40% 3 hours

Study of three texts: one poetry and one prose text, of which one must be written pre-1900, and one Shakespeare play. Exam will include two unseen poems.

Section A: Shakespeare

One passage-based question with linked essay. Closed book exam.

Section B: Unseen poetry

Compulsory essay question on two unseen poems. Closed book exam.

Section C: Comparing texts

One essay question linking two texts (studied prose and poetry). Open book exam.

Exam Paper 2: Texts in shared contexts 40% 2h30m

Students will study either:

Option 2A: WW1 and its aftermath.

Option 2B: Modern times: Literature from 1945 to the present day

Study of three texts: one prose, one poetry, and one drama, of which one must be written post-2000. Exam will include an unseen extract

Section A: Set texts

One essay question on set text

Section B: Contextual linking

  • One compulsory question on an unseen extract

  • One essay question linking two texts

Independent Critical Study: texts across time 20%

Comparative critical study of two texts, at least one of which must have been written pre-1900. One extended essay (2500 words) and a bibliography. Texts chosen for this study cannot be taught in other parts of the course.