A Level in English Literature – September 2024

Funding information: Free For Eligible 16-18 year olds and First Full L3 for 19-23 year olds. Adult Learner Loans available, course costs apply.
Duration: 2 years (1 year AS Level to start, an additional top up year for full A Level)
Attendance: Full-time subject

Course Overview

This course suits anyone who has a passion for the written word, enjoys learning about narrative texts, exploring characters and plot as well as the social and historical contexts of texts.

We are very proud of the strong results achieved in external examinations and in coursework in this area. There are opportunities for creative writing, supportive teaching links with both Sheffield Hallam and the University of Sheffield and a number of trips throughout your studies to enhance your learning experience. The subject is highly regarded by employers and higher education providers and is amongst the most desirable qualifications for top tier universities.

We have a stong record for progression from A Level English Literature into higher education or employment. The qualification can lead to a huge range of careers, as every aspect of work uses transferable skills such as analysis, critical thinking and a high level of accuracy in communication.

Our classes are held in the beautifully redeveloped West Block building on Sheffield Road, formally Chesterfield's Old Boys' Grammar School many years ago. It also houses West Studios, a studio environment for working artists and creative companies. This provides a vibrant and creative environment in which to study that is just 5 minutes walk in to the town centre.

Course Content

Whilst studying AQA English Literature at A Level you will learn about:

  • Theories of tragedy, exploring Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’, Arthur Miller’s ‘Death of a Salesman’ and a collection of poems by John Keats (Year 1).
  • Conventions of crime fiction in ‘Atonement’ by Ian McEwan, Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ and Coleridge’s ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’, with studies in unseen crime extracts from across the ages (Year 2).
  • How to explore texts from diverse critical approaches such as: Feminism, Marxism, Post-colonialism, Eco-criticism and Narrative Theory.
  • Writing creatively in response to texts you study.

Entry Requirements

You will need a minimum of 5 GCSEs at grade 5 or above including maths. A minimum of 5 and 6 is required in English.

Assessment Methods

  • coursework
  • written exam


Upon successful completion of this course, you can choose to progress on to further study at university or enter employment.