A Level English Literature

Exam board: Pearson


  • Drama: ‘Othello’ and ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ (30%; 2 hours and 15 minutes)
  • Prose: ‘Dracula’ and ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ (20%; 1 hour and 15 minutes)
  • Poetry: ‘Poems of the Decade’ and ‘English Romantic Verse’ (30%; 2 hours and 15 minutes)


  • Two texts linked by theme, movement, author or period
  • One extended comparative essay of 2500 – 3000 words (20%)


Learning outcomes   

Students are required to:

  • Show knowledge and understanding of how playwrights use dramatic forms to shape meaning in drama texts and evoke responses in audiences;
  • Show knowledge and understanding of the contexts in which texts have been produced and received, and understanding of how these contexts influence meaning;
  • Show knowledge and understanding of a range of literary texts and make connections and explore the relationships between texts;
  • Show knowledge and understanding of a range of ways to read and experience texts, responding critically and creatively;
  • Respond to and evaluate texts, drawing on their understanding of interpretations by different readers such as literary critics;
  • Identify and explore how attitudes and values are expressed in texts;
  • Communicate fluently, accurately and effectively their knowledge, understanding and evaluation of texts;
  • Use literary critical concepts and terminology with understanding and discrimination;
  • Make appropriate use of the conventions of writing in literary studies, referring accurately and appropriately to texts and sources.


Why choose A-Level English Literature?

  • English Literature is a rigorous and highly academic A Level that is sought after by all Russell Group universities (the top universities in the UK)
  • A-Level English Literature will encourage you to develop your interest in, and enjoyment of, literary study through reading widely and critically
  • You will, by the end, be able to appraise different views of the texts and appreciate the significant of historical and cultural influences upon readers and writers.

A-Level subjects which link with English Literature

  • Drama
  • History
  • Psychology
  • Religious education
  • Philosophy and ethics
  • Law and politics
  • Languages
  • Sociology

Possible career paths

  • Teaching and education
  • Media and journalism
  • Publishing
  • Advertising, marketing and PR
  • Public sector
  • Law

Specification website link:


Methods of delivery:

A mixture of teacher led sessions and independent learning.

Homework expectations

As well as regular essays, students will also be expected to undertake extensive wider reading around their texts and to keep detailed notes of their research.

Trips / Visits: Trips are arranged to see current productions of prescribed texts whenever feasible.