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English Literature A Level Course

Course Format:Hard-Copy (Paper-Based) & Online Materials
Self-Study Time:Approximately 700 Hours (Self-Study)
Delivery Time:2-7 Working Days (Courier Service)
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Gain an English Literature A-Level Qualification

Taking the English Literature A Level Course is an excellent way to introduce yourself to a wide range of works of drama, poetry and prose. On this AQA syllabus, there are two written papers and two pieces of coursework and the course prepares you thoroughly for all of them.

The course is designed to encourage candidates in developing further interest and enjoyment in literary studies by reading widely, critically and independently and to also introduce candidates to the traditions of English Literature.

Each lesson begins with a set of clearly stated objectives and an explanation of its place in the overall programme of study. Effective learning is encouraged through frequent activities and self-assessment questions. There are nineteen Tutor-Marked Assignments (known as TMAs) which include two practice exam assignments.

Specification and Exams

The English Literature A Level Home Study Course prepares candidates for AQA English Literature A Level (7712) Specification examinations in Summer 2025 or later years. 

The closing date set by tutors for learners aiming for Summer 2024 exams has passed. The closing date for learners aiming for Summer 2025 exams is 15 September 2024.

The English Literature A level is assessed by two written exam papers and coursework:

  • Paper 1: Love Through the Ages (3 Hours) is 75 marks in total (40% of A-level).
  • Paper 2: Texts in Shared Contexts (2 Hours 30 Minutes) is 75 marks in total (40% of A-level).
  • Coursework: Independent critical study: texts across time is 50 marks in total (20% of A-level). Students need to produce a 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.

Please Note: The course fee includes the marking of coursework from your course tutor, although associated examination fees will need to be paid separately when you register for your exams.

Coursework Authentication, Marking & Moderation:

This A level has coursework which will be marked by your course tutor. The marking of the coursework is included in the course fees. Due to Awarding Body guidelines, your tutor will now manage the authentication, marking and moderation of your coursework and operate as the initial entering examination centre. An exam board marking fee of approximately £110.00 will need to be paid to the tutor team when registering for the exams, which would usually be in the December/January before your chosen exam window.

Students will then need to find a host centre to sit their exams and a transfer of entry fee (£30.00) for the switch to a host exam centre. The host exam centre will then charge an administration fee for invigilation. This fee will vary between centres.

Coursework marking and examination fees have always been associated costs but a single centre would usually be responsible for all fees, but due to the introduction of NEA (Non-Examined Assessment) regulations, fees will now have to be split between the entering centre which will mark the NEA/coursework and the host centre which will administer the exam.

This essentially means a student completing an A Level specification with coursework will be paying an additional £30.00 for the exam transfer fee plus whatever administration fees are charged by the host centre.


We will admit Candidates for A Level Courses who have a minimum of 4 GCSE’s at grade C and above on the older grading system or 4 or above on the new grading system. For English Literature this should include a grade C/4 in English Language or English Literature. 

Please Note: We cannot accept students who are under 16 years old on this course and all applications are subject to acceptance from the course advisory team.

English Literature A Level Course

The English Literature A Level Home Study Course is Divided into Nine Modules Containing 51 Lessons:

The Module Includes the Following Lessons:

  • Imagery
  • The Sounds of Language
  • Characters
  • Descriptive Writing
  • Point of View
  • Tone of Voice
  • Feelings

The Module Includes the Following Lessons:

  • Three Poems dependent on Images
  • Problematic Partners
  • Hearts’ Desires
  • Brief Encounters
  • The Garden of Love

The Module Includes the Following Lessons:

  • Module Introduction
  • The Middle Ages and the Invention of Love
  • Chaucer on Love
  • Shakespeare on Love
  • The Sonnet
  • John Donne and the Metaphysicals
  • Wordsworth’s Natural Love
  • John Keats: a Romantic on Love
  • The Rise of the Novel
  • From Jane Austen to Mills & Boon
  • Twentieth-Century Poetry and Song

The Module Includes the Following Lessons:

  • Shakespeare: Historical and Social Background
  • Introduction to Othello
  • Character, Language and Style in Othello
  • Form and Structure in Othello

The Module Includes the Following Lessons:

  • Jane Eyre in Context
  • Jane and Rochester
  • Jane Eyre and Romances
  • Comparisons with Jane Eyre

The Module Includes the Following Lessons:

  • Introduction to Tess of the d’Urbervilles
  • Hardy’s Characterisation
  • Language and Style in Tess of the d’Urbervilles

The Module Includes the Following Lessons:

  • Sheers’ Life and Work in Context
  • ‘Last Act’ to ‘Intermission’
  • ‘Calendar’ to ‘Skirrid Fawr’
  • Themes and Techniques

The Module Includes the Following Lessons:

  • Spies: Overview
  • Spies: Chapters 1-2
  • Spies: Chapters 3-6
  • Spies: Chapters 7-11
  • Spies: Themes and Characters

The Module Includes the Following Lessons:

  • Williams and American Drama
  • Scenes 1-3
  • Scenes 4-7
  • Scenes 8-11
  • Themes and Comparisons

The Module Includes the Following Lessons:

  • Introduction to Coursework
  • The Themes of Mansfield Park
  • Narrative Technique and the Minor Characters
  • The Major Characters
Additional Reading

There is a large emphasis on reading various texts for this course:

  • Module 1: Introductory Module - relevant for all papers ‘Literary Analysis’; There are no set texts and this module covers a wide range of unseen literary material.
  • Module 2: Anthology of Love Poetry through the Ages: Pre-1900 (Included in the course).
  • Module 3: A number of texts are required for relatively brief periods of study. Advice on suitable editions is given and the student should aim to buy, borrow or access on the internet all the texts mentioned.
  • Module 4: Othello (Arden [Thomson] edition; ISBN: 978-1903436455).
  • Module 5: Charlotte Brontë: Jane Eyre (Penguin Classics, ISBN: 0141441143) and if you are also doing the AS level examinational you will need Thomas Hardy: Tess of the d’Urbervilles (Wordsworth Ed, ISBN: 978-1853260056).
  • Module 6: Owen Sheers: Skirrid Hill (Seren, ISBN: 978-1854114037).
  • Module 7: Michael Frayn: Spies (Faber & Faber, ISBN: 978-0571268856).
  • Module 8: Tennessee Williams: A Streetcar Named Desire (Penguin, ISBN: 978-0141190273).
  • Module 9: (Coursework) There is considerable choice for coursework so there is no obligation to buy coursework texts at the outset. This is the text for which there is coverage in the main course: Jane Austen: Mansfield Park (Wordsworth Ed, ISBN: 978-1853260322)

There are four possible editions of the suggested ‘comparison’ texts:

  • George Orwell: Nineteen Eighty-Four (Penguin, ISBN: 978-0141393049)
  • Arthur Miller: Death of a Salesman (Methuen, ISBN: 978-1408108413)
  • Chaucer: The Miller’s Tale (CUP, ISBN: 978-0521701440)
  • Shakespeare: Much Ado about Nothing (Wordsworth Ed, ISBN: 978-1853262548)

The last two of these and other pre-twentieth century texts are also freely available on the internet. The more books you read, the better your chances of doing well.

Please Note: We recommend purchasing any books after receiving your course materials to make sure there have been no revisions.

Course Format

The course materials are supplied in a hard-copy format (paper-based) and learners can also receive access to the course notes online through a course portal at no additional charge. 

Learners often find hard-copy materials easier to work through and bookmark but the online access allows additional features such as direct links to YouTube Videos and online quizzes so having both versions available allows the learner the convenience and flexibility of both options. 

There are a set number of tutor-marked assignments (TMA's) in every course. These are designed to help the student to consolidate their learning and prepare for examinations.

Duration & Support

Students will be supported until their chosen examination window. Every student will have access to a course tutor with whom they should keep in regular contact. All tutors are fully qualified experienced teachers holding either a Postgraduate Certificate in Education or a degree in education. Most work from home and are able to offer flexible contact times. The tutor will contact students with an introductory letter and a telephone call to help decide on a study plan. They will also let the student know the best ways and times they can be contacted.

There is no limit on how often you can contact a tutor. The advice and encouragement that tutors provide is an important part of your learning experience. You can contact your tutor by Phone, Email or Post. All tutors have a Freephone 0800 telephone number and most will have Skype capabilities. Whilst you are still actively submitting assignments, you should expect to be in contact with your tutor regularly. Remember, to get the most out of your tutor, you will need to tell them when you need assistance.

AQA A Level Examination Centres and Exam Dates

All AQA specification A Level Exams must be taken at a registered examination centre as a private candidate. We offer course materials and tutor support although we don't offer the examinations. An Examinations Officer can assist any registered student with finding centres and dealing with coursework forms, but we do not book exams on behalf of students and it is the students responsibility to book their own exams. Private Candidates cannot complete AQA Specification Exams outside of the UK.

Students are contacted in December/January and advised to start arranging their examinations. AQA have over 300 examination centres in the UK. If you would like to research exam centres prior to enrolment then you can visit the AQA Page for Finding a School or College which shows a selection of centres set out geographically.

Examination Dates and Exam fees:

A Level exams are only available in the Summer examination window (May/June) and examination fees need to be paid direct to your chosen exam centre. Prices for exams will vary depending on the exam centre's administration costs.

Students can decide to study over a one year or two year period (providing the specification and exams are available over that duration). You can sign up for a course at any time although course tutors set closing dates for students aiming for specific examination windows.

Please Note - Closing Dates for Examination Windows:

The nearest examination window we can accept learners for A Level Courses is now Summer 2025.

The closing date for courses which require coursework authentication (English Language, English Literature and History) was 15 September 2024. 

The closing date for all other A Level Courses is 18 October 2024.

Once closing dates have passed, we can only accept learners aiming towards the next stated examination window e.g. Summer 2025, or if more time is needed, learners can choose to aim for the next available exam window e.g. Summer 2026 providing the specification is still available. All learners are required to choose their intended exam window as part of their course application.

Each A Level Course will take approximately 700 hours of study to complete so if you are unsure that you can complete the course prior to the next available exam window then we recommend studying the course over a 2-year period.

Useful Links:
Predicted Grades & UCAS Applications

Predicted Grades without a reference can be offered free of charge to learners providing they have completed a suitable amount of work to judge their levels.

Tutors can also support registered students with their University application but this should be arranged in the previous year to sitting exams and prior to the below dates:

  • 1st August for Oxford or Cambridge
  • 1st December for all other Universities

There is a charge of £100.00 for supporting your UCAS application and providing predicted grades and a well-rounded reference which will incorporate something from each of your tutors and be specific to your application. The payment will be made before the required dates and any reference requests received after this date will incur an additional £50.00 penalty payment.

In order that your tutor has something on which to base a reference and/or predicted grade, you need to have done a MINIMUM of six assignments in each subject you are studying. More is better! Your tutor will want you to succeed so talk to them about your plans; it will help with your application if they know something about you.

If you are at school and are doing an A level as an addition to your school studies, then you will need to check with your school to make sure they will accept a predicted grade or some input into the reference that they are doing for you.

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English Literature A Level Course
English Literature A Level Course
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