The English Literature AS Level Course is an excellent way to introduce yourself to a wide range of works of drama, poetry and prose. 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.

This home study course follows the new linear AS Level syllabus. If students want to complete the full A Level Course then this can be purchased from the A Level section of our website.

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 10 Tutor-Marked Assignments (known as TMAs).

The Syllabus:

Students can study for the AQA English Literature 7711 AS Level Specification sitting exams in May/June 2019 or later years.


The full AS level specification is assessed by two written papers:-

  • Paper 1: Love Through the Ages (1 Hour 30 Minutes) is 50 marks in total (50% of AS level).
  • Paper 2: Texts in Shared Contexts (1 Hour 30 Minutes) is 50 marks in total (50% of AS level).

The course will examine literature from a historical perspective to encourage independent study of a range of texts within a shared context.

This course is divided into the following modules:

  • Module 1: Literary Analysis

The following topics are covered: Imagery; The Sounds of Language; Characters; Descriptive Writing; Point of View; Tone of Voice; and Feelings.

  • Module 2: Anthology of Love Poetry through the Ages: Pre-1900

The following topics are covered: Three Poems dependent on Images; Problematic Partners; Hearts’ Desires; Brief Encounters; and The Garden of Love.

  • Module 3: Love through the Ages

The following topics are covered: 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; and Twentieth-Century Poetry and Song.

  • Module 4: Shakespeare: Othello

The following topics are covered: Shakespeare: Historical and Social Background; Introduction to Othello; Character, Language and Style in Othello; and Form and Structure in Othello.

  • Module 5 (a): Charlotte Brontë: Jane Eyre

The following topics are covered: Jane Eyre in Context; Jane and Rochester; Jane Eyre and Romances; and Comparisons with Jane Eyre.

  • Module 5 (b): Thomas Hardy: Tess of the d’Urbervilles (AS only)

The following topics are covered: Introduction to Tess of the d’Urbervilles; Hardy’s Characterisation; and Language and Style in Tess of the d’Urbervilles.

Practical Skills/Coursework:

There is no coursework with this syllabus.


We will admit Candidates for A Level Courses who have a minimum of 4 GCSE’s at grade C and above. For English Literature this should include either English Language or English Literature GCSE’s at grade C or above.

Additional Reading: 

The following books are required to work alongside your course materials:

  • Othello
  • Jane Eyre
  • Tess of the d'Urbervilles

Student Support:

Every student receives a personal 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 for contact.

There is no limit on how often you can contact your tutor. The advice and encouragement our tutors provide are an important part of your learning experience. You can contact your tutor by Phone, Post or Email. There are tutor-marked assignments (TMA's) in every course. These help the student to consolidate their learning and prepare for examinations.

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.

Examination Centres & Examination Fees:

All distance learning students will sit their exams as a private candidate in a registered school or college. The finding of an examination centre and the booking of exams is the responsibility of the student. In December/January students are contacted and advised to start arranging their examinations. AQA have over 300 exam centres in the UK. Examination officers are available for registered students for advice on finding suitable centres or you can use AQA’s Private Candidate Page which details information about being a private candidate and has a search facility showing a small selection of centres set out geographically.

The new Linear format examinations all need to be sat in a single examination window on completion of your studies. 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 so it is worth contacting a few centres to compare prices.

Nearest Examination Dates:

Please review the AS Level Overview page for detailed information on possible examination dates and procedures.

Studying from Abroad:

It is possible to study AS Level Courses from anywhere in the world. However some home study courses are easier to study from abroad than others and some restrictions to the type of tuition available apply. If you wish to study an AS Level then you will need to sit the examinations in the UK. Please remember that most AS Levels have two examinations which may be spread over several weeks.

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