Why choose this specification?

This innovative A-level is the first of its kind, aiming to help aspiring writers trace a route through school or college and higher education into professional practice within the creative industries and the wider world.

Teachers want

  • a creative writing course to fill the gap between GCSE and degree level
  • a clear, thoughtful specification built on expertise from universities
  • a course encouraging creativity, the development of writing skills and appealing to a wide range of students
  • a new challenge with an innovative specification that is exciting to teach.

Students want

  • a stepping stone to creative writing degree courses
  • a course that encourages creativity and independent work
  • help with practical communication and technical writing skills
  • useful writing skills to help them enter a range of creative industries
  • the chance to create a portfolio of writing, including fiction, poetry, journalism and blogging
  • the opportunity to experience a writers' workshop and give and receive feedback.

Knowledge/skills gained

  • technical writing skills
  • creativity and self-expression
  • awareness of different writing forms and genres
  • critical and analytical skills
  • team working
  • how to give and receive feedback
  • creative problem-solving
  • redrafting and editing skills
  • independent working and time management.

Structure

AS exams

Students will be introduced to different types of writing and expected to develop regular writing and reading practice.

Unit 1: Writing on demand

Assessment by a two-hour written paper.

Unit 2: Exploring creative writing

Students produce a coursework folder.

A2 exams

This includes the application of knowledge, understanding and insights gained at AS. It develops students' expertise as writers and encourages them to develop critical and analytical skills alongside practical skills such as redrafting and editing.

Unit 3: From reading to writing

Assessment by a three-hour written paper.

Unit 4: The writing portfolio

Students produce a coursework portfolio.

Support

Specification training will be developed by those involved in creating the course. It will include practical teaching strategies and the chance to ask questions. Publishers will provide course text books. AQA will also provide:

  • specimen materials, question papers, mark schemes etc
  • teacher standardising materials
  • free resources on the secure key materials area of e-AQA
  • access to a designated coursework adviser
  • ongoing teacher training courses
  • telephone advice.

Overlap with other qualifications

There is no overlap with other qualifications.

Re-sits

Students can re-sit the whole qualification as many times as they want. Results for the coursework can be carried forward or re-used for the lifetime of the specification.

Private candidates

This specification isn't available to private candidates. For more information, please see our Private candidates page.

Follow-on study

As well as Creative Writing degrees, this course may also be of use to those focusing on disciplines such as Science, Languages or Humanities where a breadth of writing skills may be needed for a variety of tasks.

This course is likely to appeal to English, Media and Drama teachers and those with very creative students.