Specification at a glance

A-level English Literature A comprises four units of study. Students are encouraged to develop the ability to read widely and critically. They will examine texts of different genres and periods and gain understanding of a wide range of views on literature.

This specification is designed to:

  • deliver as much choice as possible for teachers and students
  • encourage students to develop as informed, independent readers and critics of literary texts
  • develop personal responses to literary texts.

This specification is available for assessment in June.

There are no previous learning requirements, but we recommend candidates have the skills and knowledge associated with a GCSE English Literature course or equivalent. 

AS Examinations (AS Award 1741)
Unit 1 – LTA1
Texts in Context
60% of AS, 30% of A Level
2 hour written examination (open book)
90 marks
Either LTA1A Victorian Literature
or LTA1B World War One Literature
or LTA1C The Struggle for Identity in Modern Literature
Available June
Unit 2 – LITA2
Creative Study
40% of AS, 20% of A Level
60 marks
Two tasks: one on prose text and one on drama text.
2000-2500 words in total
Available June.
A2 Examinations (A2 Award  2741)
Unit 3 – LITA3
Reading for Meaning
30% of A Level
2 hour 30 minutes written examination (closed book)
80 marks
Two questions involving unprepared extracts and wider reading on the unit theme of Love Through the Ages Available June
Unit 4 – LITA4
Extended Essay and Shakespeare Study
20% of A Level Coursework
70 marks
Extended comparative essay of 3000 words
Available June.