Why choose AQA for AS and A-level English Language and Literature

Specifications designed for you and your students

We have worked closely with teachers and universities to develop accessible and stimulating courses in which students engage creatively and independently with a variety of spoken, written and multi-modal texts.

Designed with a focus on the integration of language and literature, these specifications enable students to see how linguistic and literary methods are related and to explore these links in their work.

Offering clear skills progression from GCSE, these courses allow students to build on the skills and knowledge already gained and prepare for their next steps.

The variety of assessment styles used, such as re-creative writing, commentary writing, discursive essays and research-based investigative writing, allows students to develop a wide range of skills. These include the ability to read critically, analyse, evaluate and undertake independent research, which are invaluable for both further study and future employment.

Choice and flexibility

Our specification offers a range of engaging texts with options to suit all preferences, so you can choose the texts that will be most appealing and of most interest to your students. We do not expect to change texts within the first five years of the specification. However, texts will be reviewed each year starting in September 2017 and we will give at least 9 months’ notice of any changes prior to first teaching of a two year course. The criteria for changing texts will be where a text becomes unavailable or where we can no longer use it in a question paper. This applies to all texts set for study in this specification. Notice of any change will be communicated via our examination bulletins and

Teach AS and A-level together

Both AS and A-level courses provide strong stand-alone qualifications that are fully co-teachable so that you can choose the approach that best suits your, and your students’, needs.

Independent learning

The A-level non-exam assessment component reinforces the integrated nature of the specification whilst also providing opportunities for students to pursue their own areas of interest and develop personal and independent learning skills.

We support you every step of the way

These specifications feature an anthology of multi-modal texts from different genres linked by themes, which provides a valuable interactive digital resource to support teaching.

To further support teaching and learning, we provide a comprehensive range of resources, including a digital resource bank and access to the largest network of English teachers facilitated through our national Subject advocate network.

Learn more about our English qualifications at

Support and resources to help you teach

We know that support and resources are vital for your teaching and that you have limited time to find or develop good quality materials. So we’ve worked with experienced teachers to provide you with a range of resources that will help you confidently plan, teach and prepare for exams.

Teaching resources

We have a comprehensive range of English Language and Literature resources. Visit to see them all. They include:

  • a digital resource bank which will include a wide range of free, interactive resources to support the teaching of English Language, English Literature and English Language and Literature
  • a poetry anthology to give you free and easy access to a range of poetry so that you don’t need to source all the poems set for study
  • marked and annotated student responses to the questions on our specimen papers, with senior examiner commentaries
  • Subject advocates who will support you in the transition to the new specification and facilitate local and regional network and update meetings
  • student textbooks and digital resources that have been checked and endorsed by AQA
  • training courses to help you deliver AQA qualifications
  • subject expertise courses for all teachers, from newly-qualified teachers who are just getting started to experienced teachers looking for fresh inspiration.

Preparing for exams

Visit for everything you need to prepare for our exams, including:

  • past papers, mark schemes and examiners’ reports
  • specimen papers and mark schemes for new courses
  • exemplar student answers with examiner commentaries.

Analyse your students' results with Enhanced Results Analysis (ERA)

Find out which questions were the most challenging, how the results compare to previous years and where your students need to improve. ERA, our free online results analysis tool, will help you see where to focus your teaching. Register at

For information about results, including maintaining standards over time, grade boundaries and our post-results services, visit

Keep your skills up to date with professional development

Wherever you are in your career, there’s always something new to learn. As well as subject-specific training, we offer a range of courses to help boost your skills.

  • Improve your teaching skills in areas including differentiation, teaching literacy and meeting Ofsted requirements.
  • Prepare for a new role with our leadership and management courses.

You can attend a course at venues around the country, in your school or online – whatever suits your needs and availability. Find out more at

Get help and support

Visit our website for information, guidance, support and resources at

You can talk directly to the English Language and Literature subject team:


T: 01483 556 115