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A2 English Literature Love Through The Ages Coursework Definition

Examining board and exams

The English Literature A level is designed to prepare you for two AQA specifications:

  • AS level English Literature – 7711
  • A level English Literature – 7712

The AS level course is assessed by two 90-minute written examinations.

The A level is assessed by one three-hour exam, one 2.5-hour exam and one piece of coursework. The coursework must be completed independently, although you will still get support from your tutor.

Please note that the AS level is a standalone qualification, meaning marks are no longer carried over toward an A level.

What can I do with an English Literature A level?

English literature has for many years been a critical component of the humanities, examining how writers throughout the ages have documented, celebrated and criticised the world through their work.

As well as developing important skills in analysing text and subtext in literature, you will gain an enhanced understanding of how literature fits into culture as a whole, and how it influences and is influenced by other media.

These skills are important for any creative job – whether you want to be an author, a journalist, a film director or a web designer, a deep appreciation for the power of the written word will help you in a number of ways. It’s also important in public relations, advertising and marketing roles – you’ll use these skills in any job that requires strong and nuanced communication.


An English Literature A level will also be a vital foundation for many Higher Education courses in the arts and humanities. You may wish to pursue English Literature further at university, specialising in a particular era, genre or form. Alternatively, you may decide to use it to broaden the scope of a degree in History, Law, Philosophy or Politics.

If you’re planning to study or learn other languages, an English Literature A level will also help you when it comes to reading and appreciating classic works in their original language. And as a core subject throughout the curriculum, it’s a particularly good qualification for aspiring teachers.

Some examples of the industries you might join with an English Literature qualification include:

  • Publishing
  • Marketing
  • Advertising
  • Performing arts
  • Public relations
  • Journalism
  • Filmmaking
  • Education

About this day

Come and join leading poet Wendy Cope to explore representations of love through time and across a range of genres.

Our inspirational study day will provide comprehensive support for all students tackling this new A-level option of the AQA A specification.  In five outstanding sessions, speakers will enthuse, inform and entertain with a diverse range of talks on poetry, prose and drama. This programme will give students the vital information, insights and confidence to achieve maximum examination success. The day will be chaired by former Chief Examiner Stella Canwell MBE.

Programme & speakers

Wendy Cope OBE Wendy Cope OBE, Poet

Wendy Cope will read from and discuss her work. She will take audience questions.

About Wendy Cope OBE

Wendy Cope is a contemporary poet whose work is best known for its humour and parody, often off-set with self-reflection. She has a keen eye for the everyday, mundane aspects of English life.

Love in Shakespeare Nick Hutchison, Actor, Director and Lecturer

Nick Hutchison will explore how Shakespeare presents and stages ideas about love and romance across tragedy and comedy using examples from Othello, The Taming of the Shrew, Measure for Measure and The Winter’s Tale.

About Nick Hutchison

Nick Hutchison is an actor, director and lecturer who has directed Shakespeare’s plays across the globe. He lectures for Shakespeare’s Globe and at universities worldwide and on Jacobean Theatre for LAMDA and RADA.

Reading narratives of love over time Simon Avery, University of Westminster

Simon Avery will consider a range of nineteenth and twentieth-century literary texts in order to explore the complex idea of love in the novel. He will draw on Persuasion, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, The Awakening and A Room With A View.

About Simon Avery

Dr Simon Avery is Reader in Modern Literature and Culture at the University of Westminster, where he teaches courses on fiction and poetry from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Choice of genre Jon Rich, A-level examiner and teacher

Jon Rich explores the opportunities offered by the genres of poetry, prose and drama and suggests ways in which students can exploit their knowledge of the three different genres.

About Jon Rich

Jon Rich taught English and Classical Civilisation for many years. He has been a Senior Examiner for AQA for A-level English Literature for over thirty years and is a coursework Moderator.

An examiner's perspective Jon Rich, A-level examiner and teacher

This lecture addresses how students should read questions, extract the guidance given in them and how best to address the assessment objectives. There are no ‘right’ answers in English Literature but there are ‘right’ ways to address tasks and to support ideas.

About Jon Rich

Jon Rich taught English and Classical Civilisation for many years. He has been a Senior Examiner for AQA for A-level English Literature for over thirty years and is a coursework Moderator.