Skip to content ↓

The Marlborough Science Academy

English - Key Stage 5

Students who choose to study English Literature at Key Stage 5 follow the AQA English Literature A level A course. 

The English Faculty is staffed by specialist teachers who have a wealth of knowledge and experience. Results at A Level have been consistently good with the majority of students achieving their target grade or above. English Literature is a popular and well-resourced subject area and lessons are focused on discussion, debate and the sharing of ideas.

Course Content:

English Literature A encourages students to explore the relationships that exist between texts and the contexts within which they are written, received and understood. This enables them to investigate and connect the texts, drawing out patterns of similarity and difference using a variety of reading strategies and perspectives. Students are encouraged to debate and challenge the interpretations of other readers as they develop their own informed personal responses. Across the course, students will study texts both diachronically (produced across a very broad time period) and synchronically (produced within a clearly defined time period).


  • Paper 1: Love through the Ages

A written exam worth 40% of the final grade. Close study of three texts: one poetry, one pre-1900 and one Shakespeare play. Example texts include: an anthology of love poetry, Othello and The Great Gatsby.

  • Paper 2: Texts in Shared Contexts (Modern texts: Literature from 1945 to the present day)

A written exam worth 40% of the final grade. Close study of three texts: one prose, one poetry and one drama, one of which must be written post-2000. Example texts include: A Streetcar Named Desire, The Help, and Sylvia Plath poetry.

  • Independent Critical Study: Texts Across Time

A coursework module worth 20% of the final grade. An extended essay based on a comparative critical study of two texts. Students choose their own texts based on themes such as: the struggle for identity, the Gothic, satire and dystopia, war and conflict, representations of race and ethnicity or social class and culture.

Apart from careers in the arts and teaching, English Literature is a great facilitating subject for a huge range of careers including Media, Teaching, Publishing, ICT and journalism. The course also provides a pathway into higher education.

Curriculum implementation

Click here to view the curriculum implementation overview for English Literature at Key Stage 5.

Curriculum timelines

Click here to view the curriculum timeline for English Literature at Key Stage 5.

Curriculum learning journey

Click on the link below to view the English learning journey:

Knowledge organisers

Click on the links below to view knowledge organisers for Key Stage 5:

 Click here to return to English page.