A-Level English Combined

Exam Board: AQA

In Year 12 you will analyse a range of texts for the examination. One section focuses on the Paris Anthology.  This question asks you to consider a range of factors involved in the production of a text, including the ways in which places are presented, the influence of contextual factors, genre conventions and limitations of different media. The other sections include analysis of two set texts, one of which is prose and the other poetry.  Possible choices for the prose study include Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Dracula by Bram Stoker and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. The poetry study focuses on a range of poetry from either John Donne, Robert Browning, Carol Ann Duffy or Seamus Heaney. The analysis concentrates on the function of poetic voice in the telling of events and presentation of people. The analysis of all texts on this course is based on both literary and linguistic analysis and includes analysis of spoken language.

In Year 13 you will study one drama text for the examination and complete a piece of transformative writing and commentary based on The Great Gatsby within the same exam. The transformation seeks to adapt an existing text, considering an undeveloped aspect of the original text. This could be a text from the viewpoint of another character or re-writing the text for a different audience. The analysis of the drama text asks you to discuss how playwrights present natural speech, character, conflict and themes as well as how they show characters using language to assert power. The drama text studied is taken from a selection specified by AQA, which includes Shakespeare’s Othello, Arthur Miller’s All My Sons and A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams.

In the coursework folder at A-Level you are required to submit a personal investigation looking into a theme or specific technique in both literary and non-literary texts. The coursework is between 2,500 and 3,000 words.

Assessment

80% examination / 20% coursework

Requirements

General college entry requirements plus a grade 5 or above in GCSE English Language.

Where can it lead?

After this A-Level, many students go on to read English at university. It can be useful for journalism, teaching and any other career where the ability to write with precision and skill is required.

Subject Video