English Literature A Level (New)

A play script book opened at Act One

Due to the short amount of time left until the Summer 2018 exam session, we advise students to reconsider moving their exam intention to Summer 2019.

If you do decide to go ahead with 2018 exams, the deadline for enrolling is 30th September and we strongly recommend adding our Fast Track service to your enrolment. After this final date you would need to wait until 2019 to sit your exams.

An A level in English Literature will encourage you to read widely as a critical and independent reader. You will immerse yourself in a wide range of literary texts that span centuries, gaining an understanding of how to read closely and analyse a range of critical views.

Would you prefer to pay for your course by instalments? Please see the ‘How to enrol’ section below for details of our low cost, interest free finance available.

This course is one of our new Gold Star A levels. Find out more about them here.



Entry requirements

A GCSE or equivalent in English Literature is recommended for this course.


This course follows specification 7712 from the awarding organisation AQA. Full details of the specifications can be obtained from AQA's website.

Hours of study

It's really up to you but, as a guide, an A level course takes about 250-300 hours plus extra time for assignment work you submit to your tutor. You will have tutor support for a period of up to 24 months from the date of enrolment. Many students allow 18-24 months to complete an A level, but some complete the course within a year.

Exams and assessment

Two exams:

  • 3 hours, 40% of marks
  • 2 hours 30 minutes, 40% of marks

Non-exam assessment (NEA):

NEC's tutor-marked assignments:

  • 1 introductory assignment
  • 10 assignments

Additional information

Your course is delivered online through learn@nec, so it’s important that you have access to a computer and the internet. We recommend that your computer is using one of the following operating systems and browsers to improve your experience of using learn@nec:

Operating systems:

  • Windows 7 or later
  • Mac OSX 10.7 or later
  • Google Chrome OS
  • Android 4.4 or later, using the Chrome browser
  • iOS 6 or later, using the Safari browser


  • Google Chrome (latest version)
  • Mozilla Firefox (latest version)
  • Safari 6 or later
  • Internet Explorer 10 or later (excluding IE11)

learn@nec may work on other operating systems and browsers with some restrictions. You can see full details of the system requirements by clicking here.

How to enrol

How to enrol
There are several ways to enrol with NEC:

  • Click the ‘Enrol now’ button above
  • Telephone us on 0800 389 2839 or +44(0)1223 400200 and speak to our course advice team
  • Ask us to send you an enrolment form which you can complete and return by post.

How can you pay?
It’s your choice: you can pay in full at the point of enrolment, or you can spread the cost over monthly instalments with our finance offer. To pay in instalments you will need to enrol by telephone.

Representative example:

Course fee:  
Amount of credit:  
Monthly payment:  
Duration of agreement:  
Total repayable:  
Rate of interest:  
0% APR representative.  
  6 months
  0% (fixed)

The National Extension College (NEC) is the trading name of the Open School Trust, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 676788). Finance is provided through the Deko platform by a number of lenders. You will be offered the best rate available based on your credit history and the lenders’ credit decision policies.

Deko is a trading name of Pay4Later Ltd who act as a credit intermediary. They are registered in England and Wales (company number 06447333) and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 728646). For more information please go to www.dekopay.com/faq or visit www.dekopay.com.

Section 1 - Love through the ages: Othello

  • Introduction to Shakespeare studies
  • Othello Act I
  • Othello Act II
  • Othello Act III Part 1
  • Othello Act III Part 2
  • Othello Act IV
  • Othello Act V

Section 2 - Love through the ages: The Great Gatsby

  • Chapter 1: Setting the scene
  • Chapter 2: Tom and Myrtle
  • Chapter 3: Gatsby's party
  • Chapter 4: Back stories
  • Chapter 5: The reunion
  • Chapter 6: Another party
  • Chapter 7: Turning point
  • Aftermath

Section 3 - Love through the ages: pre-1900 poetry

  • Destructive love
  • Lust
  • Idealised love
  • Lost love 1
  • Lost love 2

Section 4 - Love through the ages: unseen poetry

  • Unrequited love
  • Abandonment
  • Mothers and daughters
  • Separation
  • Celebration
  • Anticipation
  • To a husband
  • Mourning

Section 5 - Preparing for the non-exam assessment (NEA)

  • The Yellow Wallpaper
  • A View from the Bridge Act I
  • A View from the Bridge Act II
  • Writing the NEA

Section 6 - Modern times: Spies

  • Spies Chapter 1
  • Spies Chapter 2
  • Spies Chapters 3 and 4
  • Spies Chapters 5 and 6
  • Spies Chapters 7 and 8
  • Spies Chapters 9 to 11

Section 7 - Modern times: All My Sons

  • All My Sons Act I
  • All My Sons Act II
  • All My Sons Act III

Section 8 - Modern times: Skirrid Hill

  • Variants of love
  • Love and loss
  • Growing up
  • Love and the land
  • Love, war and politics
  • Shadows
  • Crossing continents

Section 9 - Unseen prose

  • The Amateur Marriage
  • The Buddha of Suburbia
  • Cloud Atlas
  • Enduring Love
  • Mr Phillips
  • The Remains of the Day
  • The Secret History
  • Stoner
Including area code and country code (if outside of UK)

A Level English Literature Course Sample

Thank you for your interest in this course.

Please fill out your details below, and you will receive an email containing a link to download the course sample.

What our students say...

"The flexibility of studying at home suits my family and work situation. I have studied with NEC before and I like the style of course materials. I like reading different texts that I would not normally read, expanding on my knowledge. I also liked learning new skills, studying descriptive, analytical and comparative writing."
— Louise Murrell