GCSE English Literature

Subject: English Literature
Qualification Type: GCSE
Exam Board: AQA
Subject Leader: Mrs Vivienne Buxton

Course Content

All students follow the AQA English Literature and English Language courses. These are counted as two separate GCSEs and are graded 9-1.

For the English Literature course, students will be examined on the following course content:

  • Response to a Shakespeare play (Macbeth)
  • Response to a 19th century novel (Frankenstein)
  • Response to modern text (An Inspector Calls)
  • Response to poetry (Power and Conflict Anthology)

Assessment Format

The course is assessed by 100% examinations. This takes the form of two examinations.

The breakdown of the assessed components is as follows:

2 x externally marked examinations

  • Shakespeare and 19th Century novel (40%)
  • Modern texts and poetry (60%)

The KS3 content for English includes developing all of the skills needed for the English Literature GCSE course. These will include: showing knowledge of a text; responding to a question related to characters or themes in the text; commenting on the effects of writer’s methods; linking to contextual ideas and perspectives; comparing ideas in poetry; responding to an unseen poem.

The course content for English Language will be taught alongside the content for English Literature. Students will develop skills alongside modern texts, highbrow 19th century prose and poetry from the beginning of Year 9. They will begin studying the English Literature poetry anthology and the play, ‘An Inspector Calls’ in the second half of Year 9.

Possible Progression (including careers and further education)

Students of English Language and Literature have moved onto careers as diverse as teaching, sales and marketing, advertising, journalism, law, banking and administration, nursing and healthcare, research and development, and even TV!

The next step after GCSE could be A-Level English Language or Literature, followed by a degree in English or a dual honours course together with Linguistics, History, Communications, Media and Film-making.


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