International AS / A-level English Literature

A Level English Literature

This qualification approaches the reading and study of literature through the lens of genre and theory. It encourages the independent study of a range of texts within a shared context, giving logic and meaning to the way that texts are grouped for study.

The text lists for this qualification have been designed to ensure teachers have the right balance of traditional and contemporary prose and poetry. The non-examination assessment component provides opportunities for teachers to tailor the course to their students' strengths and interests.

This qualification is available for teaching from September 2017 in Bahrain, China, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.


  • Candidates may re-sit a unit any number of times.
  • The best result for each unit will count towards the final qualification.
  • Candidates who wish to repeat a qualification may do so by re-sitting one or more units.

Syllabus summary

Unit 1, Section A: Shakespearean and Jacobean tragedy - select one from:

  • William Shakespeare - Othello
  • William Shakespeare - King Lear
  • William Shakespeare - Hamlet
  • Christopher Marlowe - Doctor Faustus
  • John Webster - The Duchess of Malfi

Unit 1, Section B: Later dramatic tragedies - select one from:

  • Arthur Miller - Death of a Salesman
  • Tennessee Williams - A Streetcar Named Desire
  • Henrik Ibsen - Hedda Gabler
  • Samuel Beckett - Waiting for Godot
  • Brian Friel - Translations

Unit 2, Section A: Prose - select one from:

  • Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - Americanah
  • Andrea Levy - Small Island
  • Aravind Adiga - Last Man in Tower
  • Kazuo Ishiguro - Remains of the Day

Unit 2, Section B: Poetry - select one from:

  • William Wordsworth selection
  • Robert Frost selection
  • Thomas Hardy selection
  • Seamus Heaney selection

Unit 3 - Select two from:

  • William Shakespeare - Macbeth
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge - The Rime of Ancient Mariner
  • Robert Browning - Selected Poems
  • Charles Dickens - Oliver Twist
  • Edgar Allen Poe - Collected Stories
  • Robert Louis Stevenson - Collected Stories
  • Agatha Christie - The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
  • Qiu Xialong - Death of a Red Heroine
  • Kate Atkinson - When Will There Be Good News?

Unit 4 (Exam):

  • An examination paper using unseen texts and the Oxford AQA Critical Anthology

Resources available with this specification

Oxford International AQA Examinations provides the resources and advice you need to teach the International AS / A-level English Literature specification effectively.

Teacher Guidance Document

Prepare for your year ahead by accessing the essential information you need to deliver the International AS / A-level English Literature specification.


See the text lists in our Place in Literary Texts: Robert Frost anthology and our Place in Literary Texts: Seamus Heaneyology. Email to receive full anthologies (available to approved centres only).

Classroom Activity Sheets

Access worksheets developed by teachers for teachers, providing a useful set of practical resources to use in the classroom.

Specimen Papers and Mark Schemes

See how the International AS / A-level English Literature specification will be assessed, so you can help your students prepare to sit their exams.

Marked Exemplars

Prepare your students in exam technique with the help of exemplar student answers and examiner commentaries that show how examiners interpret the mark scheme.

Enhanced Results Analysis™ tool

Our free Enhanced Results Analysis tool (ERA) gives you instant analysis of your students’ results. You’ll see how students performed in each unit, topic and marks they received for each question. This allows you to see which questions proved the most challenging, or how different classes performed, so you know what areas to focus on in following years. The tool will be available following published results from the first cohort of International AS / A-level English Literature students.

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