International AS and A-level English Literature (9675)

A-level English literature

Support your students to approach the reading and study of literature through the lens of genre and theory.

This International AS and A-level English Literature specification 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 have been designed to ensure teachers and students have the right balance of traditional and contemporary prose and poetry. The non-exam assessment (NEA) component provides opportunities for teachers to tailor the course to their students’ strengths and interests.

  • Offering clear progression from International GCSE, this specification allows students to build on the skills and knowledge already gained and prepares them for their next steps.
  • The variety of assessment styles used, such as passage-based questions, unseen material, open and closed book approaches, develop a wide range of skills. See more on our approach to Fair Assessment.
  • Skills include the ability to read critically, analyse, evaluate and undertake independent research. These skills are all valuable for further study and future employment.

International AS and A-level English Literature (9675)

International AS and A-level English Literature contains four units.

  • Unit 1, Section A: Elizabethan and Jacobean tragedy
  • Unit 1, Section B: Later dramatic tragedies
  • Unit 2, Section A: Prose
  • Unit 2, Section B: Poetry
  • Unit 3,  Selection
  • Unit 4,  Unseen Texts or NEA

Assessment Objectives:

The exams and non-exam assessment (NEA) which make up OxfordAQA International AS/A-level English Literature measure how students have achieved the following assessment objectives:

  • AO1: Demonstrate understanding of the ways in which readers find meanings in texts, showing an understanding of genre, the significance of contexts, and the ways in which different interpretations can be found.
  • AO2: Analyse ways in which meanings are shaped in literary texts with close attention to authorial methods.
  • AO3: Express informed, personal and argued responses to literary texts, using appropriate concepts and terminology, and coherent, accurate writing.

Please note that all three assessment objectives are weighted equally in all questions across both International AS and International A-level. We believe that this coherent approach to the study of the subject means that AOs support learning rather than dominate it.

OOxfordAQA International AS/A-level English Literature covers the following topics:

Unit 1, Section A: Elizabethan 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 Allan Poe – Collected Stories
  • Robert Louis Stevenson – Collected Stories
  • Agatha Christie – The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
  • Qiu Xiaolong – Death of a Red Heroine
  • Kate Atkinson – When Will There Be Good News?
Assessment – Unit 4 – select either:
  • 4a – An exam paper containing two questions on unseen texts, one prose and one poetry.
  • 4b – Non-exam assessment consisting of two essays, one on prose and one on poetry.

OxfordAQA provides all the resources and advice you need to teach the International AS and A-level English Literature specification effectively.

We have too many International AS and A-level English Literature resources to list here, so please visit our resources for teachers area to see them all, including:

  • Schemes of work to allow you to plan how to deliver the specification in a way that will best suit you and your students
  • Teaching guidance to outline clearly the scope of teaching and learning
  • Topic tests and mock exam analysers to allow you to track your students’ progress throughout the teaching year

This is a modular qualification, with four papers over the AS and A-level teaching period and two routes through the course.

AS Paper 1 – Aspects of Dramatic Tragedy:

  • Section A – Elizabethan and Jacobean Tragedy
  • Section B – Later Dramatic Tragedies
  • Students answer one question from each section
  • Closed-book exam
  • 2 hours
  • 50 marks
  • 50% of AS-level, 20% of A-level

AS Paper 2 – Place in Literary Texts:

  • Section A – Prose
  • Section B – Poetry
  • Students answer one question from each section
  • Open-book exam
  • 2 hours
  • 50 marks
  • 50% of AS-level, 20% of A-level

A-level Paper 1 – Elements of Crime and Mystery:

  • Students answer two essay questions
  • Closed-book exam
  • 2 hours
  • 50 marks
  • 30% of A-level

Route A:

A-level Paper 2 – Literary Representations:

  • Section A – Unseen Prose
  • Section B – Unseen Poetry
  • Students answer one question from each section
  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • 50 marks
  • 30% of A-level

Route B:

Non-Exam Assessment (NEA):

  • Students study two texts, one poetry and one prose, and write two essays of 1,250-1,500 words.
  • Assessed by teachers, moderated by AQA
  • 50 marks
  • 30% of A-level


  • 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.

Anthologies for exam use 

Anthologies required for exams will be provided as an insert with the question papers. Registered OxfordAQA teachers can download the International AS/A-level English Literature anthology from the Resources page.

Take a look at:

You must be an approved OxfordAQA centre to enter students for our exams. Make sure you become an OxfordAQA centre before you start teaching a course.

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Course specification
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