Classical Civilisation is the study of ancient Rome and Greece (approx. 1500 BC to 500AD). The course will provide you with the chance to revisit those Ancient Greeks and Romans studied when you were in junior school. Hopefully, what fascinated you then will continue to interest and challenge your ideas regarding what constitutes a civilised society. Here you will study and assess some of the most famous literary works, ideas, history and architecture of two great civilisations, whose influence remains strong even today.
You will not need any knowledge of Greek or Latin to do this course, although you will probably collect some useful words and phrases en route. However, you do need a keen interest in the classical world and the ability to look critically at the primary sources produced (We will help you to develop these skills). Overall, we are looking for students who have a good standard of written English and an enthusiasm for study.
4 units – 2 for AS and 2 for A2
Unit 1 – Women in Athens and Rome
Learning about attitudes towards women, their lives and status in religion, marriage and many other aspects of ancient life through the study of ancient sources and texts.
Unit 2 – Greek Literature: Homer’s Iliad
Using one of the oldest works of ancient literature to learn about the plot and characterisation of individuals and themes of war including the battle of Troy with the famous Achilles and Agamemnon.
Unit 3 – Greek tragedy
An in-depth study of four tragedies in their religious, cultural and social contexts by the great writers Sophocles and Euripides. Including Oedipus, Antigone, Hippolytus and Medea.
Unit 4 – Tiberius and Claudius
A critical study of two key influential emperors of Rome through two great writers in Tacitus and Suetonius. How has history viewed their (and their wives) impact on Rome?
Career opportunities and further study
As an academic A Level it is favoured for University applications and certainly those students considering the country's top institutions.
However, many students take up this A-level purely for a chance to study an aspect of the past that has been previously unavailable during GCSE. A high proportion of our students follow the subject on to Higher Education, gaining degrees in Classics, Ancient History, History and similar courses.
Apart from further education, Classics is also very suitable for employers due to the strong analytic skills that students develop throughout the course including critical interpretation, source analysis and information assimilation. These skills are particularly suited to careers in:
- Public Relations
- The Civil Service
Famous Classicists include: Chris Martin (Coldplay), Sigmund Freud, Friedrich Nietzsche, Boris Johnson and J.K Rowling to name a few.
Trips and events
As a department keen to expand students' knowledge of all aspects of the past there are a variety of trips available (led by experienced staff) for students studying Classical Civilisation including:
- Italy trip to Rome, Pompeii, Vesuvius and Herculaneum
- British Museum trip to London
- Guest lecturers/speakers
A selection of photos from some of the sites students have visited as part of their
Classical Civilisation AS/A2 studies.
Classical Civilisation Guide