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Classical Civilisation

Entry Requirements

5 GCSE A* - C grades including English. 

 It is not necessary for students to have studied Classics at GCSE.

Course Content


Module 1 

Aristophanes and Athens- this is ancient Greek Comedy which comprises 3 plays.  The plays are read and discussed in class and students will get to know the political and historical background of 5th century BC in Athens.  

 Module 2 

Greek Epic – The Odyssey by Homer.  This is read and discussed in class.  The story tells of the ancient hero- Odysseus’ return home from Troy after the Trojan War. 


Module 3 

Greek Tragedy.  This comprises 4 plays, by 2 different writers and it raises questions about human behaviour and the control of fate and the gods over people.  All plays are read and discussed in class.   

 Module 4 

Roman Epic.  We read the story of the hero Aeneas’ dutiful journey from Troy to Rome.  We discuss the political propaganda of this great story and discuss why it was written and what value it has today.


Assessment is 100% examination 

Each of the 4 modules is weighed at 25% each.   

Two modules are examined at the end of the AS course and two are taken at the end of A2.  The examinations are all 1 ½ hour long. 

 The exams are in two parts- the first part is a context question – where candidates are examined on their knowledge and understanding of the story.  The second part is an essay question where candidates need to show how they can analyse a theme or show how a character develops throughout the whole book. 

 Regular timed and guided examination question practice is done in lessons and we have PPEs twice in the year as examination practice.

Career Pathways

Many students who have completed A level Classics go on to study the subject at degree level, either as a subject in its own right or combined with another subject such as History, History or Art, Politics, Philosophy and Ethics or English. 

 Careers such as teaching, journalism, publishing, media, politics, museum curating, archaeology, television are popular career paths.


The department runs a variety of trips.  We often travel to London to visit the British Museum which houses the biggest collection of ancient Greek and Roman artefacts in Europe.  Theatre trips to see ancient Greek tragedies and comedies bring these two topics alive.  We have run trips to Greece where we have visited Athens the birthplace of democracy, Delphi the site of the ancient oracle of truth and Olympia, the original site of the Olympic Games.  We have also visited Rome and have seen the Colosseum where the gladiators fought and we have climbed Mount Vesuvius to see the remains of Pompeii in the distance.