Classical Civilisation is the study of Ancient Greeks and Romans. Our course focuses mainly on Greece’s ancient history.

You will look at art, mythology, literature, society, and political history, considering what these can tell us about how western civilisations formed and their relevance to the present day.

We look at the representation of characters like Herakles and the way the vixen Helen saw herself. You will get to meet the pious Aeneas and see how democracy was born (and can be strikingly similar to modern-day democracy).

We aim to offer two trips, one to the British Museum in London and a residential to Greece, visiting Athens, Delphi, Olympia, Marathon and Aegina.


There are three modules:

  • Greek Art – This is the study of Archaic and Classical Art in sculpture, architectural sculpture and vase painting
  • ‘World of the Hero’ – This is the study of the Iliad which is centred around the hero Achilles and the last year of the Trojan War, and then the Aeneid, which is the mythical founding of Rome
  • Democracy and the Athenians – This is the study of Ancient Greece between 600BC-421BC. This is the unit that is most like ancient history, studying Politics, History, the Greco-Persian War, as well as some Old Comedy.

As a minimum, you will need (or equivalent to);

  • GCSE Mathematics grade 4
  • GCSE English Language or Literature grade 4
  • plus three more GCSEs at grade 4.

There are three exams, these are on:

  • Greek Art (one hour 45 mins duration, worth 30%)
  • Democracy and The Athenians (one hour 45 mins duration, worth 30%)
  • World of the Hero (two hours, 20 mins duration, worth 40%).

You can progress on to study a broad range of degrees including Ancient History, Archaeology, Classics (Ancient Language), Classical Studies/Civilisation, Heritage and Museum Studies or even Egyptology!

Past students have progressed to universities such as Oxford, Durham, York, Swansea, Southampton and Reading.

Potential careers include Politics, Law, Teaching, Museum Studies, Archaeology, Journalism, Creative Writing and even Music.

Chris Martin, Tom Hiddleston, Boris Johnson, J.K. Rowling, J.R.R Tolkein and Sigmund Freud all have some sort of Classical degree, as do many key US Presidents, including Thomas Jefferson.

Do I need to be a good Artist?

While we study Art, you don’t need the ability to draw, we do something akin to Art History. You do need to enjoy reading. 

Does the course involve languages?

While we cover key terms in ancient Latin and Greek, we do not study Ancient Languages, although students can do some basic Greek if they wish to learn.