LEVEL: 3 A LEVEL
EXAMINING BOARD: OCR
TYPE OF STUDY: FULL-TIME, SIXTH FORM
Classical Civilisation involves the study of Ancient Greece and Rome in its broadest sense, looking at the history, politics, philosophy and literature that became the foundation of Western Civilisation from the Ancient Greeks through to the present day. It is about where we come from and who we are and is the basis of our ideas of law, constitution, myth, poetry and theatre, indeed of all our philosophical reflection.
We focus on the writings of the ancient Greeks and Romans (in English translation) and the course will equip you with the critical and conceptual tools to examine these texts and engage with the ideas they contain and their relevance for our culture. While there is a lot of reading, we also get to do a residential trip to Athens in Year 2, the British Museum in Year 1 and even some clothes and chariot making.
Classical Civilisation A Level combines well with subjects such as Archaeology, Psychology, English and History, or even as an alternative humanity for those doing Science/Maths. At university you could choose to look at Language, History or Philosophy.
Here are some of the topic areas we cover:
- World of the Hero: This is an in depth look at Homer’s Iliad and Virgil’s Aeneid (both in translation & prose)
- Greek Art: focusing on free standing sculpture, architectural sculpture & vase painting
- Athenian Democracy: A look at the history, politics, comedy and philosophy of Athens c.600BC-420BC.
I chose Classic Civilisation for the broad range of experiences and subjects it covers, combining the best parts of Art, History and Literature. There is always support provided to those who ask for it, and the classroom has a great atmosphere whether that’s in lessons or in our enrichment, Classics Society.
Ben Reed, Classic Civilisation student
Standard College entry requirements: 5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above including Maths and English Language or Literature.
A grade 5 in English is recommended.
What do I need to study Classical Civilisation?
Apart from the College entry requirement you just need to have an interest in studying this course.
How is the course assessed?
There are 3 exams at the end of the two year program. There is no coursework.
Will it help my application to university or to employment?
The skills gained from this course are highly regarded by universities. Graduates in the classical subjects are sought after by employers. Students have gone to universities such as Oxford, Exeter, St.Andrews, UCL and Swansea. Here they have studied anything from Ancient Language, Philosophy, Ancient History to Egyptology and Archaeology. Others have gone onto more practical applications such as Heritage Management and Museum Studies. JK Rowling has a degree in Classics as have many prominent US presidents and UK Prime Ministers.
Where can this course can take me?
Many Classical Civilisation students progress onto careers in; Academia, History and Translation. This course also gives you the analytical and research skills for fields such as; Research, Teaching, Publishing, Politics and Writing.
Lessons vary from rousing debates to more mellow research, with injected excitement along the way. With trips to both near and afar – London and Athens – I’ve greatly enjoyed studying a piece of art and then be able to see the attributes I have studied.
Jack Owen, Classic Civilisation student