Classical Civilisation

Classical Civilisation (OCR)

  • UNIT 1: The World of the Hero – Homer’s Odyssey and Virgil’s Aeneid – 40% of A level
  • UNIT 2: Culture and the Arts – 30% of A level
  • UNIT 3: Beliefs and Ideas – 30% of A level

Course aims:

The purpose of a course in Classical Civilisation is to acquire an understanding of some of the elements of ancient Greek and Roman civilisations, literature and language which have had a profound influence on modern societies. Students will be introduced to significant aspects of the classical world from a wide choice of topics in the areas of architecture, art, history and politics, and literature. Students study primary classical sources, including texts in translation and physical evidence such as Greek vases.

Entry requirements:

The GCSE courses in Classical Civilisation or Latin would provide the most suitable foundation, although they are not required. The study of Art & Design, History and English also provide a useful basis.

Higher Education:

Studying Classical Civilisation demonstrates that a student is multi-talented, with interests in a wide range of areas. As such it opens the way for a number of courses at University such as Classics, Archaeology and Anthropology, and Ancient History. It also offers a wide range of employment options, including Business, Law, Civil Service and Education.

Key features:

  • It provides the opportunity to develop a student’s critical and evaluative skills – useful acquisitions in a wide range of subjects.
  • By offering a great deal of choice within its parameters (Archaeology, Architecture, Art, History and Politics, Literature and Philosophy), it allows the Student to play to their strengths and deepen their enjoyment of the subject.
  • As such the course is an ideal companion to, among other courses, Art, Drama and Theatre Studies, English Literature, History, History of Art, Politics and Philosophy.



  • Unit 1 – Unseen Translation (50% of AS)
  • Unit 2 – Verse & Prose Literature (50% of AS)

A Level:

  • Unit 1 – Unseen Translation (33% of A level)
  • Unit 2 – Prose Composition OR Comprehension (17% of A level)
  • Unit 3 – Prose Literature (25% of A level)
  • Unit 4 – Verse Literature (25% of A level)

All students will sit the AS examination at the end of Year 12

Course aims:

The course offers the opportunity to read a variety of different texts, including some of the ‘all time greats’ of the Roman world, such as Ovid’s ‘Metamorphoses’ or Cicero’s legal speeches.

Candidates will learn a variety of literary techniques whilst also developing an appreciation of Latin texts within their literary, social and historical contexts. Students will also acquire a deeper understanding of grammar and syntax when translating unseen passages of Latin.

Entry requirements:

A minimum of grade 6 at GCSE Latin is expected and preferably at least a grade 6 in GCSE English.

Key features:

As Latin has evolved into many of the modern languages of Europe, a study of the subject will dramatically help with the understanding of the grammar and syntax of these languages.

It provides an opportunity to develop and perfect the skills of analysis, logical thinking and problem solving – useful acquisitions in a wide range of subjects.

As such, the course is an ideal companion to, among other AS courses, Modern Languages, English Literature and History.

Higher Education:

Latin is regarded as a subject which carries an immense amount of prestige and can be seen as an effective qualification for entry to university. Since classicists have such a wide range of skills they are highly respected in the world of employment, with most going on to careers in Law, Accountancy and Business, The Civil Service, The Secret Service and Education.