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Classical Civilisation - A Level at Canon Slade CofE School

Course description

What does the course aim to do?

To introduce you to the richness of the Classical heritage that is the basis of western civilisation. The course promotes appreciation and criticism of literature, art and philosphy, as well as political awareness and understanding of Greek and Roman society and values. All texts are studied in translation.

Private or class reading of texts is followed by discussion and analysis. The skills of planning and writing structured answers and essays are developed throughout the course. Formal presentations are also given by class members in groups or individually.

Course content

Paper 1:

The world of the hero.

Selected books from Homer’s Iliad and Virgil’s Aeneid.

Paper 2:

Culture and the arts: Greek theatre.

Sophocles’ Oedipus the King; Euripides’ Bacchae; Aristophanes’ Frogs.

The history and conventions of Greek theatre.

A selection of visual sources illustrating aspects of the theatre.

Paper 3:

Beliefs and ideas: Love and relationships.

The study of Roman and Greek attitudes towards love and relationships, including the philosophy of Plato and Seneca.

You will also study selections from the love poetry of Ovid and Sappho.

Entry requirements

Grade 5 in English and Mathematics plus 3 A*-C grades at GCSE with a points score of 5.5+ (which equals roughly 4xB/6 and 4xC/5), from the top 8 GCSEs taken in the first sitting.


Paper 1: (2 hours 20 minutes)

The world of the hero 100 marks (40% of A level)

The examination comprises three compulsory ten mark essays, two compulsory 20 mark essays and one 30 mark essay (from a choice of three).

Paper 2: (1 hour 45)

Greek theatre 75 marks (30% of A level)

The examination comprises a few short factual questions, two compulsory ten mark essays, one compulsory 20 mark essay and one 30 mark essay (from a choice of two).

Paper 3: 1 hour 45

Love and Relationships 75 marks (30% of A level)

The examination comprises a few short factual questions, two compulsory ten mark essays, one compulsory 20 mark essay and one 30 mark essay (from a choice of two).

Future opportunities

Classics is a great asset to the general education of any student and combines well with any arts course, but especially those of literature, art, philosophy and history. Classics students have much to offer prospective employers, including the ability to write or present a verbal case coherently, and adaptability. Students find employment in an enormous variety of fields – vocational, the public sector, industry and business.

Further information

Am I suited to this subject?

It will help you to have an interest in the ancient world and the readiness to study the set texts thoroughly. You should be willing to contribute to the lessons both in discussion and more formally in presentations of your work.  

What will I need to do myself?


Regular notework summarising the facts of the topic in each module is required. Regular practice of structured answers and essays is a feature of each module.


Your main priority in this subject is to read the prescribed texts carefully. Reading “round the subject” is encouraged, and reference to secondary sources as well as the prescribed texts is expected in the examination. Five to six hours per week private study and homework are expected.


Why should I come to Canon Slade to study Classical Civilisation?


The A level course is taught by two specialist teachers, bringing a balanced teaching experience and interest in both literature and historical topics. Notice For Prospective Students As the course focuses on the study of classical literature and is essay based, it is strongly advised that applicants possess at least a grade B at GCSE in both English Language and English Literature. GCSE Classical Civilisation is not a requirement for this course.


Additional information from Miss M C Latham To find out more about this qualification, contact us, ask your Connexions Personal Adviser or school/college careers staff.


For more information about this course contact us directly on 01204 333343



How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 01 November 2016
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