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Classical Civilisation A Level at Ripon Grammar School

Course description

The study of civilisations different from, but influential on, our own increases students’ understanding and sharpens their critical awareness of the modern world. The course encourages them to develop good argumentative skills and makes strong demands on their powers of expression. A good qualification in Classical Civilisation is highly valued by universities and employers for the breadth of understanding and expressive powers it demonstrates.

Course content

Two topics are studied at AS level and a further two at A2. Currently the topics selected are as follows:

AS course

Unit C2 Homer’s Odyssey and Society

This requires an understanding of the oral tradition in which the Odyssey was composed and a close study of what is arguably the greatest as well as the first European novel.

Unit CC3 Roman Society and Thought (Satire)

Roman society, history and values are studied through a range of sources from the satirical versus of Horace and Juvenal through to the letters of Pliny the Younger and Petronius’ depiction of the decadent lifestyle of the wealthy freedmen in the ‘Dinner with Trimalchio’. Students will also compare the style and methods adopted by these authors.


A2 course

Unit CC8 Art & Architecture in the Greek World

A detailed study is made of some of the finest surviving art works from the ancient world, among them the Delphic Charioteer, the black-figure vases of Exekias, the Elgin Marbles and Greek temples including the Parthenon.

Unit CC10 Virgil and the world of the Hero

This unit focuses on the study of Virgil’s Aeneid and Homer’s Iliad, exploring not only the plot and characters of these works but also the values of ancient society and the links between Greek and Roman epic.


Entry requirements

There is no need to have studied Classical Civilisation at GCSE level. Much more important is an open mind, an interest in ancient literature, history and culture and some aptitude and enthusiasm for essay writing. Classical Civilisation combines well with both arts and science subjects.



Assessed at a standard between GCSE and A2 by means of two 1½ hour examinations.



Assessed by means of two 2 hour examinations.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Ripon Grammar School directly.

Last updated date: 09 September 2016
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