Accessibility links

Classical Civilisation AS/A Level at Brockenhurst College

Course description

Classical Civilisation is an engaging course that explores aspects of ancient Greek and Roman history and philosophy. In many respects ancient Greece and Rome were the harbingers of what we call “civilisation”. The combined effects of their culture have long inspired academics as well as interested readers to delve deeply into their history, resplendent as it is in warrior heroes as well as villains, outstanding philosophers, literary geniuses and architectural innovators.

This course is your opportunity to explore the first great civilisations.  No previous knowledge of Classical Civilisation, Latin or Greek is necessary, but the skills required are much like those developed in English Literature and History.

The type of student who succeeds in Classical Civilisation is interested in taking on new academic challenges and expanding their vocabulary.  A successful student will enjoy reading and extending their knowledge.

Course content

The 2 modules comprising the AS are as follows:

  • Module 1, The Life and Times of Cicero, or Women in Athens and Rome
  • Module 2, a study of Homer’s classic text The Odyssey.

Module 1 focuses either on the memoirs of Cicero, a public speaker in ancient Rome who witnessed amongst other events the triumph of Julius Caesar in Gaul and his eventual assassination in 44 B.C. Or the study of freeborn women in Athens in the 5th and 4th centuries B.C. and in Rome in the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C. and the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D. 

Module 2 recites the fabled tale of the Odysseus’ wanderings and his quest to be reunited with his wife Penelope after the Trojan Wars. 

Modules 3 and 4, the A2 modules have either a literary or historical slant but there is the opportunity to pursue either philosophical or architectural themes from the classical world.

Module 3 will either focus on The Persian Wars 490 – 479 BC and involve an examination of the political and cultural ideals of the Greeks and Persians or focus on Greek tragedy; this will involve a critical study of 4 tragedies, 'King Oedipus', 'Antigione', 'Hippolytus' and 'Medea'.

Module 4 involves a study of Virgil's classic The Aeneid which describes the legendary origin of the Roman nation or a study of the ideals of the great Greek philosopher Socrates.

Entry requirements


The basic requirement is 5 GCSE's grades A to C, including a C in English Language or Literature.

Provided you are able to communicate clearly and have shown the ability to understand and express a range of ideas, it does not matter which subjects you have studied at GCSE.

Classical Civilisation complements the study of other humanity-based subjects and goes well with English Literature and History.  However, it can also provide a contrast to both arts and science based subjects.

Being exam based Classical Civilisation works well with other courses that have coursework requirements as this helps to balance workload throughout the year.



All modules are examined and will each comprise 25% of the full A level.

Financial information

Cost: Approximately £20 will need to be spent on the purchase of essential texts

Future opportunities

Apart from qualifying students for Higher Education, the skills derived from Classical Civilisation A Level are highly valued in Management, Administration, the Civil Service, the legal profession and the teaching profession.

Students go on to study Classics/ancient history, progressing to Universities such as Cambridge, Nottingham and Swansea.

Further information

This subject is especially helpful to those students taking English A level.

In addition students will have the chance to participate on a trip to Rome at the end of the spring term.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Brockenhurst College directly.

Last updated date: 18 February 2016

Key information