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Classical Civilisation AS/A Level 3 at Ursuline College

Course description

Classical Civilisation is about the ancient world studied through its literature, historical background and art and architecture. Essentially it is about people, it involves looking at the lives of people who lived over two and a half thousand years ago, but the issues which they faced are just as mentally challenging to us today, which is why Classics is such a popular AS and A Level choice.

Course content

Module 1 The world of the hero

This is a compulsory component consisting of an in-depth study of:

• one of Homer’s Iliad or Odyssey

• and Virgil’s Aeneid

This component is solely focused on the study of literature in translation.

Module 2 Culture and the arts

Learners must study one component in this component group, chosen from:

• Greek theatre (21)

• Imperial image (22)

• Invention of the barbarian (23)

• Greek art (24)

All components in this group involve the study of visual and material culture. In all except Greek Art this is combined with the study of literature in translation.

Module 3 Beliefs and ideas

Learners must study one component in this component group, chosen from:

• Greek religion (31)

• Love and relationships (32)

• Politics of the Late Republic (33)

• Democracy and the Athenians (34)

All components in this group involve the study of an area of classical thought, in combination with either the study of literature in translation or visual/material culture.

Entry requirements

Five GCSE 9-4 grades. 

It is not necessary for students to have studied Classics at GCSE.


Assessment is 100% examination

The 3 modules are weighed at 40%, 30% and 30% respectively. Two modules are examined at the end of the AS course and two are taken at the end of A2. The examinations are all 1 ½ hour long.

The exams are in two parts- the first part is a context question – where candidates are examined on their knowledge and understanding of the area of study. The second part is an essay question where candidates need to show how they can analyse a theme or show how a character develops throughout the whole book.

Regular timed and guided examination question practice is done in lessons and we have PPEs twice in the year as examination practice.

Future opportunities

Many students who have completed A level Classics go on to study the subject at degree level, either as a subject in its own right or combined with another subject such as History, History or Art, Politics, Philosophy and Ethics or English.

Careers such as teaching, journalism, publishing, media, politics, museum curating, archaeology, television are popular career paths.

Further information

The department runs a variety of trips. We often travel to London to visit the British Museum which houses the biggest collection of ancient Greek and Roman artefacts in Europe. Theatre trips to see ancient Greek tragedies and comedies bring these two topics alive. We have run trips to Greece where we have visited Athens the birthplace of democracy, Delphi the site of the ancient oracle of truth and Olympia, the original site of the Olympic Games.

We have also visited Rome and have seen the Colosseum where the gladiators fought and we have climbed Mount Vesuvius to see the remains of Pompeii in the distance.

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: 11 November 2017
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years