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Classical Civilisation at Old Swinford Hospital

Course description

The Course

Classical Civilisation is the study of the Greek and Roman world. The Greeks were the pioneers of Western civilization and their legacy lives on. Drama was a Greek invention as was Democracy. The Greeks were pioneers in philosophy, history, medicine and the sciences. They were magnificent sculptors and architects and subtle politicians. If you are interested in the origins of our cultural heritage then you need to take a look at the Greeks.

What about the Romans? Well their talent was for government and war. They brought their culture and technology to the whole of Europe, a continent they dominated for nearly 500 years. They produced Julius Caesar, perhaps the single most multi-talented individual in the whole history of humanity and Caligula, perhaps the most depraved. As a race they were admired and reviled in almost equal measure.

At AS Level we will study ‘Cicero and the fall of the Republic;’ an historical topic which explores the reasons for the fall and looks at some of the greatest men of antiquity: Caesar, Cicero, Crassus and Pompey. We will also study Homer’s Iliad, one of the greatest works of Western Literature. It is the story of Achilles’ anger, Hector’s death and the fall of Troy.

At A2 we study the remarkable life and times of Alexander the Great. He was a brilliant General but it is for you to judge the man and his actions; was he a visionary empire builder or ruthless tyrant?

The final module involves the study of four superb Greek tragedies. You will look at the origins of drama and the powerful messages portrayed in what are some of the greatest works of literature in the western canon.

You do NOT require any knowledge of Latin or Classical Greek to study Classical Civilisation but sound GCSE results in English and/or History would be a good base to start from. The course incorporates a wide variety of subjects from history, literature, drama and philosophy through to art and architecture.

Module 1 – Cicero and the fall of the republic

Module 2 – Homer’s Iliad

Module 3 – Greek Tragedy

Module 4 – Alexander the Great


Classical Civilisation will develop your ability to think for yourself under pressure, to deduce conclusions from primary evidence and improve your written and verbal communication.

Where next…

Careers in the law, journalism, accountancy and management are traditionally associated with Classics but really it can open the door to any career that requires you to be adaptable and think for yourself.

Several of our Classical Civilisation students have gone on to study the subject at University, where departments are thriving.


There are trips to see classical plays each year and an opportunity to visit important sites of the Classical World (in Greece, Turkey, Italy and elsewhere in Europe) once every two years. There may also be the chance to go on study days to enhance understanding of the topics being studied and other events are sometimes organised by the Classical Society.


Classical Civilisation fits in well with any combination of A Levels. It forms an excellent complement to English, History, Languages, Theology and Art as well as providing a good general arts course for the Mathematician or Scientist seeking some variety in the choice of subjects.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Old Swinford Hospital directly.

Last updated date: 01 October 2014
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    • Sixth Form courses at Old Swinford Hospital are delivered at our site located off Heath Lane in Old Swinford. The campus is located only a 5 minutes walk away from Stourbridge Junction train station and about 5-10 minutes walk from the centre of Stourbridge town.