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Classical Civilisation at Elliott Hudson College

Course description

Classical Civilisation gives students the unique opportunity to explore the history and cultures of ancient Greece and Rome. These societies, though they flourished so long ago, remain incredibly relevant to the modern world. Classical Civilisation is far more than simply ‘history’ from a long time ago: it combines the study of art and architecture; political, military, and social history; morality and philosophy; and some of the world’s greatest ever literature.

Course content

Students study three components across two years.

Component One, Parts One and Two - the World of the Hero

Part One: students will explore the great epic poems of Homer, the Iliad and Odyssey. These gripping stories of war, love, friendship, and adventure are among the world’s most influential works of literature. They study the Iliad as background and the Odyssey in depth for the exam itself. This study takes place early in year one.

Part Two: in the second part of year two after further exploring Greek and Roman culture in components two and three, students return to the study of epic poetry. Virgil’s Latin epic, the Aeneid, is a celebration of Rome’s history and heroes that fuses romance and adventure with political propaganda.

Component Two - the Invention of the Barbarian (Greek culture)

• In component two students explore the Persian invasions of Greece in the 400sBC, through works of literature composed at the time. We study the work of the world’s first historian, Herodotus, and two great Greek tragedies, the Persians and Medea. We look both at the reality of the great Persian empire, and how the Greeks presented them as ‘barbarians’.

• As well as the set texts this unit involves the study of visual and material culture, from painted pottery to the great palaces of Persia.

Component Three - Politics of the Late Republic (Roman thought)

• In component three students explore Rome at a time of its greatest power and its greatest weakness. The expanding empire placed great strain on the Roman state. We look at key issues in Roman society and politics through a study of key characters: the conservative Cato; the brilliant, ruthless Julius Caesar; and finally the great thinker, lawyer and politician Cicero, with a close study of his letters.

• As well as the set texts this unit involves the study of ancient thought, specifically political theory and philosophy, applying the concepts to the individuals and issues studied.

Entry requirements

Attain 5 or more standard GCSE passes (grade 4 or higher).

If a student is applying for an A Level course that they have studied at GCSE it is expected that a student would attain at least a standard pass (grade 4) in this subject.


Each component is assessed by a single, three-hour paper:

Component One - the World of the Hero

- Written exam: 2 hours 20 minutes

- Mix of short questions on a stimulus source and longer essays

- 40% of A Level

Component Two - the Invention of the Barbarian

- Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes

- Mix of short questions on a stimulus source and longer essays

- 30% of A Level

Component Three - Politics of the Late Republic

- Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes

- Mix of short questions on a stimulus source and longer essays

- 30% of A Level

Financial information

Elliott Hudson College will not charge fees for tuition or examination entry (except for re-sits, where attendance is unsatisfactory or coursework is incomplete). There are no charges for course materials, although students are expected to provide their own stationery and any specialist clothing /equipment. Course books may be bought from subject teachers however subjects will also loan textbooks to students in return for a deposit. In the case of field trips, a contribution from the student to cover board and lodging, but excluding tuition and travel, will be expected. Some optional activities (e.g. enrichment, theatre trips, exchange visits, etc.) may have an associated cost; this will be notified in advance of the event.

Some applicants might not be supported by government funding for education (e.g. non-UK or EU passport holders recently arrived in the area): in these cases we do reserve the right to charge full fees for the course.

If your family is on a low income or you encounter any financial difficulties in special circumstances, you may be eligible for financial assistance from the college’s Student Bursary Fund.

Future opportunities

Classical Civilisation is an enormously respected, highly academic course that both employers and universities greatly appreciate. The training offered in such a wide variety of critical study builds vital transferable skills in communication, argument, and the evaluation of evidence. Students develop a great appreciation of the deepest roots of the modern world and of our culture. They can go on to immense success in almost any career and a great many university courses.

Further information

Detailed information about Elliott Hudson College can be found on the college’s website


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: 18 September 2018
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September