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Classics A Level at Queen Elizabeth High School

Course description

Classics is the study of history, literature and culture of the ancient world. Classics offers an exciting opportunity to study both Greek and Roman Civilisation and to draw parallels with our own culture today, as well as to understand the basis upon which our society is built. The classics suite of modules allow students to achieve an A Level, with or without a Latin GCSE. Students who have studied Latin at GCSE may have the opportunity to sit an additional module in Latin.

Course content

AH1 Roman History from original sources – The Age of Augustus
Study the rise of the first Roman Emperor after the assassination of Julius Caesar. What made him so successful? What was his legacy for Rome?

CC2 Homer’s Odyssey and Society
Study the earliest piece of Western Literature and explore Homeric Society through the character of the warrior hero Odysseus, who has a ten year journey back home after Troy and has to face a series of monsters and immortals in his quest to return.

Possible additional unit:
Latin Verse and Prose Literature
Study the poetry of Ovid Metamorphoses Book 3 and the engaging tale of the tyrant Pentheus’ rejection of the god Bacchus. The prose text is an extract from Cicero’s de imperio which argues the case for Pompey the Great being given an important military command. What are the qualities of a good leader?

A2 Units

AH4 Roman History: The invention of Imperial Rome
Study the history of the notorious Roman Emperors from Augustus to Domitian using a wide range of source material such as Suetonius and Tacitus as well as contemporary poetry, satire and inscriptions.

CC10 Virgil and the world of the hero:
Build on your study of the Greek epic at AS Level to incorporate Roman epic and Rome’s founding myth of the legendary hero Aeneas


A genuine enthusiasm for the classical world is the main prerequisite of the course. Students develop critical thinking in the study and analysis of source material. They learn to consider the reliability of sources. They develop an understanding of the relevance of myth to both culture and society. Assessment is all exam based. All modules require essay writing skills.

Future opportunities

Some students have gone on to study classical subjects at university, though that is not always why they took the subject originally. They opted for it either through general interest or because it fitted in well with their other subjects.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Queen Elizabeth High School directly.

Last updated date: 02 July 2015

Key information