Accessibility links

Classical Civilization A Level *Fees Payable* at Rochester Independent College

Course description

Exam board: AQA

At RIC the Classical Civilisation A Level focuses on the political and social history of Ancient Greece and Rome. Each topic will focus primarily on ancient literature (Penguin translations), but will also include archaeological and artistic illustrations from these periods. This course is designed to give the students a broad knowledge of the history and cultures of the ancient world, as well as how much our own society owes to these ancient peoples. At AS, students will study two modules, one from Unit 1 and one from Unit 2. Each unit is 50% of the AS, and 25% of the A Level:

CIV1-B: Athenian Democracy - A critical study of the political development of Athens in the sixth and fifth centuries BC and the way democracy operated in the second half of the fifth century BC. The birth of democracy in ancient Athens was not a quick or simple process. It took centuries to develop into what could truly be called demo kratia (power to the people), and was far more representative than the modern democracies of the Western world. Students will learn about how and why the Athenian Democratic constitution developed, and what impact it had on the ancient world and modern politics.

CIV2-F: The Second Punic War - A critical study of the Second Punic War (also known as the Hannibalic War) and its causes from 221 to 201 BC. Hannibal Barca of Carthage invaded Italy in 218 BC, almost destroying Rome’s fledgling empire before it could grow into the greatest power in the world. How did one man, with a small, multi-lingual, mercenary army almost destroy the might of Rome? More importantly, why did he choose to march his army over the Alps in the dead of winter and strike deep into enemy territory? Although ultimately unsuccessful, Hannibal pushed Rome to the brink of destruction, became a legend which terrified generations of Romans, and forced Rome to establish herself as an aggressive imperial power. Students will study the history of Rome and Carthage, their wars, their cultures and their politics.

At A2, students will study two modules, one from Unit 3 and one from Unit 4. Each unit is 50% of the A2, and 25% of the A Level:

CIV3-D: Augustus and the Foundation of the Principate - A critical study of the career of the first Roman Emperor Augustus between 44 BC and AD 14. After 50 years of civil wars and the assassination of his uncle Julius Caesar, Octavian Caesar became the first emperor of Rome in 27 BC, assuming the titles of princeps (first citizen) and Augustus (revered one). He brought the Roman Empire back from the brink of collapse, expanded its borders, reformed its government, rebuilt the city into a shining beacon of civilization, and ultimately altered the course of Western history. Students will examine his rise to power, his reforms, his family and the culture which flourished under his reign.

CIV4-B: Alexander - A critical study of Alexander the Great’s career between 336 and 323 BC. Alexander became king of Macedon (a young, recently civilized nation) at 20 years old and inherited his father’s greatest ambition – to lead the Greeks eastward and conquer the Persian Empire. He succeeded, and by the age of 27 he ruled an empire which stretched from Croatia in the West, to India in the East. Five years later he lay dead in Babylon, and his empire was torn apart by his generals. Students will trace the rise of this young king who spread Greek culture and ideas further East than anyone before him, and who arguably achieved more in his short life than any living person.


Assessment methods: 100% Written Exams

Length of exams: 4 1½ hour papers

Financial information

*Fees Payable*

Further information

Overlap with other subjects: Classics has a strong overlap with English Literature, Politics, Philosophy and History. The critical and evaluative skills developed by students in this subject will enhance their ability to analyse a text or scenario, identify relevant and implicit information, and then utilise that knowledge to produce eloquent and convincing arguments. The ability to write in a clear and informed manner is encouraged throughout this subject, as is increased reading speed with high levels of retention: these are the most important skills required for successful university level study

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 20 January 2016
Provider logo

Key information

Contact details


  • More information
    • RIC runs its own minibus services from Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks, Maidstone, West Malling and King’s Hill. We are directly opposite Rochester railway station and 20 mins from Bromley South, 20 mins from Stratford and 40 mins from St Pancras or Victoria, offering a real alternative to London day schools.