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Classics Level 3 - AS Level/A Level at Exeter College

Course description

The scope of the course is very wide. It covers Greek and Roman civilisation, from about 1500 BC to about 14AD. The syllabus actively encourages you to make comparisons between the ancient world and our own.

Course content

AS and A2 each contain two topics, one Ancient History and one Ancient Literature, and each of these contributes half of the marks for the final qualification (AS or A2).

Year 1:

Ancient History (the lives and culture of the Spartans using Biographical, Historical and Philosophical texts from various ages) and Athenian Greek Tragedy in its context, including the social and political background of 5th century Athens and the Peloponnesian War (The playwrights studied are Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides).

Year 2:

Ancient History (The Fall of the Roman Republic again from a variety of sources and genres including the lives of Julius Caesar, Mark Antony and Cleopatra) and Virgil and the World of the Hero (looking at the epic poems: Homer's Iliad and Virgil's Aeneid). The syllabus is fairly extensive, and not limited to the actual topics listed. Thus, Greek tragedy includes work on philosophy and religion, and history teaches analytical and other transferable skills. It is examined by essay and textual analysis in the first year and essay only in the second year.

Entry requirements

You need at least five GCSE C grades, with English at grade B or above and Maths at C or above, you will also need three GCSEs at grade D or above. You do not need knowledge of either Greek or Latin.


You will be assessed by final examination at the end of the year.

Future opportunities

Most employers and university admissions tutors value applicants with a (slightly) unusual A Level which provides evidence of critical thinking skills, logical and well-structured written argument and a broad background knowledge of the foundation of western civilisations. Many UK universities run courses in Classics and related subjects. It is also often run in conjunction with a variety of related subjects as part of a modular degree. AS level offers a qualification between GCSE and A level. Both AS levels and A levels offer you the opportunity to gain points for entry into Higher Education.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 28 January 2016
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