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Ancient History AS & A Level at St Vincent College

Course description

If you are interested in people and the past, this could be the course for you. Its variety is its strongest appeal: we study the art, architecture and literature of the ancient world as well as its history in order to discover what was remarkable about the Romans.

You need no previous knowledge to follow the course, but you will need at least a grade C in English and an interest in the past. The subject combines well with most subjects. Through all aspects of the course, but especially through coursework, you will develop the Functional Skills of Communication and IT.

Course content

At AS level we study two topics that chart the rise of Rome and the physical fabric of her Empire. Both are assessed through external examinations. At A2 Level we continue on to study the Roman Empire and its first ruling family; the Julio-Claudians.

Roman Architecture
This unit looks in detail at the design, function and history of Romes greatest buildings. From the blood soaked sand of the Colosseum, to the high rise apartment blocks of the cities.

Cicero and the Fall of the Rome Republic 80 – 43BC 
This unit looks in depth at the life and times of Rome’s greatest orator, lawyer and politician; Marcus Tullius Cicero. We look at the period in which Cicero lived, which was one of the greatest in Roman history. Set against a backdrop of intrigue, murder, violence, scandal and corruption we will analyse why the Roman Republic crumbled and fell.

Augustus and the Foundation of the Principate
A study of the career of Augustus between 44BC and AD14. We will look at areas of history, politics, literature and Roman society and values.

The Julio-Claudian Emperors 
A study of the family and successors of Augustus, culminating with the catastrophic reign of the Emperor Nero.

Entry requirements

Five GCSEs at grade A* – C, including English Language. You do not need to have studied GCSE Classical Civilisation


100% examinations

Financial information

  • Visit to the Roman Baths in Bath at Christmas time
  • Visit to the British Museum in London during the Spring term
  • Visit to Rome and Italy in the Summer term
  • Visit to the Ashmolean museum as well as a guest lecture and tour at one of the Oxford university colleges.
  • Opportunity to partake in the AS gaming based day ‘Are you as good as Hannibal’ in conjunction with the Rome Total War game developers ‘Creative Assembly’
  • Opportunity to build a scale model diorama of Rome itself as a part of our ‘Hands on Classics’ day

Future opportunities

Higher Education for degree courses in Classical Studies, Ancient History, Archaeology or other subjects

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 20 September 2016

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