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Ancient History AS/A2 A Level at South Downs College

Course description

This course is for those who wish to study the ancient civilisations of Greece and Rome.

You will learn about their history, politics and culture through the writings of historians of the time.

You need to be prepared to read substantial extracts from these writers in translation.

Course content

Year One – AS level

You study both the Greeks and the Romans.

Unit 1’s focus is the social system of Sparta, a system even more controlled and militaristic than Germany’s Third Reich, yet where women were the most liberated in Greece. This unit also covers the events leading to the war with Persia and the Battle of Thermopylae, where 300 Spartans took their final stand for freedom.

Unit 2 looks at the political culture and events of Rome in the last days of the Roman Republic. You will meet some of the most legendary figures in history: Julius Caesar, Brutus, Cicero, Pompey, and the gladiator Spartacus.

Year Two – A2 level

In Year 2 you again study both the Greeks and the Romans.

Unit 3 revisits the Spartans as they embark on a 30-year war with their democratic neighbour, Athens, for the control of Greece.

In Unit 4, you study Rome as it develops to the peak of its power as an imperial state, examining the careers of some of the most significant emperors such as Augustus, Claudius, Nero and Vespasian

Entry requirements

A minimum of five GCSEs at grades A*-C, including English Language and usually Mathematics.


AS – Two examinations lasting one hour and 30 minutes, one for each unit, at the end of the first year comprising a mixture of extended writing.

A2 – Two examinations lasting two hours at the end of the year comprising essay questions.

Examination techniques will be taught throughout the course.

Future opportunities

A good A level pass in a range of subjects will assist you to progress to higher education or appropriate employment.

Students can progress to higher education and study for a degree in Ancient History, Archaeology or Classical Studies.

Ancient History also provides an excellent background for any other subject that involves assessing and evaluating evidence such as Law, Politics, History and Critical Thinking.


How to apply

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

Last updated date: 05 May 2016

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