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Classical Civilisation AS/A Level at Reigate College

Course description

Classical Civilisation embraces the study of the achievements and lifestyle of the Greeks and Romans in the ancient world. The course aims to  give students a broad understanding of the ancient world and its relevance to the world we live in today. This is done through the study of a wide range of topics including: epic poetry in translation, the origins of the Western theatre in Greek tragedy, classical sculpture and architecture in both the Greek and Roman world and ancient philosophy.

Students will gain knowledge and understanding of the literary and material culture of the ancient world and learn to critically interpret, analyse and evaluate a range of source material from the classical world and then make their own judgements and produce reasoned arguments.

The department also arranges visits to museums, such as the British Museum and whenever possible, students attend performances of the Greek tragedies that form part of the syllabus.  There is an annual trip to either Greece or Italy.

Course content

The course covers the following topics:

  • Classical Literature: the study of Greek tragedy (in translation)
  • Classical Literature: the study of Greek and/or Roman epic poetry (in translation)
  • Classical Thought: the study of Greek and/or Roman philosophy
  • Classical Material/Visual Culture: the study of Greek and/or Roman sculpture and architecture

Entry requirements

tudents need five GCSE passes at Grade C (or new Grade 4) and above including Grade 5 or above in English Language or Grade B in English Literature or Grare B in History . No previous knowledge of the Classical world is needed, just a desire for new knowledge and an interest in History and Civilisation in general.

Students will do well on this course if they enjoy:

  • the world and the history of how it has developed
  • looking at and analysing exceptional works of art, architecture and sculpture
  • exploring different philosophies
  • studying literature, exploring and interpreting themes and characters in context
  • communication through speech and writing
  • planning their own learning


This course is 100% examination based.

The exam board for this A Level is AQA.

Future opportunities

Students of Classical Civilisation will be able to progress to a vast range of degree courses. Those which relate directly to Classical Civilisation include: Classics; Archaeology; Ancient History and Classical Studies all of which can be studied at degree level without prior knowledge of an ancient language.

The study of classics is highly regarded among employers, businesses and academic institutions. The transferable skills it teaches are considered second to none and thus Classics students are found and sought after in many walks of life including: Journalism, Law, Business management, Civil Service, Politics, Teaching, Academia, the Creative Arts and any profession which requires the ability to analyse, argue, write effectively and have a wide and intelligent understanding of the world we live in.

Further information

Classical Civilisation students have the opportunity to take part in a variety of course related trips. In recent years, these have included:

  • a trip to study the awe-inspiring Roman archaeological sites around the Bay of Naples visiting: Pompeii; Herculaneum; Cumae; Solfatara; Pozzuoli and Villa Oplontis

  • a visit to the Almeida theatre to see Medea
  • a visit to the British Museum's Siciliy: Culture and Conquest Exhibition
  • a trip to see Greek and Roman Antiquities at the British Museum 

The department also runs two weekly activities: a Classics Extra Club for those students who want to widen their knowledge of the ancient world and Beginners Latin.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 25 July 2016
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