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A-Level Classical Civilisation

Awarding Body

Course Code

Head of Department



H408 Alex Millington millin-a@beaconsfieldhigh.bucks.sch.uk

Why study this course?

The study of Classical Civilisation provides an exciting opportunity to explore a range of aspects of the ancient world both through the study of texts in translation, and through the examination of material culture. Encompassing history, philosophy, art, literature, religion, and politics, Classical Civilisation is the most interdisciplinary of all subjects. It encourages students to develop their ability to analyse and evaluate texts and artefacts within their historical, political, social, and cultural contexts, to engage critically with rhetorical, historiographical, and poetic texts, and to develop the ability to understand and appreciate different world-views and ethical systems.

What level of prior knowledge, attainment and skills are required?

  • The entry requirement is a 6 in English or a 6 in History at GCSE.
  • A-level Classical Civilisation will suit anyone with an interest in art, literature, myth, and the ancient world.
  • Because A-level Classical Civilisation involves the study of Greek and Roman literature within its historical context, it can synergise powerfully with English and History. A focus on Greek Religion in Year 13 would generate synergies with Religious Studies. The study of Roman Imperial propaganda also dovetails neatly with the study of Government and Politics. A-level Classical Civilisation is also a perfect complement to Latin.

What does the course cover and how is it structured?

The first year of the course consists of the study of Homer’s Odyssey and Virgil’s Aeneid in English translation, and the exploration of the colossally successful propaganda campaign waged by the first Roman Emperor, Augustus. In the second year of the course, students will have the opportunity to choose to carry out an in-depth study of either Greek Religion or Greek and Roman attitudes towards Love and Relationships.

How is the course assessed?

  • The World of the Hero (40%)
  • The Imperial Image (30%)
  • Greek Religion OR Love and Relationships (30%) 

How can families help?

  • Family trips to the British Museum in London, the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, and the Ure Museum in Reading, as well as to the Roman Baths in Bath and other Roman sites in the UK and beyond would all help to provide extra context and inspiration.
  • Parents might like to encourage further reading beyond the core specification.