Classical Civilisation

Exam Board

Additional Entry Requirements

Grade 6 in GCSE English language and grade 5 in Mathematics.

Course Content

Why classical civilisation?
Studying A level classical civilisation at Woodhouse will provide you with an opportunity to learn about ancient history and literature from both Greece and Rome, and their surrounding worlds. You will have the opportunity to study a wide range of topics, with an emphasis on responding critically to and engaging with a wealth of sources and ideas, developing analytical skills readily transferable to other subjects and further study of the classical world. During the course you’ll benefit from study days, with the opportunity to attend lectures given by renowned classicists, as well as hear talks by former students and take trips to museums and galleries.
In recent years, many Woodhouse students have gone on to study classical civilisation or a closely related degree course at Russell Group universities and Oxbridge. A good degree in this subject will open doors and allow you to pursue a career in a variety of fields such as law, the media, the civil service and business.
Course content
You will study both Greece and Rome and their surrounding worlds through topics such as heroism, epic literature, the invention of the barbarian, politics and religion, and love and beliefs. You will study material from both Greece and Rome drawn from diverse time periods ranging from Archaic Greece to Imperial Rome. This material will encompass aspects of literature, visual/material culture and classical thought in their respective social, historical and cultural contexts. You will analyse a range of evidence, and use this to form substantiated judgments and responses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please click on the headings below.

What is "classics" and why should I study it?

"The ancient Greeks and Romans grappled with exactly the same issues that we do: life, death, gods, sex, love, family, children, education, the nature of the world, our origins and development, the past, money, health, philosophical ideas, status, other cultures, friendship, power, patriotism, politics, law, crime, justice, empire and war"    (P.Jones)
It’s a wide ranging A level: including the study of literature, material culture, ancient thought and ideas and the ancient historical context.
No languages needed: all the texts are in translation, and it doesn't matter if you haven't studied the Greeks and Romans since primary school; all you need is an interest in the ancient world and its cultures.

Is there coursework?

No, it’s all exam (3 exams at the end of the second year)

Do you need to have studied this subject at GCSE?

No. However, any prior knowledge you have of the ancient world will be useful.

Which universities do your students go on to?

Many students go on to study at Russell Group Universities, and Oxbridge.

Does it involve lots of reading?

Yes, in class and outside of lessons.
However, there are plenty of opportunities to debate and discuss ideas and engage in paired work.

What does the exam look like?

The exam contains short answer questions (1 marks and 10 marks) as well as longer essays (20 marks and one 30 mark essay in each exam).

Are there any trips?

Before the pandemic, yes! In February of 2019, the year 13 students went to Rome for a few days.

“I’ve always enjoyed mythology and going to museums. I thought taking a brand new subject would be daunting, but I’ve completely loved it.
People think that classics belongs to a dead civilisation, but what I find interesting is putting modern perspectives and interpretations on to the ancient texts to see how they influence our world now.
I was nervous about coming here as I didn’t know anyone – it was a big shock and very different to school. But I have made my best friends and now have great balance in my life.
It feels like a very professional environment and everyone is here to learn. It’s very inspiring and motivating.”
Jewish Community Secondary School

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