"Our daughter’s progress in this last year has exceeded our greatest hopes and expectations. "

Parent, Junior Girls' School (Hesketh House)

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Classical Civilisation


To encounter the ideas of two of the most innovative and influential cultures in history: Greece and Rome.  By studying their literature, to understand some of the moral, political and aesthetic values of these societies, and to compare and contrast them with our own perceptions.

What will I study?*

All girls will have the opportunity to take AS and A2 in this subject.

You will study Greek and Latin authors in English translation.  Through close study of the core texts, you will develop your analytical skills.  You will study a range of topics which may include: Greek Tragedy, Homer’s Odyssey and Society, Virgil and the world of the Hero, Comic Drama in the Ancient World, Art and Architecture in the Greek World.

* The specification is still in draft form.

How will I be assessed?

AS Classical Civilisation
Module 1: Homer - Epic literature in translation – Examination 1 hour 30 minutes
Module 2: Greek Theatre – Greek Drama in translation – examination 1 hour 30 minutes

A Level Classical Civilisation
Module 1: Greek and Roman Epic literature in translation – Examination 2 hours 20 minutes
Module 2: Greek Theatre – Greek Drama in translation – Examination 1 hour 45 minutes
Module 3: Athenian Democracy – Examination 1 hour 45 minutes

Desirable requirements

No knowledge of the Greek or Latin languages is required, as all work is done in English translation.  The course will enhance the understanding of the ancient (and, indeed, the modern) world for those who have studied a classical subject at GCSE, but also caters for those who have had no contact with the ancient world but have a desire to know more.  There is quite a large amount of reading to do and you will also need an ability to write clearly and fluently.  Ask yourself whether you like subjects such as English and History, and whether you do well in them; the subject also combines well with Theatre Studies, Religious Studies and Government & Politics.

How will I study?

The course is taught in mixed classes consisting of both Girls’ and Boys’ Division students, and is delivered by teaching staff from both divisions.

Where will it lead?

Students go on to do a wide variety of courses at university including Law, Ancient and Modern History, Archaeology and Architecture. University Classicists enter a varied range of careers including Law, Banking, Industry and Commerce, Publishing, the Civil Service, Journalism and even Computing.


“Over the course of Year 12 I have studied French, Spanish, English Literature and Classical Civilisations. I have thoroughly enjoyed Classical Civilisations and it has proved to be very insightful. My studies in English Literature have been enhanced because many aspects of Classical Civilisations have coincided with the texts we have read. We explore the adventures of Odysseus and study four different Greek Tragedies which, for me, is the best part of the course, as I adore Theatre. All in all, I am glad I chose to study Classical Civilisations.  It has broadened my knowledge of the Ancient World and the lessons are fun and informative.”