Bolton School Sixth Form Boys

Classical Civilisation

What will I study?

Classical Civilisation is the study of Greek and Roman culturein translation.  You will learn key aspects of two cultures that set the template for modern western civilisation.  The AS and A2 courses will enable you to reach a close understanding of the way of thought of these two civilisations through the study of a range of topics. 

Lessons focus on close study of the core texts and artistic materials.  You will develop your analytical skills, and will be encouraged not only to read around each topic but also to express your own views on what you have studied.  This may be done in class discussion, group work, student presentations and essays.  Regular internal testing ensures that you will develop the techniques necessary for success in the examinations.  In recent years, pupils have attended relevant study days at local schools and universities, have seen productions of Greek drama, and have been heavily involved in running the Junior Classics Club.  The Joint Senior Classical Society is an opportunity for Sixth Formers studying classical subjects in both Divisions to meet in an informal setting. 

You will study two units at AS, and a further two at A2.  Topics covered 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. 

How will I be assessed?

Students sit two examinations for AS, and a further two for A2.  Both AS papers are 90 minutes long and are worth 50% of the AS level and 25% of the full A level.  Both A2 papers are 2 hours long and are worth 25% of the full A level.  There is no coursework for this subject.  Students take all examinations in the summer. 

Desirable requirements

Classical Civilisation is a non-linguistic subject and open toallsixth form students, asno previous knowledge is required.  The course will enhance the understanding of the ancient (and, indeed, the modern) world for those who have studied a classical subject or subjects at GCSE, but also caters for those who have had no contact with the ancient world but have a desire to know more. You do not need to have studied Latin, Greek or Classical Civilisation at any level. If you have enjoyed, and had success with, subjects such as English and History, Classical Civilisation would make an ideal choice.  The subject combines well with most other subjects.  

Where will it lead?

In the words of one recruiter for industry, 'Classics [the study of ancient cultures whether in the original language or in translation] produces an ordered mind, [and] an ability to present cases precisely and concisely' - a skill valued highly by universities and employers alike.  In recent years, several of our students have pursued subjects directly related to Classical Civilisation at Oxbridge, Yale and other top-class Classics Departments.  However, this is not the only option available to those who have studied Classical Civilisation at A level:  a good grade will allow the student to choose from a broad range of university courses, whether containing a classical component or not.  Classics courses at Universities including Oxbridge are open to those who have studied the subject only in translation.  University classicists enter a varied range of careers including solicitor's training, computing, industry and commerce, banking, publishing and journalism.