A Level Classical Civilisation2018-04-06T10:10:30+00:00

A Level Classical Civilisation

Exam Board: OCR

The Course and Teaching

OCRs A Level in Classical Civilisation has been designed to provide learners with a broad, coherent and rewarding study of the literature and culture of the classical world. No knowledge of Latin or Greek is necessary for this course – everything is read in English. Classical Civilisation has no specific entry requirements. It is open to all students. It is helpful if you have an interest in, or want to learn about, the literature and culture of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds. There is an element of essay writing, so an ability to communicate knowledge and understanding in written form is useful.

The course offers learners the opportunity to study elements of the literature, visual/material culture and thought of the classical world, and acquire an understanding of their social, historical and cultural contexts. The course comprises three distinct components, each with clear and well-defined content: we will start with the study of both Greek and Roman epic, including the oldest surviving works of literature in the Western literary canon (‘Odyssey’ and ‘Aeneid’); we will then have the chance to study both Greece and Rome, and their surrounding worlds by exploring topics as diverse as the Greek theatre and the politics of the Late Roman Republic. This course places emphasis on enabling learners to respond critically and engage with a wealth of sources and ideas, equipping them with analytical skills readily transferable to other subjects and further study of the classical world.


Dr N. Gilbert and Dr G. Gilbert

University Courses and Careers

Classical Civilisation combines well with english literature, drama, religious studies, history and Latin, or could provide a contrast with other subjects (e.g. sciences) in order to broaden your education. If you have been successful at classical Civilisation, you will have proven that you can enter upon a new area of study and learn the technical vocabulary and skills that are appropriate to it. You will have shown that you can write clearly and express complex ideas in a concise, logical and coherent way.

Classical Civilisation could lead on to a degree in classical studies, ancient history, archaeology, English or other humanities courses at university. Many doors will be open, and the skills developed through this course will be applicable in a range of employment areas, while your knowledge of Greek and Roman culture will always remain with you.

Content Overview Assessment Assessment
The World of the Hero
This is a compulsory component comprising of an in-depth study of:

  • Homer’s Odyssey and Virgil’s Aeneid
  • This component is solely focused on the study of literature in translation.
The World of the Hero
100 Marks
2 hour 20 minutes paper
40% of total A Level
Culture and the Arts
Learners must study one component. Components in this group involve the study of visual and material culture combined with the study of literature in translation.
Culture and the arts
75 Marks
1hour 45 minutes paper
30% of total A Level
Beliefs and Ideas
Learners must study one component. Components in this group involve the study of an area of classical thought, in combination with either the study of literature in translation or visual/material culture.
Beliefs and Ideas
75 marks
1hour 45 minutes paper
30% of total A Level