Classical Civilisation is the study of the Ancient World and the impact of its culture on society today. This course offers learners the opportunity to study elements of the literature, visual/material culture and thinking of the ancient Greeks and Romans and acquire an understanding of the social, historical and cultural contexts.  Students will study Greek and Latin epic poetry in translation, the propaganda of the first Roman emperor and Greek religion.

Students will explore the legacy of the Ancient World and learn to critically interpret, analyse and evaluate a range of source material to make their own judgements using reasoned arguments. 

Students have the opportunity to take part in a variety of study days, including a visit to the British Museum and an annual trip to either Greece or Italy.

Students of Classical Civilisation might also be interested in taking the Certificate in Latin Language and Roman Culture which can be taken with no previous knowledge of Latin.

What goes well with this course?

Classical Civilisation complements a wide range of subjects including: 

  • English
  • History
  • Law
  • Politics
  • Philosophy
  • Art (Fine Art)


Students of Classical Civilisation will be able to progress to a vast range of degree courses. Those which relate directly to Classical Civilisation include: Classics; Archaeology; Ancient History and Classical Studies, all of which can be studied at degree level without prior knowledge of an ancient language.

The study of Classical Civilisation is highly regarded among employers, businesses and academic institutions. The transferable skills it teaches are considered second to none and thus Classical Civilisation students are found and sought after in many walks of life including: Journalism, Law, Business Management, Civil Service, Politics, Teaching, Academia, the Creative Arts and any profession which requires the ability to analyse, argue, write effectively and have a wide and intelligent understanding of the world we live in.

Course Content

The course covers the following topics:

  • The World of the Hero: The study of Greek and Roman epic poetry
  • Imperial Image: An exploration of how Emperor Augustus used propaganda to support his regime
  • Greek Religion: An in-depth study of the religion of the Ancient Greeks

Educational Experiences

Course Specific Trips & Visits

Classical Civilisation students have the opportunity to take part in a variety of course related trips. In recent years, these have included:

  • A trip to study the awe-inspiring Roman archaeological sites around the Bay of Naples visiting: Pompeii, Herculaneum, Cumae, Solfatara, Pozzuoli and Villa Oplontis
  • A trip to Rome visiting a wide range of ancient sites including the Colosseum, the Forum, the Vatican museums and Ancient Ostia
  • A visit to the British Museum’s Sicily: Culture and Conquest Exhibition
  • A trip to see Greek and Roman Antiquities at the British Museum 

The department also organises regular Classics Extra lectures and offers the opportunity to learn Ancient Greek.

Many Classics students also opt to take the Certificate in Latin Language & Roman Culture which enables them to learn Latin from scratch.

Activities Programme

In addition to course specific experiences, students also have the opportunity to get involved in the College’s Activities Programme.

Work Experience

All students need to gain an experience of the work place during their time at College and for students studying vocational courses it should ideally be linked to one of their subject areas.


This course is 100% examination based.

The exam board for this A Level is OCR.

Entry Requirements

All students need to have at least five GCSEs at Grade 4 or above (and a satisfactory school reference) in order to be accepted on an A Level/BTEC Level 3 Programme. 

In addition, students should meet the following minimum GCSE requirements:  

  • Grade 5 in English Language

No previous knowledge of the Classical World is needed, just a desire for new knowledge and an interest in History and Civilisation in general.

Students will do well on this course if they enjoy:

  • Learning how Western civilisation has developed since its beginnings
  • Looking at and analysing exceptional works of art, architecture and sculpture
  • Exploring different philosophies
  • Studying literature, exploring and interpreting themes and characters in context
  • Communication through speech and writing
  • Planning their own learning

How to Apply

Applications for entry September 2020

Students from partner schools (Reigate, Warwick, de Stafford and Oakwood) should complete an online application under the guidance of their school.

All other applicants should download and return the 2020 application form.

All applications will be considered according to the College’s Admissions Policy.

Please see the Admissions timetable for information about the College’s enrolment process.

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