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Examination Board: OCR

What is the course about?

This course aims to develop an interest in and enthusiasm for the classical world and to acquire, through studying a variety of appropriate sources, knowledge and understanding of the classical world.

In Year 12 you will study:

The World of the Hero: This is a compulsory component consisting of an in-depth study of either Homer’s Iliad or Odyssey. This component is solely focused on the study of literature in translation.

Culture and the Arts: Students must study one component in this component group, chosen from:

  • Greek Theatre (H408/21)
  • Imperial Image (H408/22)

Components in this group involve the study of visual and material culture combined with the study of literature in translation.

In Year 13 you will study:

Unit 1: The World of the Hero: This is a compulsory component consisting of an in-depth study of one of Homer’s Iliad or Odyssey and Virgil’s Aeneid. This component is solely focused on the study of literature in translation.

Unit 2: Culture and the Arts: Students must study one component in this component group, chosen from:

  • Greek Theatre
  • Imperial Image
  • Invention of the Barbarian
  • Greek Art

Components in this group involve the study of visual and material culture. In all except Greek Art, this is combined with the study of literature in translation.

Unit 3: Beliefs and Ideas: Students must study one component in this component group, chosen from:

  • Greek Religion
  • Love and Relationships
  • Politics of the Late Republic
  • Democracy and the Athenians

Components in this group involve an area of classical thought, in combination with either the study of literature in translation or visual/ material culture.

How is the course assessed?

The A Level is externally examined through three examination papers:
The World of the Hero – 2 hours 20 minutes
Culture and the Arts – 1 hour 45 minutes
Beliefs and Ideas – 1 hour 45 minutes

What skills will I need and develop in this course?

You will develop an awareness of the continuing influence of the classical world on later times and of the similarities and differences between the classical world and later times. You will develop and apply analytical and evaluative skills at an appropriate level and make an informed, personal response to the material.

Subject combination advice

Classical Civilisation works well with any arts or humanities subject.

What can the course lead to in terms of higher education and future careers?

A good degree in Classical Civilisation can lead in many directions, from academic pursuits in classics or history to journalism, politics or the visual arts.

What are the formal entry requirements for this course?

English GCSE at Grade 5 or above.

What activities enrich this subject?

Visits to the British Museum and to theatrical productions, Classical Association conferences, when available.

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