Classical Civilisation

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Classical Civilisation explores the values and cultural beliefs of classical Greece and Rome, the two societies which are the bedrock of modern European society. Classical Civilisation is an academically demanding, exciting and engaging course.

Exam Board


Entry Requirements

GCSE grade 5 in either English Language, English Literature or History.


  • 100% Exams
An introduction to Classical civilisation Presentation About this course Pathways Information

What is classical civilisation?

Classical civilisation explores the values and cultural beliefs of classical Greece and Rome, the two societies which are the bedrock of modern European society. Classical civilisation is an academically demanding, exciting and engaging course that develops a huge variety of skills related to literature, philosophy, history, art and architecture. The influence of Rome and Greece in every sphere of life in the Western World is both immense and persistent. Because our own world has its roots in the classical past we can only understand ourselves by understanding where we have come from. Many of the moral and political ideas which today we take for granted originated in the classical world, such as identity and how we define ourselves and others; particularly relevant in the modern UK as it grapples with leaving the EU, as well as independence movements in various parts of the country. A study of the ancient world can also offer different perspectives on modern problems. The fall of a political system through Civil War is as relevant today as it was to Julius Caesar in 44BC.

Moreover, the Classical World is all-pervasive in our culture, from literature and political ideas to television cinema and video games. In short, Classical Civilisation offers you glimpse into the origins of our own culture.


What will I study?

You will study three units over two years: ‘The World of the Hero’ is split over two years, Homer’s Iliad, the first and greatest epic, in year 12 followed by Virgil’s The Aeneid in year 13. This is complemented by The Invention of the Barbarian which uses Herodotus Histories and Athenian tragedy to discuss and explore political, historical and philosophical events and beliefs.

The final unit is the ‘Politics of the Late Republic’ exploring the people (Julius Caesar, Pompey the Great, Cicero et al) and events, such as the Civil War, that led Rome to change from being a republic to becoming an empire. The Classical Civilisation course offers you a variety of learning experiences, including lectures, personal research, group discussion, individual presentations, film and video.


Trips, visits and enrichments:

  • Visits to the theatre, conferences and the British Museum
  • Annual trips to Greece and Rome
  • There is an informal Greek lunchtime class, an extension class to help expand your knowledge of the classical world and a student-led classics society


What can it lead to?

Whilst many students go on to study classical subjects at university, the analytical thinking and writing skills students develop through the subject will help in so many other areas of study and are also highly valued by universities and employers. Classical Civilisation is held in high regard by all H.E. Institutions and is highly prized by employers as an academic qualification. You will be able to access careers in administration, accountancy, banking, commerce, industry, journalism, law, leisure and entertainment, librarianship, publishing, research and teaching.

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