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Classical Civilisation

If you are inspired by the ancient cultures of Greece and Rome, you will be fascinated by the A Level course in Classical Civilisation.


What is Classical Civilisation?

If you are inspired by the ancient cultures of Greece and Rome, you will be fascinated by A Level Classical Civilisation. By studying the subject you will acquire a solid grounding in all the main social, political and literary areas of the classical period. From the epic adventures of Odysseus and Aeneas to the court rooms and the assembly in Athens, from the glory of Octavian Augustus’ regime to the genesis of theatre and democracy, from the political satire of Greek comedy, to the tragic stories of Oedipus and Medea, you will delve into the inner workings of what many people see as the dawn of civilisation.

What is Classical Civilisation at DLD?

Following the AQA syllabus, Classical Civilisation at DLD involves the close textual analysis of works belonging to three literary genres. These are epic poetry, comedy and tragedy. In epic poetry the works under study are Homer’s The Odyssey and Virgil’s The Aeneid. In comedy, we study three plays by Aristophanes and in tragedy two works by Sophocles and two by Euripides. Literary analysis of these works is accompanied by a thorough introduction to history, politics and society in classical Greece and Rome. All texts are read and analysed line by line in the classroom. This keeps students constantly involved and makes lessons lively, particularly in comedy and tragedy, where students share amongst them different parts of the plays.

How is it assessed?
Unit 125% (50%)1 Hour 30 Minute Exam
Unit 225% (50%)1 Hour 30 Minute Exam
Unit 325%1 Hour 30 Minute Exam
Unit 425%1 Hour 30 Minute Exam

Exam Board: AQA

What do I need?

Genuine interest and enthusiasm about the classical world and the way it has affected western civilisation, together with an inquisitive mind, are the main ingredients for success in the subject.   Students are not required to have studied GCSE Classical Civilisation or to have any prior knowledge.

Good subject combinations

A Level Classical Civilisation is an excellent choice regardless of the other chosen subjects. It provides students with an education which far exceeds the limits of A level exam preparation and helps them develop a sophisticated way of thinking as undergraduates and as professionals. The subject is highly appreciated by university admission officers and would make a UCAS application stand out.

Certain subjects are particularly good combinations. English Literature is the most obvious. Students studying both subjects benefit from similarities in the way they are taught and the way texts are analysed and evaluated. With two units devoted to classical theatre, Drama is also a popular combination. The study of Classical Civilisation involves the development of an insight into the history and society of the classica period. This makes the subject an excellent companion to History, Religion, Philosophy and Ethics, Politics, Sociology and Psychology. Classical Civilisation can also add variety and an interesting element of the humanities to a course otherwise based on Maths and Sciences.

After DLD

An A Level in Classical Civilisation will enhance your chances of being accepted into university, whatever course you apply for. You may wish to continue your journey into the classical world and specialise in Classics, or use your classical background as the foundation for subjects like English Literature, History, Law, Archaeology, Anthropology, Politics, Theology and Philosophy. A good number of Classics graduates move on to become solicitors through a law conversion course. Studying Classics at university leads to high degrees of employability in various sectors, such as teaching, civil services, financial institutions and journalism. This is because the skills and knowledge acquired through the study of Classics are highly transferable to other areas: students emerge with the ability to deal with precise details, the habit of being consistently prepared to perform and the sense of perspective that comes from the study of such a long and broad sweep of history and culture.


Q. Can I do the course in one year?
A. Yes, but each application will be evaluated separately.

Entry Requirements for international students

To study A Levels, your current or pending exam results should be equivalent to or higher than GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) in at least 5 subjects and a minimum level of English equivalent to IELTS 5.0. At the start of each academic year of study students following an A-Level course without a pass at grade C in GCSE or IGCSE English Language or with an Academic English score below 6.5 overall must join an Academic English training course for the duration of the academic year which will be timetabled alongside A-Level lessons. If your level of English is not sufficient to meet the entry criteria for the A-Level programme you will normally be offered a place on the Abbey DLD Colleges One Year Pre-sessional (Pre A-Level) in order to bring your English skills up to the required level.

The subject Classical Civilisation deals with ancient Greek culture and history by studying different texts. The subject is really interesting as the texts that we study are the basis of literature today. Before I studied Classical Civilisation I was ignorant to the fact that some of the ancient Greek cultures were actually more open minded than the civilisations that followed. Furthermore, the subject contributed to the offers I received from top universities, since it made my application much more interesting and unique.

Tessa Krages – Current DLD student

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