Senior School

A Level Classics

Classical Civilisation A Level (AQA 2020)

The course is open to everyone.  You do not need to have studied any Classics before. The main requirement is an open mind!

Are you curious about the ancient cultures of Greece and Rome and their impact on the world we live in today?

Classical Civilisation will give you an appreciation and understanding of them and reveal the effect they still have on humanity.

Both Greece and Rome are studied. Each culture is examined in one three-hour paper at the end of the Upper Sixth.

There are three areas for study and examination for each civilization:

  • Literature
  • Visual and Material Culture
  • Thought

This will mean that you read and evaluate some of the following in translation:

  • Homer: Iliad or Odyssey
  • Virgil: Aeneid
  • Sophocles and Euripides: plays
  • Plato and Aristotle: philosophy

In addition you will study Athenian Sculpture and Architecture from the Parthenon and from Augustan Rome.

There is also an option to study surviving evidence about the role of women in the ancient world.

The course develops analytical, evaluation and interpretation skills and improves your skills in written communication.  These are skills which are highly regarded by employers.

Classical Civilisation is an excellent complement to other humanities and can enrich the other subjects such as Theatre Studies, English Literature, History, RS and Art.


Classical Greek A Level (OCR H044)

If you enjoyed GCSE Greek and are keen to build on the skills you have already acquired, you should find this a rewarding challenge. 

The course is examined by two modules, each of which carries equal weight towards the final qualification.

The language component builds on the knowledge skills and vocabulary developed at GCSE and is assessed by a translation and comprehension paper.

Literature involves detailed study of one prose and one verse author during the course.  The range of set texts are taken from a variety of engaging authors; the Philosophy of Plato, history of Thucydides, Homer and the tragic authors Sophocles or Euripides.

This AS course is unusual for Birkdale in that it is taught over TWO years, with four periods in the Lower Sixth and four in the Upper Sixth.  Both modules are examined at the end of the Upper Sixth.  There is no coursework.

This course provides an ‘extra’ fifth AS level subject and is studied alongside your four choices from the option blocks.


Latin A Level (OCR H433)

The challenge of A Level Latin develops naturally from the skills developed at GCSE.

There are two components: Language which is assessed by unseen translation and a comprehension paper. Literature which is studied during the course.

Each component carries equal weight in the final exam.  The literature covers a range of authors from the magnificent epic of Virgil to the witty love poems of Ovid or forensic speeches of Cireo to the dark politics of Tacitus history.

One verse and one prose text is chosen for study. You will examine the works more deeply than at GCSE and learn to evaluate the author’s techniques and ideas.

As the course involves both linguistic skills and appreciation of literature, it is a useful contrast to more technical or scientific subjects.  It can also enrich the study of other humanities subjects such as English, History, Religious Studies and Modern Languages.

Latin is a highly regarded subject by universities and employers, especially for degree courses in Law, History, English and Modern Languages.

Employer surveys show that Classics graduates are successfully entering many different industries, particularly IT and the financial sector.




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