Ancient History A Level

Ancient History A Level

Ancient History A Level


Course outline:

If you are interested in people and the past this could be the course for you. Its variety is its strongest appeal: we study the literature, art and architecture of the classical civilisations of Greece and Rome. In year one we study ancient Greece, and in year two ancient Rome. All units are assessed via external examination.

Course Structure:

Year one
We begin by looking at the world of the Greek hero through Homer’s epic poem the Iliad, considered by the Greeks themselves as the foundation of their Culture. This unit offers students the opportunity to study it structure and plot. This is done alongside exploration of its exciting narrative, including gods and goddesses, kings, princesses and legendary warriors such as Achilles. It also gives us a unique insight into the values and beliefs of the ancient Greeks, which we also study, which includes ideas about the power of fate, and the roles of immortals, women and slaves in society and the Homeric epic. This is followed by an in-depth study of Greek religion. What did they believe about the Olympian gods? What were the roles of priests and priestesses at various ancient rituals? This second unit is explored through the study of various archaeological remains, such as temple sites and
amphora.

Year two
We continue our study of ancient literature through analysis of Virgil’s Aeneid, a great Roman epic tale which is both a cornerstone and a landmark in Western literature. Drawing inspiration from Homer and his own context, we see how Virgil explored what it was to be a hero in the Roman world. As with the Iliad we study its structure and plot, along with the moral values and propaganda implicit within the work. This is followed by a study of Imperial Image within Rome. The idea of a politician such as the first emperor Augustus ‘spinning’ his public image in order to increase his power is one which is very familiar to us today, making this unit an exciting and engaging exploration of ancient Roman propaganda. As a part of this we study coins, portraits, buildings and literature.

You need no previous knowledge to study this course but you will need a least a C grade in English and an interest in the past. We use a variety of teaching methods – explanation by teachers or through film, group work, individual research, university guest lectures, reading and essay writing, and trips.


Key Facts:

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    Examination Board

    OCR

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    Duration

    Two years

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    Minimum entry requirements:

    Five GCSEs at grade A* – C, including English Language. You do not need to have studied GCSE Classical Civilisation

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    Possible combinations:

    Works well with any A-Levels, but particularly with History, Sociology, Philosophy of Religion & Ethics, English Literature and Creative Writing

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    Enrichment opportunities:

    • Visit to the Roman Baths in Bath at Christmas time
    • Visit to the British Museum in London during the Spring Term
    • Visit to Rome and Italy in the Summer Term
    • Visit to the Ashmolean Museum as well as a guest lecture and tour at one of the Oxford University colleges.
    • Opportunity to build a scale model diorama of Rome itself as a part of our ‘Hands on Classics’ day

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    Skills developed:

    • Critical judgement
    • Note-making and written discussion
    • Research skills
    • Visual and Contextual awareness

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    Likely next step opportunities:

    Higher Education for degree courses in Classical Studies, Ancient History, Archaeology or other subjects

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    Assessment summary:

    100% examinations


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