Classical Civilisation

Explore the roots of the modern world through history, literature and art.


2 Years


Level 3

Career Sector


Available At

Seevic Palmer's

Start Date


Course overview

A-Level Classical Civilisation enables you to explore the roots of the modern world through studying the history, literature and art of ancient Greece and Rome.

These epic stories continue to influence writers, artists and film-makers, as well as political and even military thought, in the modern world today.

As part of this course you will visit the British Museum and take in theatre performances of Greek Tragedy and/or Comedy in your first year. There is also the chance to visit Rome or Athens in the second year.

Classical Civilisation goes especially well with Humanities subjects, including History, Law and Politics. In addition, you may consider studying it alongside Arts subjects such as English, Art, Media and Film Studies. It can also combine well with Sociology and Psychology. For Science and Maths students interested in taking a balancing or contrasting subject, Classical Civilisation could be exactly what you are looking for.

All lessons will be taught cross-campus in our state of the art Immersive Rooms (more information can be found in the video below) allowing class discussions and the highest quality of teaching.

What will I study?


The World of The Hero
In your first year, you will study Homer's epic poem 'The Odyssey'. Following Odysseus' adventures on his way home from Troy - defeating a cyclops and travelling to the underworld along the way.

In the second year, you will compare Homer's Odyssey' with Virgil's 'Aeneid'. This follows Aeneas' flight from Troy, with his aged father and son, to founding the Roman Empire.

Greek Theatre
The origins of theatre. Greek tragedians, Sophocles and Euripides use myths to explore violent dysfunctional families, the role of the rule and his people and whether it is fate or free will which governs our lives. Whereas the comedian Aristophanes pokes fun at the topical problems facing 5th Century Athens.

Greek Religion
You will study the Olympian Gods such as Zeus, Athene and Poseidon. How the ancient Greeks worshipped their gods through festivals, temples and sacrifices. As well as the emerging philosophical ideas of Socrates.

You will take part in classroom readings or plays and the epics and be guided through the ancient world with a mix of group activities, films and class discussion. Assessment takes place through three written exams at the end of the two years (with mock exams to help you along the way).


Former students recently had this to say about the course:

"Studying Classics has been nothing but a rewarding experience for the last two years. Learning about the shocking realities of Ancient Greek and Roman life has opened up a whole new view on how influential ancient civilisations have been to our own country, even today."

"The myths and mystery surrounding Classics not only have made this subject interesting but also exciting and enjoyable to learn about."

Entry requirements

  • Five GCSEs at grade 4 or above including English Language and Maths.
  • Grade 4 or above in GCSE English Literature (if taken) or another subject demonstrating essay writing skills.


Why should I choose USP College?

  • Visit the British Museum to see examples of artefacts from Greece and Rome.
  • Visit to the theatre to witness performances of Greek Tragedy and/or comedy.
  • Option trip to Rome or Athens to contextualise your second year study.


Additional costs

There are no essential course costs, but students may wish to buy their own books and there will also be optional trips.

Year one - books approximately £25
Year one - trips approximately £20
Year two - books approximately £15

What could I do next?

  • Careers in teaching, journalism, publishing, heritage or law.
  • Classical Civilisation students have frequently progressed to studying the subject at university. For others, the subject forms a very valuable part of the package for entry to study other subjects at degree level (it is considered by universities, including University of Cambridge, to be an academic A-Level).

Classics student Lea Fountain went straight from USP College to a post as a successful investigative journalist. She said: "Classical Civilisation made me stand out at the interview - it proved that I was interested in unusual things!"

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