A level Classical Civilisation

Exam Board: OCR

What will I study in Classical Civilisation A level?

This is the study of the culture, literature and history of ancient Greece and Rome. Many of the foundations of society - democracy, law, drama, science - have their roots in the Classical tradition. To understand the Classical past, therefore, is to understand our own world. If pupils enjoy any or all of the following subjects - History, English Literature, Theology, Art, Politics and Latin - then they’ll probably enjoy Classical Civilisation. As well as enriching and enhancing their understanding of the modern world, this subject also provides them with valuable skills of analysis and criticism that are highly regarded by employers and universities.

“I wanted to get the most broad foundation for a lifelong education that I could find, and that was studying the classics. Meaning Roman and Greek history and philosophy and ancient civilisations.” Tim Blake-Nelson, Hollywood Director

Entry requirements

A grade 5 or above in an essay based subject such as History or English is required.

Units of study

  • Paper 1: World of the Hero. A written examination of 2 hours and 20 minutes, looking at: Homer’s Iliad and the Greek and Trojan heroes as well as Virgil’s Aeneid and the Roman hero.
  • Paper 2: Imperial Image. A written examination of 1 hour and 45 minutes, looking at: the reign of Augustus and whether or not he was successful in creating a positive image of himself and indeed Rome.
  • Paper 3: Greek Religion. A written examination of 1 hour and 45 minutes, looking at: the way in which religion permeated through every fibre of Greek society.


Three exams: one that is 2 hours and 20 minutes and two that are 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Where could it lead?

Law, journalism, the Foreign Office, publishing, management, public relations, computing, librarianship, museum and art gallery posts, teaching, archaeology.