Ancient History

A Level




Course Overview

A subject not commonly offered by many school sixth-forms and colleges, Ancient History will provide you with a unique opportunity to learn about the history of ancient Greece in the fifth century BC, and late Republican Rome and the first emperors of Rome. You will investigate the writings of famous ancient historians such as Herodotus and Plutarch, and the careers of influential movers and shakers from classical Athens and Republican Rome including Themistocles, Pericles, Julius Caesar and Pompey Magnus. Topics include the Greek wars of the fifth century BC – The Persian War and the Peloponnesian War,  the political and culture of ancient Athenian society, a survey of the dramatic events that marked the fall of the Roman Republic, and the infamous Julio–Claudian emperors; Augustus, Tiberius, Gaius (Caligula), Claudius and Nero. 

Ancient History as a subject is highly valued by both universities and employers, due to the knowledge and transferable skills it develops, ranging from analysis and comprehension to research and presentation skills.

This course will particularly appeal to students with a personal interest in classical history, and combines well with subjects including History, English Literature, Art and Classical Civilisation.

The Henley College is delighted to announce that the world-renowned classicist, Professor Mary Beard of Newnham College Cambridge, has agreed to lend her support to its Classics and Ancient History Department (Find out more).

Acclaimed classicist, writer and broadcaster, Natalie Haynes, has agreed to be a Patron of our Classics and Ancient History department. With an extensive career spanning radio, television and journalism, Natalie is a regular contributor on Radio 4 appearing on shows such as Woman’s Hour, You and Yours and A Good Read. Natalie also presents her own show, Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics, with the fourth series airing in 2018. Natalie's support will be a huge benefit to us and our students (read more.)




Exam (100%)

Duration: 2 years
Entry requirements:

Standard entry requirements plus grade 5 in GCSE English and grade 4 in Maths

Exam board: OCR

£30 per year for textbooks plus optional field trips.

Programme leader:

Robert Pyburn

Course structure

Enhancing your studies

Life after Henley


There are many career options for those with a passion for history including archaeologist, archivist, teacher/lecturer, film production assistant, researcher, architecture and conservation, heritage, media, law and many more.

Higher education

Whilst many students continue on to study subjects including History, English Literature and Classics at university, this course provides a strong grounding for those wishing to pursue many other subject areas at degree level.

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The next step

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