Classical Civilisation

A Level




Course Overview

A subject not commonly offered by many school sixth-forms and colleges, Classical Civilisation offers the opportunity to study the literary and material culture of the ancient Greeks and Romans. You will explore aspects of classical civilisation which have been significant in the creation of the modern world, and develop an important understanding of classical societies and their culture and values.

This course will particularly appeal to students with an interest in literature, history, art and philosophy, and combines well with subjects including Ancient History, History, English Literature, Drama, Art and Philosophy. Areas of study include Homer's The Odyssey (the study of epic poetry, the historical background and culture of ancient Greece), Tragedy (Bacchae by Euripides, Oedipus the King by Sophocles) and Comedy (Frogs by Aristophanes). Virgil’s great work The Aeneid is also a key text of the course, the epic poem focuses on Aeneas and the creation of Rome and the parallels that can be drawn with Augustan Rome. We also spend time looking at the Greek and Roman view of love and relationships with specific interest in Plato, Sappho, Seneca and Ovid. 

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 English Language or Literature 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 various career options that may attract classicists including teaching, academia, museums work, archaeology, archive work, librarianship and more.   Students may consider direct entry into employment or further training.

Higher Education

Whilst many students continue on to study subjects including classics, ancient or modern history, English literature and philosophy 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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