A Level Classical Civilisation


AS Level

MPW approach to AS study

Candidates are encouraged to look at a wide range of classical canon across different genres and be able to identify the transformation of characters and the development of the themes throughout the texts.

Students will be able to build succinct and comparative arguments that display their opinion regarding to what extent the artists have been able to display an engaging plot and commenting on broader issues such as the depiction of love, revenge and war.

AS Specification Number
OCR H041


Unit 2: Homer’s Odyssey and society

The focus of unit CC2 is Homer’s ‘Odyssey’, translated by E.V. and D.C.H Rieu. Candidates should be able to demonstrate understanding of such issues as the role of gods, stories of heroes and moral concepts such as justice and revenge. Students will read about supernatural elements (monsters), disguise and recognition. They will also be expected to research the effects of nostos (homesickness) and hubris (arrogance) to mortals.

Unit 4: Greek tragedy in its context

The exam for unit CC4 tests the student’s understanding of four plays. Candidates should be able to demonstrate knowledge of omens, oracles and prophecies; death and burial; the role of women and children in society. Students should demonstrate awareness of theatre building and machinery related to Aeschylus’ ‘Agamemnon’, translated by R. Fagles, (Penguin), Sophocles’ ‘Ajax’, translated by D. Raeburn (Penguin), Euripides’ ‘Medea’, translated by P. Vellacott (Penguin) and ‘Trojan Women’, translated by J Davie (Penguin)

Reading list     
Since a large number of texts are set which involve extensive reading, students are asked to quickly acquaint themselves with the set books (as featured in the units above). All texts are available in paperback.

Homer The Odyssey translated by E. V. and D. Rieu ISBN 9780140449112
Aeschylus  Agamemnon translated by R. Fagles  ISBN 9780140443332
Sophocles  Ajax translated by D. Raeburn  ISBN 9780140449785
Euripides  Medea translated by P. Vellacott  ISBN 9780140441291
Euripides Trojan Women translated by J. Davie ISBN 9780140446685

A2 Level

MPW approach to A2 study

Candidates will draw on their knowledge about heroism and political humour as depicted in Greek and Roman texts to develop comparative arguments that reflect the students’ point of view regarding the effectiveness of the artists’ portrayal of subthemes such as father-son relationship, trickery and animal imagery. Students should be able to construct an eloquent argument which embeds such key words as time (honour), kleos (glory) and virtus (virtue).

A2 Specification Number
OCR H441


Unit 9: Comic drama in the Ancient World

The exam for unit CC9 will test the student’s understanding and evaluation of four comedies. Students should be able  to comment on political humour, trickery, disguise, the place of drama in Athenian and Roman society and the       political background of the plays. The four texts studied are: Aristophanes’ ‘Frogs’, translated by D. Barrett, revised by S. Dutta (Penguin), ‘Lysistrata’ translated by A. Sommerstein, (Penguin) Plautus’ ‘Pseudolus’, translated by E. F. Watling, (Penguin) and ‘The Swaggering Soldier’ translated by E.F. Watling (Penguin).

Unit 10: Virgil and the world of the Hero

The unit researches such aspects as heroism, honour and reputation, destiny and the portrayal of war. The exam for unit CC10 will test the students’ understanding and evaluation of Virgil’s Aeneid, translated by D. West, (Penguin) and books 6, 9, 18, 22 and 24 of Homer’s Iliad, translated by M. Hammond, (Penguin).

Reading list

Homer Iliad translated by M. Hammond ISBN 9780140444445
Virgil The Aeneid translated by D. West ISBN 9780140449327
Plautus Pseudolus translated by E. F. Watling ISBN 9780140441499
Plautus The Swaggering Soldier translated by E. F. Watling ISBN 9780140441499
Aristophanes Lysistratatranslated by A. Sommerstein ISBN 9780140448146
Aristophanes Frogs translated by D. Barrett and revised by S. Dutta ISBN 9780140449693


Grades achieved at MPW

Progressed to
University College London (Economics) 

“Honestly, I could not imagine when I joined MPW that, due to language and adaptation barriers, I would achieve top grades in my first A-level exam sittings. This view changed completely after only a few weeks in the college’s supportive and motivational environment; with teachers who aimed at finding a personal touch with each student and with my Personal Tutor who made my adjustment to the UK education system not only an easy step in my life but, more importantly, an enjoyable one.”


Grades achieved at MPW

Progressed to
King's College London (International Relations)

 “The teachers really helped me overcome any difficulties I came across; they always seemed willing to offer support be it inside or outside of the classroom. I could safely say my teachers inspired me to work hard and aim for the best, sometimes simply by being passionate about what they do.”


Grades achieved at MPW

Progressed to
University of York (Law) 

“Having a Personal Tutor to discuss ANYTHING with, from my UCAS application to organising my life in general, really did make life at the college more streamlined and in general less stressful.”


Grades achieved at MPW

Progressed to
University College London (Economics)

“My subject teachers and Personal Tutor have been very patient and helpful in supporting my studies and university application.”


Grades achieved at MPW

Progressed to
University College London (Mathematics and Statistics)

“International students have many aspects to think about, such as accommodation and guardians, but MPW surprised me by having a highly organised and supportive administration. Also, because most MPW Cambridge students are local, as an ‘international’ student, I found this very useful in both improving my English and in giving me a taste of a genuinely ‘English’ college.”