A Level Classical Civilisation (Reformed 2017)

What is Classical Civilisation?

Classical Civilisation is the study of the ancient world from the earliest known civilisations until the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in 476 CE. In this course understanding of our ancient past is gained through the study of the Greek and Roman worlds, looking at their history, politics, culture and literature. We look at the way the ancient world has shaped the modern and influenced us in ways both obvious and subtle.

The A-level specification is divided equally between the Greek and Roman worlds in order to provide insight into both and focuses upon key aspects of their history as well as some of their most famous literature.

What sort of student does it suit and what will you get out of the course?

Classical Civilisation is a complex but deeply interesting subject that requires students to analyse the past and critically consider the causes and effects of major events.

Classical Civilisation combines well with English Literature, History, Sociology, Media Studies, Geography, Government and Politics, Law, Theology/Religious Studies and Philosophy. In terms of careers, it leads to many possibilities including academic research, teaching, media, journalism, government roles, heritage, cultural roles, anthropology and museum work.

AS Level

MPW approach to AS study

The AS specification focuses on some of the great works of Greek literature – Homer’s epic poem the Iliad and some of the early works of Greek drama. study of the prescribed texts will be combined with developing analytical and evaluative skills, and weekly timed assignments and homework activities will test understanding and expression of ideas.

AS Specification Number
OCR H008

 

The World of the Hero – Homer’s Iliad
1 hour 30 mins written paper, 65 marks – 50% of total AS

Set during the epic Trojan War, the Iliad is a story of gods and heroes, death and glory, war and the suffering it causes. Centring around the flawed Greek hero Achilles, students will study the key themes and complex characters of one of the most famous stories in the world. This topic is examined through a series of short questions, followed by two larger essays testing skills of analysis and evaluation.

Culture & the Arts – Greek Theatre
1 hour 30 mins written paper, 65 marks – 50% of total AS

Students will examine the birth of drama in 5th century BC Athens, studying both the technical aspects of staging and performing plays, along with the role of drama in Athenian society. Both tragedy and comedy will be studied, combining the violence and emotion of the great tragedies with the irreverent satire of the master of comedy, Aristophanes. This topic is examined through a series of short questions, followed by two larger essays testing skills of analysis and evaluation.

Reading list

 Copies of prescribed text and details of useful revision guides will be provided.

A Level

MPW approach to A level study

Classical Civilisation A Level contains the same components as the AS specification, with additional topics covering Roman literature and the evolution of Athenian politics & culture. Students will develop strong and rounded understanding of the values expressed in the literature of the ancient world, and will develop the skills of analysis, evaluation and expression necessary for the AS course. Students will also study, discuss and comment on the opinions expressed by modern historians and scholars.

A Level Specification Number
OCR H408

 

The World of the Hero – Homer’s Iliad & Virgil's Aeneid
2 hours 20 mins written paper, 100 marks – 40% of total A Level

Students will study the Iliad as described in the AS specification, and will also study Virgil’s Aeneid, a Roman sequel to the story of the Trojan War, telling of the Trojan hero Aeneas’ journey to Italy. Written during the reign of Rome’s first emperor, the Aeneid provides a fascinating insight into the attitudes of Roman society, as well as being a complex and entertaining story of war and adventure in its own right.

Both Homer and Virgil will be examined in the same paper – students will answer two questions on the Iliad, two on the Aeneid, one comparing and contrasting both poems, and one synoptic essay.

Culture & the Arts – Greek Theatre
1 hour 45 mins written paper, 75 marks – 30% of total A Level

The content of this topic is the same as that given in the AS specification. This topic will be examined through a combination of short questions, short essays, and one longer synoptic essay.

Beliefs & Ideas – Democracy & the Athenians
1 hour 45 mins written paper, 75 marks – 30% of total A Level

Democracy was one of the greatest creations of the ancient world, and democratic Athens produced some of the greatest minds and greatest works of literature in history. Students will study the historical development of democracy from its earliest beginning to the Athenian golden age, and will also explore some of the ancient praises and criticisms of democracy expressed in tragedy, comedy, history and philosophy. This topic will be examined through a combination of short questions, short essays, and one longer synoptic essay.

 

Reading List

Copies of prescribed text and details of useful revision guides will be provided.

Jonathon

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
Exeter University (Business Management)

I chose MPW because of the academic support provided by the college, which was instrumental in helping me throughout the challenging nature of my one-year A level courses. The weekly Timed Assignments and assistance provided by the Personal Tutor system helped me in areas I had previously struggled. Playing for the college football team was a great release from the challenging academic nature of the year and it helped me build friendships with other students in the college.

Shivali

Grades achieved at MPW
AAA

Progressed to
Leeds University (Dentistry)

The best part about studying at MPW is the friendly, encouraging and supportive classroom environment that MPW provides.  It makes asking for help and reaching your potential easy and enjoyable. The college really helps students to believe in themselves.  The Personal Tutor system is great because it is available for you to use to whatever extent you might need whether that be having weekly meetings or meeting every now and then for a quick catch up to analyse my current progress.  The weekly Timed Assignments have also enabled me to build my confidence in the build up to my exams.  They help you to feel comfortable in an exam environment, as well as enable you to consolidate the material you need to recall in the final exams

Annabel

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AB

Progressed to
Exeter University (International Relations and History)

“Having not achieved the grades I wanted or needed in my A levels at my previous college I decided that retaking would be the best option for me.  I have found the small classes at MPW to be a real asset, and that, coupled with the fantastic teaching, has certainly enabled me to grow academically. Further to this, both the academic support and the university guidance provided by the college have been exceptional.”

Renee

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A

Progressed to
Manchester University (Dentistry)

After failing to get into Dental School last year I lost a lot of confidence and was worried that I might never get into my dream course.  The one-to-one support you get from MPW is so much more efficient compared to the main stream schools and colleges. The individual help you get for applying to University which includes interview support is amazing. No matter if you are a resit or a first time student, no one judges you and as long as you are hardworking and want to be a success.

Jake

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A*A*A

Progressed to
Oxford University (Mathematics)

I joined MPW because I wanted to be part of a close knit community that focuses on helping students attain the grades they are really capable of.  Each student is assigned a Personal Tutor who assists them in all aspects of student life.  I would recommend the individual and personally tailored care given to any student looking to expand their academic horizons.  The encouragement and support has allowed me to aim high and achieve results that I had previously thought weren't possible. 

Cordelia

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
King’s College London (Dentistry)

MPW gave me a second chance in pursuing a career in dentistry. The small class sizes and weekly timed assessments gave me and my tutors a clear indication of my progress.  The rigorous teaching schedules, structured and tailored to my personal needs, was exactly what I needed. MPW placed heavy focus on exam technique as the key to achieving the required higher grades. Being able to talk with my tutors at any time in the day was an invaluable aid. It was also clear how much the teachers took a personal interest in the development of each individual student.

Josephine

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
University of Warwick (Management)

I joined MPW having not fulfilled my academic potential during my AS level exams at my previous school. I decided to retake my AS year at MPW and it was the best decision I ever made. The tutors at MPW have pushed me to achieve my maximum potential and have greatly improved my academic performance. The best part of studying at MPW is the weekly timed assignments as they ensure that you continuously review and revise work as well as helping you to make weekly improvements on exam technique.

Olivia

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
Bristol University (Dentistry)

Throughout my time at MPW I have been provided with constant support.  The college has prepared me for not only my exams but also the university interviews I attended.  It has been an amazing experience from start to finish.  The friendly and welcoming environment created by the staff and students made it an ideal setting for me to concentrate on achieving my targets.

Alex

Grades achieved at MPW
AAA

Progressed to
University of Birmingham (Law)

I came to MPW with very low self-confidence after under-achieving at AS level at my previous school, and have left with greater confidence about my academic ability and with a definite degree of clarity about what I hope to achieve in terms of my career. My experience at my previous school was that those with Oxbridge potential receive the most support and attention. This is not the case at MPW. I have found that it does not matter about that what the student's potential may be, each student receives the same amount of help to achieve their goals.