Subject Area: Humanities
Level: TWO-YEAR A Level
Exam Board: OCR
GCSE English at grade 4 or above. No prior knowledge of classical civilisation is necessary to take this course, just an enthusiasm for learning about the classical world.
What will I study?
A level Classical Civilisation (also known as classics) is an exciting and absorbing subject which explores the literature, history, archaeology, culture and ideas of the ancient worlds of Greece and Rome. Universities value classics highly as an academic subject and it is rated for the transferable skills that students develop on the course.
FIRST YEAR OF A LEVEL
You will study Homer’s famous epic poem, The Odyssey, and read some of the best known tragic plays in world literature (Oedipus the King and Bacchae).
So what does that actually mean?
Journey with the hero Odysseus as he struggles with angry gods and mythical monsters, battles against human enemies who hold all the aces, and finds out that falling in love is a dangerous business. Follow the exciting story of Oedipus, who heroically saves the city of Thebes from the Sphinx but is unaware of a dangerous family secret concerning his wife. Meet a king who finds out too late that it is never a good idea to go to war against the god Bacchus…
SECOND YEAR OF A-LEVEL
You will extend your knowledge of Greek and Roman culture to include the Roman epic of Virgil’s Aeneid. In this book we journey with Trojan prince Aeneas from Troy as he flees his war-torn homeland and strives to reach Italy and found the Roman race. We also explore Greek comedy and have a laugh at the knockabout and vulgar humour of Aristophanes’ comic play The Frogs.
In both years, in addition to the Epic and Theatre modules described above, you will also study the module Greek Religion, exploring the gods, mythology, religious customs and temples of Greece. This module ends with a short introduction to Greek philosophy and the philosopher Socrates.
You will have the opportunity, if you wish, to study Latin and Greek languages as optional enhancement subjects in lunchtime classes. These languages are very useful for classicists and for those intending to pursue careers in medicine, science, modern languages and the legal profession, or for anyone who is looking for an academic challenge. There is also a yearly practical archaeological workshop for classics students at Bradford University’s state of the art labs.
Studying classics allows you to access exciting university courses such as Classics, Archaeology, Ancient History, and Egyptology, which can often involve study and travel abroad. Classics is also well respected by employers due to its unique combination of skills, knowledge and application. Former students of classics are enjoying high ranking careers in a range of professions, including law, banking, teaching, museum curatorship, journalism and the media.