Classical Civilisation

Classical Civilisation

Why choose Classical Civilisation?

Learn to develop an independent critical approach to literature, history and politics.Classics

This course is open to any students, no matter what your GCSE subjects. All texts are studied in translation, so no knowledge of any language other than English is needed. If you have done Classical Civilisation or Latin GCSE you will find that you have a head start on some topics. We do not, however, expect any prior knowledge: more than half the students in your class will never have studied any classical subject and the subject will be very different from what any of you have done before.

Classical Civilisation involves in-depth study of the classical Greek and Roman worlds which have strongly influenced western literature, theatre, art and philosophy. You will learn to develop an independent, critical approach to literature, history and politics and to form strong analytical skills. Many students find it a valuable support for other arts subjects, while for others it is a pleasing contrast to the sciences.

You will study both Literature and Ancient history, both Greek and Roman; you will read texts well over 2000 years old, looking at battles for power in the classical world and getting inside the minds of extraordinary individuals. The options we have chosen will give you great variety and will help you to develop a broad range of skills.

"Classics has without a doubt been my favourite subject this year. I have particularly enjoyed the Roman side of the course. The lessons are always interesting and engaging, with lots of help and support from teachers."
Becca King

You will have the opportunity to go on trips to plays, conferences, museums and, in some years, to visit classical sites abroad such as those in Rome, Sicily and Greece. There is also the opportunity to take an informal Greek class at lunchtime and to take part in student-led Classics society which offers opportunities to hear outside speakers, presentations, debates, discussions and experience games on classical themes. Many students of Classical Civilisation go on to study classical subjects at university; others find that the analytical thinking and writing skills prove to be a great help in other higher education courses and in any career.

“Classics is a unique subject in many ways. It is both about ancient history and politics but also an insight into the ancient world through literature. The teachers are very inventive in their teaching style and are always happy to help you at any time of day.”
Luca Love

Many modern concepts, practices and ways of thinking in politics, philosophy, literature, art, architecture and even science have their origins in the classical world. Study of issues and people in the classical world also adds greatly to the understanding of modern events and people. Discussion will arise, for example, on why nations go to war, the nature of jealousy and revenge, the power of persuasive speech, the intoxicating and isolating effect of absolute power.

More information about Classical Civilisation at Hills Road.

Entry Requirements

GCSE grade 6 in English (Language or Literature)

Awarding Body


Units of Study

Year 12

Classical Civilisation - Unit 1

Life and times of Cicero (Civ 1F) Study of the fall of the Roman republic based on a speech by Cicero plus some of his letters, both political and personal; the war between Caesar and Pompey and family relationships are two of the major themes.


Classical Civilisation - Unit 2

Iliad (CIV2A) Homer’s epic tells of the anger of Achilles and his quarrel with Agamemnon during the Trojan war. Themes will include leadership, revenge and loyalty.


Year 13

Classical Civilisation - Unit 3

Greek Tragedy (CIV3C) Study of four Greek plays which have influenced writers and thinkers for over 2,400 years. Characters, values and dramatic presentation are all important.


Classical Civilisation - Unit 4

Tiberius and Claudius (CIV4D) The early Roman emperors are studied through the eyes of the historian Tacitus and biographer Suetonius, looking at their characters and how they managed or abused Rome and its empire.