Skip to content ↓

Welcome to

St Albans Girls' School

Classical Civilisation



The Department

Lead Practitioner: Mrs N Roston

A Level

Exam Board: OCR

Specification Number: H408/11, H408/21, H408/32

Course content:

Classical Civilisation A Level is studied in a linear fashion, with three units examined at the end of Year 13.  Students will study some of the most fascinating aspects of the ancient world. From the epic tradition to meet the world of mythical heroes, gods and monsters to the origins of drama, bringing comedy and tragedy to life, as well as love in all forms and sparking debates as to women’s place in Greek and Roman society.

 Our three modules for examination are:

  • The World of a Hero - 40% (The Iliad and the Aeneid)
  • Greek Theatre - 30%
  • Love & Relationships - 30%


Classical Civilisation is taught in a variety of learning styles; from creative team work activities, to one on one feedback, from dramatic projects to intense exam style practise. Throughout the course students will get to engage with a wide range of digital resources as well as the opportunity to visit sites/lectures outside of school to embrace studies of the Classics outside the classroom.

Why Classical Civilisation at St Albans Girls’ School?:

Students should study Classics at St Albans Girls' School as it is a rare opportunity to learn about the ancient world. Your teachers are passionate about the subject and love extending students opportunities beyond the classroom, with visits in the UK to museums, theatre trips and lectures, as well as a potential trip. Students are supported with optional weekly lunchtime/after school workshops within school as well as with our Google Classroom forums, Twitter and Show My Homework, where resources are available to extend and help reinforce their learning and facilitate peer discussions are available.

Expectations of students:

As with every A Level, the intensity of study is a step up from GCSE and Classical Civilisation is no exception. A passion for literature and myths, an intrigue about past cultures and civilisations and a desire to explore the challenges of philosophy and relationships are essential qualities for a Classics student.  Practically, students are required to fully prepare for lessons, for instance carefully reading their key texts as well as wider literature, constructing organised notes and submitting essays/work on time with 100% effort.  The language of Classical epics (Homer and Virgil) can be complicated and thus students taking this course need to be resilient in their learning and prepared to put in the time to grapple with both the nuanced descriptions and basic narrative of the texts.  Classical Civilisation A Level teaches the skills of analysis, attention to detail and the ability to put forward a balanced and critical argument. Students are encouraged to vocalise and challenge ideas in class, both in debate and when constructing formal presentations.

What websites are recommended?

OCR Exam Specification Linear A Level:

The Iliad & The Aeneid

Ancient History Encyclopaedia

Classical Poetry

Ancient History

What equipment is needed?

  • Key texts for given modules
  • OCR textbook (optional)

Career Paths:

Classical Civilisation A Level is recognised by all universities as an eye opening, multi-disciplinary course enabling students to formulate a range of key vocational skills. Opportunities for future study and employment cover both academic and artistic fields including politics, journalism, architecture, law, education, the civil service and archaeology to name but a few.

Get in touch

Mr P O'Neill, Trust Business Manager

Sandridgebury Lane

St Albans



01727 853134