Classical Civilisation A Level

Due to ongoing reforms, the final opportunity to sit exams for this specification is Summer 2018. Our new course for 2019 exams onwards will be available from Autumn 2017.

Due to the short amount of time left until the Summer 2018 exam session, we advise students to reconsider moving their exam intention to Summer 2019 and enrolling on our new course. If you do decide to go ahead with 2018 exams, the deadline for enrolling is 30th November and we strongly recommend adding our Fast Track service to your enrolment. After this final date you would need to enrol on our new course.

The ancient worlds of Rome and Greece provide the backdrop for this fascinating A level exploring two of the greatest civilisations the world has ever seen. Through studying historical literature and art you’ll gain an appreciation of how these ancient peoples worked and learn about the similarities and differences between their worlds and the world that exists today. Incorporating aspects of archaeology, theatre and philosophy, this course takes an exhaustive look at the culture, society and make-up of the ancient world and in so doing will provide you with a fresh perspective on the modern world. Whether you wish to study classics at degree level or simply have an interest in the subject area, this is sure to be a stimulating and enjoyable course to study. Full details of the course can be found below.

Would you prefer to pay for your course by instalments? Please see the ‘How to enrol’ section below for details of our low cost, interest free finance available.



Entry requirements

No previous knowledge of Greek or Latin is required.

This is an online course so you will also need easy access to the internet.


This course follows specifications H041 (AS) and H441 (A2) from the awarding organisation OCR. Full details of the specifications can be obtained from OCR's website.

Hours of study

As a guideline, you should allow for between 250 and 300 hours' study time, plus additional time for completing assignments. You will have tutor support for a period up until the final exam opportunity in Summer 2018.

Exams and assessment

Four exams:

  • 2 hours, 25% of marks
  • 2 hours, 25% of marks
  • 1 hour 30 minutes, 25% of marks
  • 1 hour 30 minutes, 25% of marks

Non-exam assessment (NEA):

  • None

At the time of writing, please note that due to upcoming changes the final opportunity to sit exams for this course is Summer 2018. For full details view our guide to the A level reforms.

NEC's tutor-marked assignments:

  • 1 introductory assignment
  • 8 AS assignments
  • 8 A2 assignments


Additional information

Your course is delivered online through learn@nec, so it’s important that you have access to a computer and the internet. We recommend that your computer is using one of the following operating systems and browsers to improve your experience of using learn@nec:

Operating systems:

  • Windows 7 or later
  • Mac OSX 10.7 or later
  • Google Chrome OS
  • Android 4.4 or later, using the Chrome browser
  • iOS 6 or later, using the Safari browser


  • Google Chrome (latest version)
  • Mozilla Firefox (latest version)
  • Safari 6 or later
  • Internet Explorer 10 or later (excluding IE11)

learn@nec may work on other operating systems and browsers with some restrictions. You can see full details of the system requirements by clicking here.

How to enrol

How to enrol
There are several ways to enrol with NEC:

  • Click the ‘Enrol now’ button above
  • Telephone us on 0800 389 2839 or +44(0)1223 400200 and speak to our course advice team
  • Ask us to send you an enrolment form which you can complete and return by post.

How can you pay?
It’s your choice: you can pay in full at the point of enrolment, or spread the cost with our finance offer. To pay in instalments, you will need to enrol by telephone.

Representative examples:

For the full A level
Course fee:  
Amount of credit:  
Monthly payment:  
Duration of agreement:  
Total repayable:  
Rate of interest:  
0% APR representative.  
  6 months

For AS level or A2 level
Course fee:  
Amount of credit:  
Monthly payment:  
Duration of agreement:  
Total repayable:  
Rate of interest:  
0% APR representative.  
  6 months
  0% (fixed)

The National Extension College (NEC) is the trading name of the Open School Trust, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 676788). Finance is provided through the Deko platform by a number of lenders. You will be offered the best rate available based on your credit history and the lenders’ credit decision policies.

Deko is a trading name of Pay4Later Ltd who act as a credit intermediary. They are registered in England and Wales (company number 06447333) and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 728646). For more information please go to or visit

Unit 1: Homer's Odyssey and society

  • Beginning The Odyssey
  • Book 2
  • Books 3 and 4
  • Books 5–8
  • Books 9–12
  • Books 13–16
  • The last eight books: Books 17–24
  • Narrative techniques and themes

Unit 2: Greek tragedy in its context

  • An introduction to Greek tragic theatre
  • Agamemnon by Aeschylus
  • The dramatic presentation of Agamemnon
  • Imagery and themes
  • Antigone by Sophocles
  • Themes, issues and characters
  • Medea: plot and characterisation
  • Medea: dramatic techniques
  • Electra by Euripides
  • Characters and themes
  • Thematic questions

Unit 3: Art and architecture in the Greek world

  • Greek vase painting
  • Greek sculpture – free-standing 600–480 BC
  • Greek sculpture – architectural 600–480 BC
  • Greek sculpture – free-standing 480–323 BC
  • Greek sculpture – architectural 480–323 BC
  • Greek temples and sanctuaries

Unit 4: Virgil and the world of the hero

  • The Iliad
  • Beginning the Aeneid: Virgil and Homer
  • Characters and themes in Book 1
  • Book 2
  • Book 4
  • Book 6
  • Books 7 and 8
  • Book 10
  • Book 12
  • The historical context of the Aeneid
  • Synoptic revision notes
Including area code and country code (if outside of UK)

A level Classical Civilisation Course Sample

Thank you for your interest in this course.

Please fill out your details below, and you will receive an email containing a link to download the course sample.

What our students say...

"NEC have made this course very accessible and it is a very enjoyable and well-written study. The texts are superb. Personally I can’t recommend this course enough!"
— Robin Beers