Classical Civilisation

Course Overview

Classical Civilisation is the study of the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome primarily through their art and literature. During your studies you will soon discover that their art and literature is very much connected with their cultural identity – in other words, their art and literature was concerned with their gods and heroes, myths and legends, which was their history.

Topics you will study include:

  • Greek Epic - Homer’s Iliad, looking at the epic poem set at the time of the Trojan War, focussing on the character of Achilles and his relationship with other Greek and Trojan heroes.
  • Greek Theatre – looking at three plays, two tragedies and one comedy, plus how they were staged and performed.
  • Roman Epic – looking at Virgil’s epic poem The Aeneid, using your previous knowledge of Homer’s writings and exploring the historical setting of the Aeneid in Augustan Rome.
  • Greek Religion – A study of the Greek gods and the practice of Greek religion using literary, historical and visual sources.

Updated October 2018

Entry Requirements

Grade B in GCSE English Language is essential.

Course Delivery

The course is classroom based with 4.5 hours of lectures per week. Both the AS and the A Level are awarded through examination only, with no coursework component.

From September 2017, the following A Levels (Electronics, Music Technology, Dance, Classics, Ancient History and Geology) have not been reformed by Qualifications Wales. This means they will only be offered by English examination bodies which have focused on linear delivery – with all exams and practical assessments taking place at the end of year two.

The AS Level is still available, but no module marks from any external assessment will be carried forward into year two and is a totally separate stand-alone qualification. If you are enrolling for a linear A Level, you must understand the level of commitment required for the two year course. There is a likely increase of examination time and requirements, and all external assessment will take place at the end of the two years.

Progression Opportunities

The study of Classics nurtures the personal transferable skills of problem-solving, analysis, disciplined argument and persuasive presentation which employers value highly. Its study is proof of intelligence, commitment and an ability to think creatively. All these skills will be sought by university admissions tutors and employers.

Students make successful careers in the mainstream of commerce, law, finance and public administration, as well as in more directionally vocational fields such as teaching, archive and museum work, conservation etc. 

Gower College Swansea offers a Foundation Degree in English and History.

Additional Information

There is usually an opportunity to go on one or two visits per year to places such as the Roman Baths at Bath or the British Museum.



Course deliverable in Welsh