Ancient History A Level

A Level | OCR

During your time studying Ancient History, you will focus on the ancient civilisations of Greece and Rome, looking at the key points of both, including the Greek-Persian conflict and the first Emperors of Rome after the fall of the Republic.

Ancient History A Level

Ancient History gives students the chance to study a range of significant societies, individuals and events from the classical world, focusing on Greek and Roman history. 

Students will study the following topics: 

First Year 
Greek Period Study Relations between Greek and non-Greek states, 492- 404 BC
Roman Period Study

The Julio-Claudian Emperors, 31 BC-AD 68 

Second Year 
Greek Depth Study The Politics and Culture of Athens, c.460-399 BC 
Roman Depth Study Ruling Roman Britain, AD 43-c.128
Course details

What are the entry requirements?

A minimum of five GCSE subjects at grade 4 or above including grade 4 or above in English and History, if taken. Prior knowledge in Ancient History is not expected and newcomers to the subject are welcome.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed on your ability to write essays using ancient sources and your own knowledge.

Assessment %
Exam 1 50%
Exam 2 50%


What extra work can I do?

Wider reading and critical reflection on it are vital for success at the highest level. The Department issues a reading list as well as recommending, when appropriate, further reading. There are also lots of opportunities to see the Ancient world first hand by visiting archaeological sites or nearby museums such as the British Museum.

What skills will I learn?

The course aims to engage students in an exciting period of history that has tremendous relevance in the modern world, by developing a strong sense of enquiry and the skills to pursue this.

The primary form of assessment is through essay writing where students use their own knowledge of topics and primary sources, to analyse key issues of Greek and Roman history. The study of contemporary sources also forms an important part of the course as students will investigate a range of literary, political and artistic sources to gain a deeper appreciation of the societies from which they came. In addition to this, students will gain an understanding of how historians have interpreted these Ancient topics and will be able to evaluate these views using their own knowledge. 

Lessons encourage students to learn in a variety of ways. Research tasks, student presentations, groups work and debate are all used in addition to independent work, to build students’ understanding of topics and discuss this with their peers.

What is the department like?

Ancient History is part of the History and Politics department, which is one of the largest departments in the college. The department has a record of achieving excellent results including both value-added and high grades. This is based on an ethos of supporting student learning that sees the department offer weekly support sessions and a range of revision lectures and tutorials.

The department also prides itself on its enthusiastic and inventive teaching which encourages students to learn in a variety of ways and maintains high expectations. We make considerable use of online resources and IT to provide students with up-to-date materials and develop their research skills. The department also works closely with the College Library to provide further reading opportunities including, academic texts, eBooks and recent articles.

Work done in the classroom is supported by other activities such as day visits and attendance at relevant lecture conferences. The department also has a strong reputation for providing cultural and historical enrichment trips, within the UK and abroad, to broaden and deepen the experience of students. Consequently, many students from the History department go on to take the subject, or a related degree, at a range of Russell Group universities and Oxford and Cambridge.

Future Careers and Progression

What are the progression routes for this qualification?

Ancient History compliments a wide variety of other subjects both in the Arts and Sciences. It demonstrates a number of impressive academic skills that strengthen applications to study humanities-based subjects at university or other disciplines.

Students go on to a wide range of courses and a considerable number will take a degree in Ancient History, Classical Civilisation or Archaeology. Others continue on to related fields such as History, English, Law, Economics, Philosophy, Theology or Politics, where an A-Level in Ancient History is a real advantage.

The subject also equips students with a range of transferrable skills, such as critical analysis, structured writing and research, all of which are highly valued in professions including Law, Management, Finance, Journalism and Politics.

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"A fascinating experience that broadens your knowledge of the Ancient World. The course is taught by experienced and inspiring teachers that dedicate as much time as possible to ensure you fully grasp the course. The college crafts the course in an interactive and engaging manner and this is why I have extremely enjoyed studying Ancient History" ~ Joe Firth

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