About the course
This A Level is included as either a CORE or a RECOMMENDED subject in one of our 14 suggested A Level pathways. You can find out more about these in our Prospectus or A Level guide. However, if timetabling allows for it, you can undertake any combination of three A Levels.
Ancient History offers you the chance to engage with the history of the classical world, the chance to explore a fascinating and crucial chapter of our human past. You will learn about the civilisations and cultures of antiquity from the Greek city-states to the Roman Empire, from Ancient Britain to Persia and investigate the way these societies developed over time. To explore the ancient world, you will engage with a variety of both literary and archaeological evidence to piece together the past, bringing you face-to-face with the societies that became the foundation of the modern world.
You will study two Period studies and two Depth studies
Topics in Year One include:
Relations between Greek and non-Greek states, 492-404 BC:
The Persian and Peloponnesian Wars
The Rise and Fall of the Athenian Empire
Famous figures such as King Darius and Xerxes of Persian, Pericles and the Alcibiades of Athens, Leonidas of Sparta
The Julio-Claudian Emperors, 31BC-AD68:
The reigns of Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero
The reigns of terror under Tiberius and Gaius Caligula
The Invasion of Britain under Claudius and the Great Fire of Rome under Nero
Topics in Year Two include:
The Politics and Society of Ancient Sparta:
The roles of men and women within Ancient Sparta and the differences with other ancient societies, such as Athens and Rome
The interrelation between social classes within the Spartan society
The Spartan Government and its differences with modern and ancient constitutions
Ruling Roman Britain:
Life in Ancient Britain and how this was affected by the arrival of the Romans
Famous figures and events from the Roman British history, such as the revolt of Queen Boudicca and the invasions of Julius Caesar and the Emperor Claudius
Important archaeological sites from Roman Britain that still survive today, both locally and across the country, with the chance to visit many of these sites to conduct your own research
You will study the course for 4.5 -5 (first year is 4.5 hours and second year is 5) hours per week and should expect to spend an additional 4.5 hours per on homework and private study. Mock exams are held during the first year (In Feb/March), but do not count towards the final A Level. Exams for the whole A-Level are held in May or June of the second year.
Exam Board - OCR
Five GCSEs at grade 4/C or above, including Grade 5/C in English Language and Grade 5/C in GCSE English Literature and History (if taken). A genuine interest for study of the ancient past.
A Level Ancient History is highly respected by Universities. The Classics programme can help you to progress into a range of careers, including: Archivist; Barrister; Chartered accountant; Archaeologist; Newspaper or Website Editor; Heritage manager; Higher education lecturer; Market research and advertising; Museum/gallery curator; Journalism; Secondary school teacher; Solicitor.
Work experience and employability
A variety of trips to museums, universities and heritage centres will offer opportunities to speak to museum curators, researchers and heritage managers about careers prospects in the field of historical studies. Trips to significant archaeological sites in Britain will help you appreciate the exciting work still being undertaken by archaeologists to uncover our past.
There may be the possibility to undertake volunteering placements in archaeological societies and other heritage projects. (Note: this will depend upon the need for volunteers and may vary each year). If you would like to undertake other work placements alongside your studies our Employability Team can help. In the second year of the course there will be the opportunity for a trip to Italy, where you will be able to visit famous historical sites studied on the course in Rome, Pompeii and Naples.
What additional resources will I need?
You will be expected to supply your own stationery and buy two texts in year 1 and year 2. There are a variety of trips which you will be expected to pay for. All costs are kept to a minimum
This course is free to students aged 16-18 years.
Students aged 19+ will usually be charged a tuition fee, unless they meet certain eligibility criteria for fee remission. For those paying, an Advanced Learner Loan may be available. For further advice on fees, waivers and loans, please contact the Fees Co-Ordinator at Queens Drive.
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