Ancient History

Level 3

Qualification: A Level

Duration: 2 years


What will I study?

Click here to watch a video. 

This is one of two versions of A Level History we offer (the other includes Russia and Modern Britain) you can do either of these alongside Ancient History.

Ancient History is the study of the Classical civilisations of Greece and Rome. The major difference with Modern History courses is the deeper focus and reliance on the original sources, whether it be contemporary historians, archaeology, biographies or poetry. You will also learn to reference ancient and modern secondary scholars in essays, preparing you well for further study at university.

There is lots of discussion in the classroom, and we believe that extra-curricular experiences and visits are particularly advantageous in opening your eyes to topics we study: we hope you will take advantage of our trips to ancient sites and the British Museum.

Ancient Greek History

For the compulsory period study, students focus on the relations between Greek states, and Greek states and non-Greek states from 492 to 404 BC, particularly Sparta, Athens and Persia. This unit includes the Persian Wars and then the Peloponnesian War. This period of Greek history begins with the Greeks uniting to face a common enemy (Persia) and ending in the exhaustion of the main states in Greece (Athens and Sparta).

The unit is assessed by examination.

The Rise of Macedon, 359—323 BC

This depth study focuses on the interplay of political, military, social, economic, cultural and religious factors that contributed to the rapid rise to pre-eminence of Macedonia from c. 359 BC. There is a focus on Philip and thus placing the campaigns of Alexander more fully in context. In doing so learners will gain insight into the factors and beliefs that motivated two of the most renowned men in ancient history.

The unit is assessed by examination.

The Breakdown of the Late Republic, 88-31 BC

This depth study focuses on the interplay of political, military, social and economic factors that the late Roman Republic faced, and ultimately brought about its disintegration and
reformation under the sole rule of Octavian.

The unit is assessed by examination.

The Julio-Claudian Emperors 31BC-AD68

This period study will focus on the unfolding narrative of the establishment and development of the principate under Augustus, Tiberius, Gaius, Claudius and Nero. There will be a particular focus on the military, social, religious and political issues and developments of the emperors in Rome and the Empire and their treatment by the ancient sources.

The unit is assessed by examination.


Study Visits

Every year there will be an optional residential trip to Rome or Athens. In 2023 it will be Rome and then in 2024 it will be Athens.

We are also planning to take part in a faculty trip to London and go to the British Museum






2 x 2.5hr examinations.


Entry Criteria

Grade 5 in English.

Grade 4 in History if taken (not required).


Useful Supporting Courses

History, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Politics, English Language & Literature and Law.



Museum sector, Management, Universities, Teaching, Law, Business, Marketing, Civil Service.