A Level Classical Civilisation
Exam code: 9CHO
Delivery method: Online
A Level duration: 360 hours over 24 months
Entry requirements: No prior qualification needed
Award achieved: OCR A Level Classical Civilisation
Awarding body: OCR
The ancient societies of Greece and Rome have fascinated subsequent ages for thousands of years. This A level explores the ancient world and show you how it has shaped and contributed to the world of today.
It’s rare to find this subject on the standard school syllabus and this is a fantastic way to fulfil a passion, or build a grounding for exploring classics, history or archaeology at university level. You will study classical sources learning to understand the world from primary texts first hand.
A Level Classical Civilisation overview
This A Level in Classical Civilisation explores the Homeric odyssey as well as the Greek tragedy; you will also get the opportunity to study art and architecture as well as Virgil. This A Level is an excellent companion A Level to subjects like Art, Drama, Theatre Studies, English literature, Government and Politics, History of Art and Philosophy.
Upon successful completion of the exams (as administered by OCR), you will have achieved an internationally recognised OCR A Level Classical Civilisation qualification.
A Level Classical Civilisation Content
The e-book is divided into the following units:
The World of the Hero (H408/11)
This is a compulsory component consisting of an in-depth study of:
• concept, values and behaviour of a hero, including the ideas of timē (honour) and kleos (reputation)
• how the different societies depicted in the Odyssey are characterised and portrayed
• characterisation of major and minor characters
• nostos (homecoming)
• fantasy and the supernatural
The social, cultural and religious context
• power of fate
• role of the immortals
• relationship between immortals and mortals
• justice and revenge
• hospitality and guest friendship (xenia)
• relationships between men and women, parents and children
• part played by women in the epic and their position in society
• role of slaves
and Virgil’s Aeneid
The heroic world:
characterisation and themes
• concepts, values and behaviour of a Greek and Roman hero
• characterisation of major and minor characters
• role of Aeneas in Rome’s Imperial destiny
• portrayal of war
• the portrayal of different nations; Trojans, Greeks, Carthaginians,
This component is solely focused on the study of literature in translation.
Culture and the Arts
- Greek Art (H408/24)
• functions of free-standing sculpture including:
• cult statue, votive, grave marker, memorial
• purpose and positioning of different types of architectural sculpture
• metopes, Ionic friezes and pediments
• shapes and uses of pots, including:
• storage vessels, mixing pots, water pots, jugs and drinking cups,
cosmetic and athletic equipment
Components in this group involve the study of visual and material culture. In all except
Greek Art this is combined with the study of literature in translation.
Beliefs and Ideas
- Greek Religion (H408/31)
The nature of the Olympian gods
• The Olympian deities and the traditional understanding of their nature:
• anthropomorphism and the scope of their power
• the reciprocal relationship between gods and mortals
• the significance of Homer and Hesiod for Greek ideas about the
• The different roles, contexts and functions of the Olympians as reflected in their common epithets (e.g. Zeus Agoraios, Zeus Phratrios, Zeus Philios and Zeus Herkeios) and the extent to which these were thought of as separate, distinct entities
• the role and nature of hero cults
• the extent to which worship of the gods and heroes were Panhellenic, localised or personal
Components in this group involve of an area of classical thought, in combination with either the study of literature in translation or visual/material culture.
Oxford History to the Classical World
J. Boardman, J. Griffin, & O. Murray, Oxford University Press
The Art of Odyssey
H W Clarke, Bristol Classical Paperbacks
What is an e-book?
An e-book is all the content that you need to prepare you for the final A Level examinations. Much more than a textbook, it has interactive content, embedded videos and quizzes. Written to follow the A level specification by our experienced, well qualified tutors, all of whom have years of experience in their subjects.
If you would like the extra support of a personal tutor this can be added for only £35 for the two year course. This will give you unlimited contact with your tutor as well as tutor marked assessments based on past papers.
- The development of critical and evaluative skills useful to higher education.
- Creating a meaningful foundation for the study of classical culture beyond A Level.
- Deepened enjoyment of the study with a good deal of choice.
- Understanding classical civilisations in a wider context and it’s interaction with other subjects.
The OCR A Level Classical Civilisation qualification is gained once all 4 exam papers are successfully completed.
These exams are administered by OCR. As a private candidate you will sit your exams in an exam centre such as a school, college or private tuition centre. Use the map below there are a huge number of places where you can sit your exams.
In addition, if you select the added tutor support there will be a number of tutor marked assessments (TMAs) to ensure that you have a thorough understanding of the content, with the tutor sending comments to guide you through any areas of potential difficulty. This will ensure you are prepared for the final exams.
All e-books contain a range of self-assessments that are indicators that you understand the materials as you work through them. These are for your own information.
Method of study
Online and Paper Based
The content is online and accessed via our Learning Management System (LMS).
The online e-book has many features that cannot be printed such as embedded videos, forums and interactive tests.
With the tutor support option here are also Tutor Marked Assessments (TMAs) which you access and submit through the online system.
We highly recommend the additional tutor option to support our A Level e-books. For just £35 you will receive tutor feedback and support by email for 24 months. They will mark your TMAs and provide valuable guidance through any trickier parts of the course whenever you need it. You will also receive a study guide to help you with all aspects of studying, essay writing and general student skills.
How quickly can I complete the A Level?
You can complete your A Level as quickly or slowly within the two years as you choose. The recommended study time for the content is 360 hours. The exam dates are set by the exam boards and for A Level Classical Civilisation are available in May/June each year. This gives you two opportunities to sit the exams over the two years.