Ancient History A-level


Explore the ancient world and understand how its legacy affects society today. We embark on a voyage of discovery that takes you first through the incredible stories of the clash between Greece and Persia, analysis of the war between Sparta and Athens and more in depth study of the Spartan politics and society. We cover the Roman Emperors from the first, Augustus to Nero, whose reputations will be a focus of discussion, through to the invasion and Romanisation of Britain. Where better to study this fantastic period than Cirencester? An exciting and engaging A-level with straightforward assessment.

What will I study in Ancient History A-level?

Greek Period Study: Persian and Peloponnesian Wars

The Greek Period Study looks at relations between the Greek states and the Persian Empire from 492 to 404 BC.  The focus is on Sparta, Athens and Persia.  This period begins with the epic Persian Wars and is followed by the Peloponnesian Wars, investigating the transition from a common Greek culture fighting for existence to a breakdown in these uneasy Greek alliances after the withdrawal of a common enemy.

Greek Depth Study: Politics and Society of Sparta, 478-404 BC

This in-depth study enables learners to understand the complexity of Spartan society and the interplay of social, political and military forces in Sparta between 478 and 404 BC.  One of the most intriguing cultures ever to exist, the nature of this society still fascinates today.

Roman Period study - The Julio-Claudian Emperors, 31 BC-AD 68

A period of great change in the Roman world, of expansion and the beginning of a great empire.  The characters of this period - from Augustus to Claudius and Nero, are legendary, but focused and objective interpretation and analysis will enable a far greater understanding of this dynamic period than is able to be gained from the stereotypes portrayed in popular culture.

Roman Depth Study: Ruling Roman Britain, AD 43-128

Possibly the most fascinating period of the Roman era, the conquest and Romanization of Britain is a phenomenal achievement and a dramatic story of resistance, persecution and assimilation.  The echoes of this period are all around us - especially in Cirencester! - and Archaeological evidence will be utilised to help understand the huge changes that occurred.

Entry Requirements

At least five GCSEs at Grade 4 or above all from the basket subjects.

How will I learn?

We will study these excellent topics through lectures, rigorous debate and discussion, research and a wide variety of source and essay writing tasks to help us understand the complexities of the epic events covered.  We will also use material culture and artefacts to further research social changes and economic aspects of the periods. Field trips will also be an inherent and important part of developing the deeper understanding needed for success.

How will I be assessed?

The question papers in each of the two component groups (Greek and Roman) have exactly the same structure:

  • 98 Marks total
  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Written paper
  • Section A (50 Marks)
    • 1 essay from a choice of 2 (30 Marks)
    • Analysis of an Historical Interpretation (20 Marks)
  • Section B (48 Marks)
    • Stimulus based question assessing the source's utility (12 Marks)
    • 1 essay from a choice of 2 (36 Marks)

Any trips?

We hope to visit Rome or Greece on an annual basis and during the Roman Britain topic, we will be making the most of living at the heart of Roman Britain by visiting sites like Chedworth and our very own archaeological excavations of local Roman sites.  There will also be the opportunity to visit Hadrian's Wall at the start of your course in the first year.

Are there any costs involved?

Trips will be the biggest cost but the annual trip will be voluntary and the costs will be kept to a minimum by the staff organising everything themselves.  Students will be expected to buy a course booklet for each topic, which will be approximately £5 each.  There may be a small charge for visiting sites like Chedworth Roman Villa.

Cirencester College offers a generous bursary scheme which may subsidise these costs.



Do I need to have studied History to be able to do Ancient History?

While it may be useful to have studied History, it is not a necessity and you can still do the Ancient History A-Level!

Can I do both Classical Civilisation and Ancient History?

Absolutely!  These two courses complement each other very well.  They do overlap slightly in part of the period but they come from a different perspective.

Can I study both a History option and Ancient History?

Absolutely!  These two courses complement each other very well and count as two separate A levels.

Available As

A Level
[56 UCAS pts. available]

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What can I do after I have taken this course?

Available As

A Level
[56 UCAS pts. available]

Add to Application

Recently Visited Courses

All Courses