Classical Civilisation A-Level Help

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madsparrow
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Hi,
So I am applying to university this year and am hoping to study classics. My problem is that I've had no grounding in this from my schooling -never done Latin/Ancient history ect.
My current A-Levels are history, philosophy, psychology and biology. I received AAAC, respectively. (Biology only 2 UMS off a B 😣) I think I am going to continue all of these to A2, because I really enjoy all of them (despite not putting all the effort I should have in biology this year). Do you think this is wise? Or should I drop biology/psychology as it isn't relevant if I want to study classics?
My other question is that I want to take either an AS or a full A-Level in classical civilisation (ancient history) this year to help show my interest in pursuing the subject and give me some grounding in it. I was wondering if anyone has studied this at AS/A-Level if you could advise me as whether I could take it? I'd have to self study it as my school doesn't offer it. Is it difficult? What exam board did you use and what topics did you study? What textbooks/resources did you use?
Thanks in advance 😊
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abi_parsnips
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(Original post by madsparrow)
Hi,
So I am applying to university this year and am hoping to study classics. My problem is that I've had no grounding in this from my schooling -never done Latin/Ancient history ect.
My current A-Levels are history, philosophy, psychology and biology. I received AAAC, respectively. (Biology only 2 UMS off a B 😣) I think I am going to continue all of these to A2, because I really enjoy all of them (despite not putting all the effort I should have in biology this year). Do you think this is wise? Or should I drop biology/psychology as it isn't relevant if I want to study classics?
My other question is that I want to take either an AS or a full A-Level in classical civilisation (ancient history) this year to help show my interest in pursuing the subject and give me some grounding in it. I was wondering if anyone has studied this at AS/A-Level if you could advise me as whether I could take it? I'd have to self study it as my school doesn't offer it. Is it difficult? What exam board did you use and what topics did you study? What textbooks/resources did you use?
Thanks in advance 😊
Hi, I just completed my AS year of Classical Civilisation and got an A! I loved it and am continuing to A2. First off in terms of self studying it I'm not sure how successful that would be as it is essay based it's very difficult to see how good your essays are. For example, a girl in my class did history and philosophy and said that the style of essay writing in clasciv is different and the only way she was able to improve her structure etc was through feedback from our lecturer.

In terms of content it's not too difficult though.However if you don't think the essays will be an issue for you- got for it! I studied on the AQA exam board ( which I think is the only board to offer classciv at A-level), you can chose from a range of topics to study but my college did Cicero and the Roman Republic along with The Iliad. The Cicero unit was very historical and politically based whilst the Illiad was literature and cultural. Personally, I'm not sure if I would chose to do Cicero ( gets kind of boring!). However, The Illiad is amazing! We used the Hammond translation along with online resources. Even if you don't do AS classics you might want to read the Iliad if you want to study class civ at uni as it's one of the first epic poems. One of the really annoying things about A-Level classciv is the lack of textbooks, for example there isn't an AS Classical Civilisation textbook from AQA- so I relied on resources from my college ( again this might be an issue if you plan to self study). There are ways around it however.I can't tell you what to drop etc but if I was you, I'd drop biology ( I also study biology so I know how different it is!).

Take up classciv if you really want to, or if your uni requires it. If you didn't you could always chose an area of classics that you love and read about it to reference in your personal statement?. As a side note philosophy plays a major part of A2 classciv ( we look at Stoicism and Socrates amungst others) so focus on that! Hope this helps!
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madsparrow
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(Original post by abi_parsnips)
Hi, I just completed my AS year of Classical Civilisation and got an A! I loved it and am continuing to A2. First off in terms of self studying it I'm not sure how successful that would be as it is essay based it's very difficult to see how good your essays are. For example, a girl in my class did history and philosophy and said that the style of essay writing in clasciv is different and the only way she was able to improve her structure etc was through feedback from our lecturer. In terms of content it's not too difficult though.

However if you don't think the essays will be an issue for you- got for it! I studied on the AQA exam board ( which I think is the only board to offer classciv at A-level), you can chose from a range of topics to study but my college did Cicero and the Roman Republic along with The Iliad. The Cicero unit was very historical and politically based whilst the Illiad was literature and cultural. Personally, I'm not sure if I would chose to do Cicero ( gets kind of boring!). However, The Illiad is amazing! We used the Hammond translation along with online resources. Even if you don't do AS classics you might want to read the Iliad if you want to study class civ at uni as it's one of the first epic poems. One of the really annoying things about A-Level classciv is the lack of textbooks, for example there isn't an AS Classical Civilisation textbook from AQA- so I relied on resources from my college ( again this might be an issue if you plan to self study). There are ways around it however.

I can't tell you what to drop etc but if I was you, I'd drop biology ( I also study biology so I know how different it is!). Take up classciv if you really want to, or if your uni requires it. If you didn't you could always chose an area of classics that you love and read about it to reference in your personal statement?. As a side note philosophy plays a major part of A2 classciv ( we look at Stoicism and Socrates amungst others) so focus on that!

Hope this helps!
Thanks for the reply. Well done on your results!
Thanks for the advice for classical civ - I had been worried about the essay structure, as well as the lack of textbooks etc. I think I'll leave it for now, it seems much more difficult to do than I had realised, hahah. Might look into doing a classics-related EPQ instead.
Also, thanks for the advice for books to read, will definitely have a look at the Illiad!
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catrinakemp21
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As far as I'm aware, most universities don't require Classics A Level because it's a rare subject for schools to offer, especially comprehensives. I go to a comprehensive school and do A Level Classics (just finished AS) and I know that that is really rare (I was looking around at other schools in the area and I couldn't find a single one that did it!), so if you go to a comprehensive school then it really won't matter.

I'm really loving Classics. We read Herodotus and Thucydides for the Greek side, and although they're not exactly easy reads I'd really recommend them if you're interested in that!

Good luck!
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username163092
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(Original post by catrinakemp21)
As far as I'm aware, most universities don't require Classics A Level because it's a rare subject for schools to offer, especially comprehensives. I go to a comprehensive school and do A Level Classics (just finished AS) and I know that that is really rare (I was looking around at other schools in the area and I couldn't find a single one that did it!), so if you go to a comprehensive school then it really won't matter.

I'm really loving Classics. We read Herodotus and Thucydides for the Greek side, and although they're not exactly easy reads I'd really recommend them if you're interested in that!

Good luck!
Exactly this.

I did Ancient History at uni and am doing a masters in the same subject now. My A levels were History, German and Biology (with German, Biology, Maths, and Chemistry during year 12!).

Do read around the subject - ancient history, Greek and Latin literature, but don't worry about not having any Classics subjects at A level. The modules at uni will start from the basics anyway.

As long as you can show that you're interested in them and talk about how your subjects prepare you for studying and writing essays about the ancient world, you'll be okay.
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haihoui
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Hello from me! Classical civilisation is a very strong A-Level and especially for the top UK universities, and is included in their lists with their top priority subjects. I just finished the AQA A-Level course and to be honest out of my 6 A-level galore (incl. Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Mathematics, Greek and Classical Civilisation) it was my favourite. Despite knowing its difficulty, i was not hesitant as to whether to choose it, since I was a huge lover of mythology. When I retrospect my journey, i realise that I was taught of invaluable qualities. When I finally received an A* I realised that it was not a hard A-Level if you know the proper exam techniques and study regularly (but not excessively)!
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