A Level Ancient History

Why Study Ancient History?

Ancient History is considered a highly academic subject. Through inquiry into the past, pupils become more aware of how modern thinking, practices and problems have roots in the past, and the different approaches and successes that societies have had towards common human problems. The limited number of sources, along with their ‘foreignness’ in terms of time and attitude, create unique challenges and insights.

It is also a course with a great narrative: we continue to be fascinated by stories like the Three Hundred, and Spartacus. The material will raise many questions relevant to our world today: the rise and fall of empires and those in power; the use and abuse of power; political scheming and dishonesty; rival forms of government including democracy and tyranny; the purpose and means of education; the treatment of others in the world; the idea of a national culture and identity. It leads most naturally into degrees in History (Ancient and Modern), Classics, and Archaeology, but is a useful preparation for almost any non-science subject.

Course Content

Greek Period Study: 25%

Relations between Athens, Sparta and Persia 492-404BC

Greek Depth Study: 25%

  • a) Sparta 478-404BC OR b) Athens 460-399BC OR c) Macedon 359-323BC

Roman Period Study: 25%

The Julio-Claudian Emperors 31BC-68AD

Roman Depth Study: 25%

  • a) Breakdown of the Republic 88-31BC OR b) the Flavians 68-96AD  OR c) Roman Britain 43-128AD


Pupils come from a variety of previous study including Ancient History GCSE, Latin GCSE or no classical subject. Success in a GCSE involving essay writing is a good predictor of success.

Complementary Courses

Humanities, in particular History, Politics and Philosophy; Latin and Greek

Syllabus link

OCR syllabus H407

Contact for further information:

Dr M Johncock mspj@wellingtoncollege.org.uk