Ancient History A Level

History, Philosophy and Theology

History, Philosophy and Theology
History, Philosophy and Theology
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What will you be working towards?

Qualification Type GCE A/AS Level or Equivalent
Qualification Level Level 3
Course type Full Time


This is the ideal complement to the modern history which so many have studied. It builds also upon literary studies and gives a chance to develop skills like critical reading and essay writing. The Ancient World is new to most people when they start, which brings a freshness to the broader study of history. Between them, the Greeks and the Romans laid the foundations for most of what we have today in the UK and Western Europe: the political ideas, the legal systems and even the layout of many cities all derives from the Ancient World.


Paper 1: The Greeks

Period Study: Greeks and non-Greeks

This is an outline study of the wars of the Fifth Century BC: the Persian Wars, with battles like Thermopylae and Marathon; the Peloponnesian Wars, with battles like Mantinea and Arginousai. This will involve building knowledge of the Athenians and the Spartans; also, of the Persian Empire; the construction of ancient navies, with triremes and other ships; hoplite warfare and the armour and weaponry of the period.

Depth Study: Athens

This unit looks at the Athenian social and political systems: citizenship and slavery; the workings of the democracy; the economy of an ancient city; the buildings and religious life, including the theatres. This unit also touches on philosophy, looking at the development of ideas and education which took place in Athens through the period.

Paper 2: The Romans

Period Study: The Julio-Claudian Emperors:

This is an outline study of the early stages of the Roman Empire: Tiberius and his long-term absence from Rome, leaving government to others; Caligula, and whether he was mad, evil or the victim of hostile propaganda; Claudius, who invaded Britain and was later murdered by his wife; Nero, who persecuted Christians, scapegoated for the burning of Rome. Great figures like Messalina and Agrippina also played their part in this most colourful period of Roman History.

Depth Study: The Late Roman Republic

This is the period of Julius Caesar, Pompey, Cleopatra and other brutal militarists. This unit tracks the fall of civilian government and how armies took over the decision-making. Roman society is looked at: institutions like patronage and slavery, and how unprecedented success brought with it the seeds of destruction.

How will it be delivered?

Please refer to Course Content section

Entry requirements

Good GCSE English and/or History results, at Level 6 or above, are recommended.

All applications to Gravesend Grammar School Sixth Form must be made directly via our website. Our sixth form information evening is on Wednesday 13th January at 7pm, applications open on Thursday 14th January.

Your next steps...

Ancient history is an humanities A level, so will assist entry into any university to study a humanities course. It broadens the student into areas which are less widely studied, and extends skills for those going to take politics or history, for example, at a higher level.