What is Classical Greek?

Classical Greek is a language course that asks students to translate into Greek and from Greek into English. It also introduces students to Greek authors such as Thucydides, Xenophon, Herodotus, Plato, Plutarch, Homer, Euripides, Sophocles, and Aristophanes. The range of authors will allow students to choose what they wish to study in consultation with their tutor.

How is it studied?

Classical Greek is taught in very small groups: students will spend much of the first year developing their language skills before moving on to read and study four texts.

How is A Level Classical Greek assessed?

Unit Modules Weighting Format
1 Unseen Translation 33% External Exam: 1 hr 45 mins
2 Prose Composition or Comprehension 17% External Exam: 1 hr 15 mins
3 Prose Literature (two texts in depth) 25% External Exam: 2 hrs
4 Verse Literature (two texts in depth) 25% External Exam: 2 hrs


Exam Board: OCR

What do I need?

There is no specific requirement for Classical Greek. However, students would normally have studied Greek at GCSE or an equivalent level, as this allows them the basic skills to be able to cope with both the literature and translation between Greek and English.

What should I study with Classical Greek?

Classical Greek combines well with many other subjects. Some students will add other humanities subjects, Ancient History or social sciences subjects. However, an interest in Classical Greek cuts across the full range of disciplines and many students have successfully combined it with Mathematics and Sciences.

What can I do with A Level Classical Greek?

A Level Classical Greek is a highly valued course and many universities look upon it as showing that a student has an independent mind. The wide range of skills and ideas covered means that it can prove a useful preparation for undergraduate study in law, politics, philosophy, literature, film or art. It can also indirectly support science applications as it shows the technical ability required for learning a language.

Questions about the course

Can I take Classical Greek in one year?

It is possible, but students need to be very strong in Greek already as there is insufficient time to build language skills otherwise.