What is Classical Latin?

Classical Latin is primarily a language course that asks students to translate into Latin and from Latin into English. It also introduces students to Latin authors such as Cicero, Tacitus, Apuleius, Livy, Seneca, Virgil, Ovid, Catullus, and Horace. The wide range of authors will give students a selection of texts to study, chosen in consultation with their tutor.

How is it studied?

Classical Latin is taught in very small groups: students will spend much of the first year further developing their language skills before moving on to reading and studying texts.

How is A Level Classical Latin 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 Latin. However, students would normally have studied Latin at GCSE or an equivalent level, as this gives 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 Latin?

Classical Latin combines will with a number of other subjects. Common combinations include History, Ancient History, English Literature, and other classical subjects. However, many students have successfully combined their interest in it with science subjects and Mathematics.

What can I do with A Level Classical Latin?

Classical Latin at A Level will support university applications in a range of degrees. Apart from Classics, the course prepares you well for various aspects of law, politics, philosophy and business, as well as courses in literature, film, media or art. The technical ability required for learning a language – especially a highly rigorous language such as Latin – can also prepare you well for further study of the sciences.

Questions about the course

Can I take Classical Latin in one year?

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