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Ancient History A-Level

The Bedford Sixth Form Common Area

Ancient History provides you with an opportunity to study four elements of ancient Greek and Roman history, and the interplay of military, political, religious, social and cultural factors within the timeframes covered.

The Greek period studies will focus on the relations between Greek and non-Greek states between 492-404 BCE, and the Roman focus will look at the Julio-Claudian Emperors between 31 BCE and 68 CE. There is also an in-depth study in each area of either ancient Sparta, Athens or Macedon, alongside a Roman study of either the Late Republic, the Flavians, or Roman Britain.

During the course, you will participate in trips to the British Museum in London, Archaeological site visits to local Roman interests and we will also invite guest speakers from universities to come and talk on the depth studies.

The Bedford Sixth Form Library 2021

Year one content

In year one you will be conducting period studies in the ancient Greek and Roman worlds.

The Greek period study will focus on relations between the Greek city-states, particularly Athens and Sparta, and between Greek city-states and the Persian Empire during the period 492–404 BCE. This will include learning about foreign and civil wars, peace treaties, power imbalances, betrayals, politics and how the Greek world was shaped both politically and socially.

The Roman period study will focus on the unfolding narrative of the establishment and development of the principate under Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero. There will be a particular focus on the military, social and political achievements of the emperors and their treatment by the ancient sources. This will include looking into the religion, social policies, culture, wars, and role of women in the ancient Roman aristocracy.

Library at The Bedford Sixth Form 2021

Year two content

In the second year, you will do an in-depth study in both the Greek and Roman worlds. This is intended to give you a more detailed look at a shorter time span in the history of both of these major empires. They require you to study significant individuals, societies, events and issues within the complexity of a historical event or situation, and the interplay of different factors such as military, political, religious, social, technological and cultural within that event or situation.

The Greek depth study will be on either The Politics and Society of Sparta, The Politics and Culture of Athens, or The rise of Macedon.

The Roman depth study will be on either The Breakdown of the Late Republic, The Flavians 68-96 CE, or Ruling Roman Britain, 43-128 CE.

Additional information

What does this course prepare me for?

Ancient History A-Level would complement applications to university courses such as History, Classics, Archaeology, Politics, Philosophy, Religion, and many other subjects that rely on critical reflection, essay writing, research and interpretation.

Course support and enrichment

This course is designed for anyone who is interested in History, Classics, Politics, or archaeology and would like a more in-depth knowledge of the ancient world.


Externally assessed written exams

Component 1: Greek period study and Greek depth study
Component 2: Roman period study and Roman depth study

Each Paper is 2 hrs 30 minutes long and is divided into 2 sections.

Section A is worth 50 marks – students will answer questions on the content of the period of study.

Section B is worth 48 marks – students will answer questions on the content of the depth study.

Entry requirements

Some of our subjects are subject to standard entry requirement and some have additional requirements. Please see below:

Subject specific entry requirements

  • 5 in English (Literature or Language)

Standard entry requirements

  • At least five GCSEs at grades 9-4 including English Language and Maths (one Vocational or Technical qualification at Merit or above may be counted)


  • At least grade 4 (or Merit for Vocational or Technical qualifications) in any subject(s) that you have taken at GCSE and wish to continue studying at Level 3


  • Average GCSE (best 8) of at least 4 (38 on the old points table)


  • Grade 4 (or Merit), at least, in any subject previously studied
  • Students will take either 3 A-Level subjects or 1 Diploma subject with 1 A-Level
September 2024

Apply now!

Applications for a September 2024 start at The Bedford Sixth Form are open now! Apply now and achieve great things.

Please note: Applications will close on Friday 31 May 2024. Applications made after this date will be added to a waiting list.