A Level in Ancient History (2017 Specification)

Examining Board: OCR
Next Examination Period: May / June 2020
Exam Specification Code: H407
Coursework Element: None
Practical Element: None
Course Fee Includes: Online course materials and tutor support. Additional materials available at extra cost.
Fast Track Option: Fast track Ancient History

OCR A Levels are available for study anywhere in the world. Examinations must be taken in a registered UK exam centre. It is recommended students check with UK examining centres that the chosen exam is available.

Introduction

Oxford College is pleased to offer the OCR A Level in Ancient History.

 This course consists of four units:

  • Greek period study – Relations between Greek states and between Greek and non-Greek states, 492–404 BC
  • Greek depth study – The Politics and Culture of Athens, c.460–399 BC
  • Roman period study  – The Julio-Claudian Emperors, 31 BC–AD 68
  • Roman depth study – Ruling Roman Britain, AD 43–c.128

The study of Ancient History is highly respected by Universities who look favourably on applicants who can demonstrate knowledge in the Classics. In addition the Oxford College course in Ancient History will help you to:

  • Develop a broad and extensive interest in the military, political, religious, social and cultural history of the ancient world.
  • Acquire in-depth knowledge and understanding of selected periods of ancient history and use this knowledge and understanding to formulate coherent arguments with substantiated judgements.
  • Understand Greek and Roman history in the context of their neighbouring civilisations and the interrelations of these civilisations.
  • Explore and evaluate the significance of events, individuals, issues, identities and societies in the history of the ancient world.
  • Understand the nature of historical evidence from the ancient world and its scarcity to build an understanding of historical periods studied and the methods used in the analysis and evaluation of evidence. Students should develop an understanding of how the ancient past has been represented by ancient historians and how the ancient past has been interpreted by modern historians.
  • Develop an understanding of historical concepts such as change, continuity, causation, consequence and significance within the context of the historical periods studied.
  • Develop an awareness and understanding of relevant historical debates and how these can be investigated.
  • Develop the ability to make connections and draw comparisons between different periods, individuals, issues, identities and societies of the ancient past.
  • To encourage and develop an enthusiasm for the Greek and Roman ancient world.

Ancient History A Level

A Level Ancient History Entry Requirements

Although the A Level Ancient History programmes build on the course content of GCSE, it is not necessary to have this qualification before undertaking an A-Level. However, in order to meet the demands of the course, it is recommended that candidates have literacy and communication skills equivalent to C or higher at GCSE. Please note that full tutor support is still provided throughout your course duration.

All students must be 16 years of age or above.

A Level Ancient History Course Duration

2 years.

Study Hours Required

Approximately 350 hours.

Awarding Body

OCR

OCR A Levels are available for study anywhere in the world. Examinations must be taken in a registered UK exam centre. It is recommended students check with UK examining centres that the chosen exam is available.

Examination Information

Students are required to arrange and pay for their A Level Ancient History examinations and manage the course work element if the subject requires this. Students must check the relevant examination board website for further information and final examination sitting dates for the specification.

All examinations are held during the May / June exam period of every year.

A Level Ancient History Unit Content

A Level Ancient History Unit 1: Greek period study – Relations between Greek states and between Greek and non-Greek states, 492–404 BC

This period study will focus on the unfolding narrative of the relations between the Greek city-states, particularly Athens and Sparta, and between Greek city-states and the Persian Empire during the period 492–404 BC.

  • The challenge of the Persian Empire 492–479
  • Greece in conflict 479–446 BC
  • Peace and Conflict 446–431 BC
  • The Archidamian War 431–420 BC
  • The end of the Peloponnesian War and its aftermath 419–404 BC

You will study the changes in relations between states and the substantial developments in interstate relations between both Greek and non-Greek states. You will study the main events and issues in order to understand how these events and issues shaped these developments.

A Level Ancient History Unit 2: Greek depth study – The Politics and Culture of Athens, c.460–399 BC

The Greek depth studies focus on a substantial and coherent shorter time span. 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 including military, political, religious, social, technological and cultural within that event or situation.

  • Athenian political and social culture
  • The influence of new thinking and ideas on Athenian society
  • Art and Architecture and their significance in the culture of Athens
  • Drama and Dramatic Festivals and their significance in the culture of Athens
  • Religion and its significance in the culture of Athens

A Level Ancient History Unit 3: Roman period study – The Julio-Claudian Emperors, 31 BC–AD 68

This period study will focus on the unfolding narrative of the establishment and development of the principate under Augustus, Tiberius, Gaius, Claudius and Nero. There will be a particular focus on the military, social, religious and political issues and developments of the emperors in Rome and the Empire and their treatment by the ancient sources.

  • Augustus 31 BC–AD 14
  • Tiberius  AD 14–37
  • Gaius AD 37–41
  • Claudius  AD 41–54
  • Nero AD 54–68

A Level Ancient History Unit 4: Roman depth study – Ruling Roman Britain, AD 43–c.128

The Roman depth studies focus on a substantial and coherent shorter time span. 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 and cultural within that event or situation.

  • Roman military policy towards Britain: conquest and expansion
  • Frontier policy: consolidation and retrenchment AD 85–c.128
  • Resistance to Roman rule
  • Roman control
  • Effects of Roman rule

 

Assessment Overview

A Level Ancient History Component Group 1: Greek Period study and Greek Depth study (H407/12)

Component Group 1 is a source-based Greek period study combined with a source-based Greek depth study. The depth study is linked to the period study to create a substantial and coherent element of Greek history. There is an embedded interpretative element focussing on historians’ interpretations of the key historical debates about the significant individuals, events, developments and issues studied as part of the period study.

  • 98 marks total
  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Written paper

A Level Ancient History Component Group 2: Roman Period study and Roman Depth study (H407/23)

Component Group 2 is a source-based Roman period study combined with a source-based Roman depth study. The depth study is linked to the period study to create a substantial and coherent element of Roman history. There is an embedded interpretative element focusing on historians’ interpretations of the key historical debates about the significant individuals, events, developments and issues studied as part of the period study.

  • 98 marks total
  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Written paper

Progression

Our A Level Ancient History programmes are eligible for UCAS points, making them a great choice for students aiming to progress to University. UCAS points are awarded according to the grade earned, please see below for details.

A levels are also widely recognised by employers and are useful for students looking to progress their careers or meet requirements for promotion.

UCAS Points Table

A* = 56
A = 48
B = 40
C = 32
D = 24
E = 16

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