JACT CLASSICAL CIVILISATION AS/A LEVEL: the new specification


Stephen Hill


The JACT syllabus in Classical Civilisation has been re-written to meet the requirements of the post-Dearing modular world in which A Level syllabuses need to be delivered in 6 modules with three modules at AS level and three modules at a differentiated (i.e. more demanding) A2 level. It is also a requirement that new syllabuses include synoptic assessment at A2: this involves analysis which brings together learning from various parts of the syllabus and is applied to examinations at the A2 level. Students may be assessed on the new specification in either a linear mode (all modules at the end of year 13) or in a modular way, taking some or all of the AS modules in year 12.

In re-drafting the specification great care was taken to ensure that the new version did not depart from the long-established principle that students should work, as far as possible, with primary material (as either translation or illustrations of material culture) and that, even in a broad multi-disciplinary subject such as Classical Civilisation, breadth of subject matter should not be such as to preclude study of particular topics in depth. Nevertheless the demands imposed by the modular structure and the inclusion of synoptic assessment did lead to the necessity for major changes from the old structure which was based on the study of four topics.

In order to conform to agreed limits on the number of optional routes through a specification and also to provide appropriate material for synoptic assessment there are prescribed combinations of topic. These also serve to ensure depth of study, since candidates are obliged to study prescribed linked combinations (e.g. two modules on Greek Tragedy) in order to be assessed at A2.

Major changes from the old syllabus include the re-introduction of the possibility of a substantial optional coursework element on a topic chosen by the student; the removal of Plato and the Pagans and Christians (though these could still be studied as coursework), and the introduction of Roman Britain and Archaeology modules. Minor changes of content include the appearance for the first time of Menander and Pliny.

The following tables set out the modules which are available in the new specification and the routes which must be followed. In practice a student wishing to acquire the full A Level must sit a module from each of groups 1 to 6 on the second table.


AS LEVEL


UNIT TOPIC

1 Greek Epic: Homer

2 Roman Epic: Vergil


3 Greek Historians: Herodotus and Thucydides

4 Roman Historians: Tacitus and Suetonius


5 Greek Tragedy 1: Aeschylus and Sophocles


6 Greek Tragedy 2: Euripides


7 Roman Satire and Society 1: Horace and Petronius


8 Roman Satire and Society 2: Juvenal and Pliny


9 Archaeology 1: Approaches to Classical Archaeology


10 Archaeology 2: Case Study -the Myceneans


11 Greek Comedy 1: Early Aristophanes

12 Greek Art and Architecture 1: Archaic and Early Classical

13 Roman Britain 1: Historical sources and the army


A2 LEVEL


UNIT TOPIC

14 Greek and Roman Epic Synoptic

15 Greek and Roman Historians Synoptic

16 Greek Tragedy Synoptic

17 Roman Satire and Society Synoptic

18 Archaeology Synoptic

19 Greek Comedy 2: Later Aristophanes and Menander Non-synoptic

20 Greek Art and Architecture 2: High Classical and Hellenistic Non-synoptic

21 Roman Britain 2: Artefacts and civilian sites Non-synoptic

22 Coursework Non-synoptic







AS

A2

Module Unit Title Unit Title Module

ONE
1 Greek Epic 14 Greek and Roman Epic
FOUR

2 Roman Epic Synoptic

3 Greek Historians 15 Greek and Roman Historians

4 Roman Historians

TWO
5 Greek Tragedy 1 16 Greek Tragedy
FIVE

6 Greek Tragedy 2 Synoptic

7 Roman Satire & Society 1 17 Roman Satire & Society

8 Roman Satire & Society 2

9 Archaeology 1 18 Archaeology

10 Archaeology 2

THREE
11 Greek Comedy 1 19 Greek Comedy 2
SIX

Non-

12 Greek Art & Architecture 1 20 Greek Art & Architecture 2 or

22
Coursework synoptic

13 Roman Britain 1 21 Roman Britain 2






Stephen Hill

University of WaRwick