Studying Classical subjects - such as Ancient History, Classical Civilisation, Greek and Latin - at any level, is beneficial for your future prospects no matter what you decide to go on to do. As we will discuss below, whether you are studying at GCSE or A-level, and whether you wish to enter employment directly or study at university, studying Classics will stand you in excellent stead whatever your future holds.
For Those Studying Classical Subjects at GCSE
Classical Civilization and Ancient History are just as useful as other humanities subjects like History, Geography and Religious Studies. Subjects like this give you really good skills such as essay writing and source analysis, and teach you how to structure a good argument. They show you are good at thinking and evaluating, and also that you have an interest in people and cultures.
If you are planning to go on to sixth form then Classics GCSEs are a great preparation for A Levels in a wide variety of subjects, from Art History to Politics to Law. It is usually counted alongside your other humanities choices when sixth forms are looking at your application. If you want to go on to do vocational courses at sixth form, or go straight into the working world after your GCSEs, Classical Civilisation and Ancient History will give you a really wide range of knowledge and skills that you can use. Employers will be able to see that you are someone with broad interests who can communicate their ideas well. [Adapted from OCR GCSE factsheet]
For Those Studying Classical Subjects at A-level
If you are looking to apply to university, Classical Civilisation and Ancient History can be extremely useful. You not only acquire specific Classical knowledge, but also important transferable skills such as analysing sources and developing independent, critical and evaluative approaches. You learn to formulate and support an argument and develop a valuable understanding of cultures very different to your own. Classical Civilisation and Ancient History are naturally particularly valued by Classics departments in UK universities, but not only by Classics departments. The study of A Level Classical Civilisation can often lead to the university-level study of Classics, Drama, English, History, History of Art, Philosophy and Politics. Classical Civilisation is listed on UCL’s list of preferred A Level subjects and it is also listed on Trinity College, Cambridge’s list of Generally Suitable Arts A Levels. It is also listed as a useful subject for degrees in Classical Studies and Philosophy in the Russell Group ‘Informed Choices’ document. Information from UCAS shows that students who studied Classical Civilisation went on to study in such diverse disciplines as Medicine, Veterinary Science and Chemistry! It is not only those looking to attend university who benefit from the study of Classical Civilisation. From the proven ability to write a well-structured extended response to the acknowledgement of the views of others and a culturally sensitive approach to these, Classics puts students in an excellent position to seek employment and opportunities.
As Dr Peter Jones states: … 'we know that those who have studied the ancient languages are never, in fact, short of job-offers. A top asset-manager recently told me that his firm always employed classicists: they sold more. If Richard Dawkins is right, that is because ‘what Classics has always done is just teach people how to think.’ Peter Jones, Taking The Long View
And as Prof. Edith Hall adds, 'Studying Mediterranean antiquity superbly equips individuals to think socio-politically and to persuade other people orally, visually and in writing. It hones transferrable skills like source criticism and culturally relativist analysis. It's a perfect A Level to do with any other subject because the Greeks invented all academic disciplines including Medicine and Material Science. It gets school-leavers and graduates great jobs and gives them nourishing and beautiful brain-food for non-working hours for life.' Edith Hall, Classics Professor at Kings College London
[Adapted from OCR A-level factsheet]