Classical Studies is concerned with the civilisations of ancient Greece and Rome in all their manifestations and focuses on their continuing influence on the modern world. It includes history, literature, art and architecture, drama and philosophy. Students who have studied Classical Studies at Junior Certificate level will have received a good introduction to the Graeco-Roman world. However, it is by no means essential for the study of Leaving Certificate Classical Studies.
Why Study Classical Studies
The ancient world is one of the foundations on which much of our European civilisation is based. This course enables the student to go back to the originals (in translation), and learn the stories and legends which inspired so much in art and literature for the next 2,000 years.
What kind of Student would Classical Studies suit?
- Classical Studies will appeal to those interested in history and those who enjoy reading and writing about the ancient world.
- It can be taken by itself as a Leaving Cert. subject which will broaden the student’s outlook and knowledge, as well as helping them to gain points for University entrance. Owing to the nature of the exam, and the material to be studied, it is likely that pupils who are strong in English and History might find themselves best suited to this subject.
- The subject is a popular choice in the Arts faculties of our universities. It is particularly suited to students who have scored highly in the Linguistic and Social areas in their Interest Profiler.
- This subject is helpful in the study of history and religion and even philosophy.
This subject builds skills and knowledge that are particularly useful for careers in the following Career Sectors:
Listed below are the percentage distributions of marks from the 52 students who sat the Ordinary Level Classical Studies exam in 2019.
Explore Marks Distribution for all Subjects:
Classical Studies is the study of the ancient Greek and Roman civilisations. Classical Studies remains a choice for a very small proportion of students with less than 600 students sitting the papers last year.
Students are not allowed to take Classical Studies with Latin or ancient Greek.
- Ancient Epic (The Odyssey; Homer and The Aeneid; Virgil)
- Roman Art and Architecture ( Buildings, Sculpture and Paintings from Rome and the Empire)
- Alexander the Great ( based on the accounts of Arrian and Plutarch)
- Greek Drama (Oedipus the King: Sophocles and Medea; Euripedes)
All the textbooks are in English/Irish, so knowledge of Latin or Greek is not necessary. There is also no need to have done Classical Studies at Junior Cert.
There is no coursework / project work in this subject and final assessment consists of one essay-based three hour examination.
The Greek Drama section would be very similar to how pupils might study Shakespeare in English, and although the Ancient Epics were originally long poems, they are taught in prose form and are similar to adventure novels.
While the Alexander section is in the main part History, the Art and Architecture is really a mixture of so many of the different things which make classical culture so enduring.
Being strong in History and particularly English would be indicative that Classical Studies might be a good choice at Leaving Cert. However, all pupils can prosper in this subject purely because they find the material so interesting and it is this, above all else, which seems to be most important for pupils making a success of choosing Classical Studies.
Leaving Certificate Classical Studies is assessed at Ordinary and Higher levels, through a written examination. There is no coursework / project work in this subject and final assessment consists of one essay-based three hour examination.
Students are required to answer 6 questions, doing at least one question from each of the four sections listed above.
Classical Studies offers different interests and and a foundation for many career pathways including: Teaching, Archaeology, Theology, Journalism and History among others.
Subject Group: Humanities
These subjects explore the ways in which humans live and communicate in the world. Human life is examined by looking at our past, our present and into our future. These subjects help people to express themselves clearly and develop their reasoning ability.
Required for 3rd Level?
This subject is not an essential requirement for any courses in the CAO system.