Success in Latin at A Level is amongst the highest of accolades achievable in any school’s Sixth Form curriculum. The course challenges students to analyse, dissect, and formulate the Latin and English languages; to translate not only the words and sentences used by Romans to convey the deepest of political, historical, or poetic meaning, but also to reflect the idioms of each language as fluently as possible; to assess and evaluate the most important literature, exerting its influence on our creative, thoughtful world to this day.

Few subjects can claim to cultivate as wide a range of academic skills. Few can claim to be valuable on an application to university or an academic CV. Above all, this subject requires the student to exercise their mind across the spectrum, simultaneously considering the creativity of poetry and the logic of grammar and syntax, coupling scientific analysis with artistic interpretation. While the subject is clearly suitable to those who have an interest in the Classical world, it is not limited to those who wish to pursue Classical disciplines at university. Rather, it is the subject for a student interested in academic endeavour and with the ambition to improve their skills of communication and the depth of their thinking.

Why Choose Latin

Latin is the subject for you, if:

  • you wish to study a highly-valued and unique discipline
  • you enjoy academic challenge
  • you wish to develop valuable transferrable skills, such as textual analysis, oral and written communication, cultural appreciation, and debate
  • you are interested in language and its usage
  • you relish the reading and assessment of original literature
  • you wish to pursue a related degree at university (e.g. Classics, Classics and English, Ancient History, History, Law, Politics, Philosophy, English, English Literature, Modern Languages)
  • you are interested in a career in any of: law, finance, the civil service, business, politics, communication, journalism, education.

Exam Board

Further information on the Latin A Level can be found on the OCR website. 

Course Content

Livy’s History of Rome will provide the material for the study of prose, while Ovid’s poetry will offer the fodder for the study of verse.

Prose Literature: Students study Cicero’s Pro Milone in depth. This speech was delivered in a Roman law court, in defence of his friend and ally Titus Annius Milo. This edition, revised by Cicero after the event, is regarded as one of the finest examples of legal oratory in history.

Verse Literature: Students study Virgil’s Aeneid VIII in depth. Virgil’s Aeneid is one of the finest and most influential poems in existence. Ten years in composition, with twelve books making up the total, it tells the story of Aeneas journey from the ruination of Troy, to the foundation of the Roman people. 


All exams are taken at the end of the Upper Sixth:

Unit 1 – Unseen translation:

  • 100 marks
  • 1 hour 45 minute paper
  • Written
  • 33% of total A Level

Unit 2 – Prose Composition:

  • 50 marks
  • 1 hour 15 minute paper
  • Written
  • 17% of total A Level

Unit 3 – Prose Literature:

  • 75 marks
  • 2 hour paper
  • Written
  • 25% of total A Level

Unit 4 – Verse Literature

  • 75 marks
  • 2 hour paper
  • Written
  • 25% of total A Level

 Trips, Activities and Extension

Visit to the Classical Sites of Greece

The most recent trip to Greece in October 2014 first visited Delphi, followed by two nights in Athens with its innumerable sites central to ancient theatre and democracy. The group then visited the phenomenal theatre at Epidauros with its famous Asclepion (ancient health spa), Argos, Mycenae (the legendary seat of Agamemnon), and the Isthmus at Corinth.

Trip to Rome (Spring 2016)

For five days during the February half-term break, a group of GCSE and A-Level Classicists visited Rome and the sites of its immortal Roman heritage. From a visit to the towering magnificence of the Colosseum on the first morning, students in the sights and sounds (and tastes) of all that the Eternal City has to offer.