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This is an email correspondence course based on online study sessions and prescriped texts. The course will prepare you for the OCR AS (Advanced Subsidiary) qualification in Classical Civilisation, H008. 

There are two components to be studied in this course. One is the compulsory 'The World of the Hero' (H008/11). In this year you will study Homer's Odyssey . This component is soley focused on the study of literature in translation. The other component is 'Culture and the Arts' (H008/21) - Greek Theatre. This component involves the study of visual and material culture combined with the study of literature in translation.

This course can be taken in preparation for the examinations, or, you can take the course for pleasure or your own purposes.

You may also enrol on a single component - please see the links to the individual component courses in the left-hand menu.

To obtain the AS in Classical Civilisation one must sit the exams for both components. To obtain a full A Level in Classical Civilisation, one must complete the AS course, the A Level (second part) and sit the A Level examinations at the end of the two years. 

If you would like to enrol for this course, please click on the Cost tab to make your payment and then on the Enrol tab on the left, where you will see a link to an online registration form.

The works of Homer were considered by the Greeks themselves to be the foundation of Greek culture, standing as they do at the beginning of the Western literary canon. The Odyssey AS component provides learners with the opportunity to appreciate the lasting legacy of the Homeric world and to explore its attitudes and values. The epics of Homer, with their heroes, gods and exciting narratives, have been in continuous study since their conception, and remain popularwith learners and teachers today. Topics studied will be literary techniques and composition, the characterisation and themes of the heroic world, as well as the social cultural and religious context.


The drama produced in the ancient Greek theatre forms some of the most powerful literature of the ancient world and has had a profound and wide- reaching influence on modern culture.

To fully understand this cultural phenomenon requires study of not only the plays but the context in which their form and production developed. To develop this understanding the Greek Theatre component involves the study of the physical theatre space used by the Greeks to stage their dramas, and also depictions of this staging in the visual/material record.

This study of the production of Greek drama is coupled with an in-depth study of three plays, all of which have proven to be enduring favourites. The themes and concepts explored by these plays are of significant relevance and interest as much to the modern audience as they were to that of the original performance. Topics in this component include drama and theatre in Ancient Athenian society, the nature of tragedy and (old) comedy, and social and political themes in tragedy and comedy. 

The plays prescibed in this course are Sophocles' Oedipus the King, Euripedes' Bacchae and Aristophanes' Frogs. There are prescibed visual/material sources, some of which are the Theatre of Dionysus at Athens, a black-figure oinochoe depicting two chorus-members dressed as birds, a red-figure calyx krater depicting Medea's escape and more. 


Your e-tutor will always be an experienced, enthusiastic Latin teacher, who knows the course well and is familiar with ways to help you with any issues which may arise during the course. He or she is unlikely to be involved in this project for the money! Rather your tutor will want to help you get the most out of your study of Latin and the Roman world.

When you enrol for the course, we will send you, by post, amongst other materials, an Independent Learner's Guide, detailing what work to undertake in each session. For examination courses (Eduqas, AS/A Level), sessions are held online. Almost all sessions have a designated assignment to send to your e-tutor. Your e-tutor will mark your work and return it to you, with ideas on how you might improve and, like any tutor, will try to explain an idea or concept to you if you are not certain about it. You do not have to send work if you do not wish to do so, of course, but we strongly recommend that you do, as this will both inform you of how you are progressing, and help your e-tutor to assist you in your learning.

Most of our e-tutors tell us that they would like to be contacted by their students more frequently, rather than less, and no limit is placed on the amount of times you may contact your e-tutor.
All e-tutors have completed a Criminal Records Bureau disclosure and are competent in sending, receiving and marking work electronically. Should you have any concerns about your e-tutor at any stage, you can contact our office at any time.

The World of the Hero: Homer's Odyssey (H008/11)

Culture and the Arts (Group 2): Greek Theatre (H008/21)

For the full A Level in Classical Civilisation:

The World of the Hero: Virgil's Aeneid. (H408/11)

Content of Beliefs and Ideas: Politics of the Late Republic (H408/33)

You will need to purchase the following:

The World of the Hero, ed. Sally Knights, Bloomsbury Academic, 2017. ISBN: 9781350015074. (May be purchased from
While the study sessions provide a link to an electronic translation by A.S. Kline, we strongly advise that you purchase this translation: The Odyssey, Homer, Peter Jones (introducer), E.V. Rieu (translator), Penguin Classics. ISBN: 9780140449112.  
(If you prefer an ebook, it is avaialable here:
OCR will use both translations on the examination paper.


Greek Theatre and Imperial Image, edited by James Renshaw, Laura Swift, Robert Hancock-Jones, Bloomsbury Academic, 2017. ISBN: 9781350015111 (May be purchased from
The Three Theban Plays, Sophocles, translated by Robert Fagles, Penguin, ISBN978-0140444254
Aristophanes: Frogs, Judith Affleck, Clive Letchford, Cambridge Translations from Greek Drama (CUP), ISBN: 9780521172578
Euripedes: Bacchae, David Franklin, Cambridge Translations from Greek Draman (CUP), ISBN: 9780521653725

There are 20 sessions per component. The advised study time is 2 hours per session. As there are two components in this course, the total advised study time is in the region of 80 hours. 

AS (Advanced Subsidiary) is a UK public examination and students should ensure that they have access to an examination centre which offers this exam before they enrol on the course.

School students are advised to approach their school's Exams Officer and ask that their school enters them for the examination.

Mature or homeschool students may either approach local schools or contact us for assistance finding an examination centre. We may be able to help you by providing you with the name of an examination centre.

If you cannot find a school that is willing to enter you for your exams then a company like Tutors and Exams may be an option. Tutors and Exams provides examination and assessment facilities primarily aimed at private and home educated candidates. They currently have five examination centres located around the country: Bolton, Coventry, Doncaster, St Neots Cambridgeshire and Wimbledon. Please note that there is a charge for their services, although CSCP Distance Learners are eligible for the reduced "Partner" rate.

In all cases, firm arrangements should be made in the Autumn Term before the exam. While CSCP takes responsibility for tutoring students for the exams, we are not ourselves an examination centre and are unable to enter students for exams.

Overall code: H008

Compulsory component The World of the Hero: Homer's Odyssey (H008/11) (Option 2)
65 marks, 1 hour 30 minutes paper. This paper makes up 50% of the total AS Level
Section A contains short answer questions, responses to two stimuli from the prescibed books and a shorter essay question
Section B contains a choice of one from two essays. There are four question types in this exam, they are: short answer questions, 8 mark stimulus questions, 16 mark essay, 25 mark essay.

Culture and the Arts: Greek Theatre (H008/21)
65 marks, 1 hour 30 minutes paper. This paper makes up 50% of the total AS Level
Section A contains short answer questions, responses to two stimuli from the prescibed books and a shorter essay question
Section B contains a choice of one from two essays. There are four question types in this exam, they are: short answer questions, 8 mark stimulus questions, 16 mark essay, 25 mark essay.

The cost covers: 
  • 40 study sessions
  • marking and feedback from your tutor
  • support from the Cambridge Classics Project

To pay by debit/credit card, please click on the link below, which will take you to the University's secure e-sales website:

Please note: we cannot take cheques at this time.

To pay by cheque, please make the cheque out to 'University of Cambridge' for the above amount and please send it to: IL Manager, CSCP, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 184 Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 8PQ, (England, U.K).

If paying by cheque in a currency other than British pounds sterling, please contact the Independent Learning Manager at, who will provide you with the correct amount. There is a currency conversion charge for cheques in a currency other than British pounds sterling.

Fixed End Date or Fixed Number of Weeks?: 
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