Classical Studies: Level 3

Qualification - NCEA level 3


Year 13 Classical Studies aims to cultivate students’ ability to think critically and clearly and to enable them to recognise the contribution of classical civilisation to our own traditions. Classical Studies is a multi-disciplinary course and provides an engaging variety of content. Topics studied at Level 3 include ancient Roman history from Rome’s monarchy through to the Republic culminating with the complex figures of Julius Caesar and Augustus. Ideologies underpinning Roman society, such as imperialism and militarism, are also explored. The course examines the lasting influence of the classical world through the study of Greek and Roman concepts of heroism, filtering them through a modern lens to analyse how and why modern heroes have been adapted to fit these enduring concepts.


Classics is a literacy rich subject, so students will find the subject more enjoyable if they are confident in their writing ability. Level 2 Classical Studies is recommended, but is not essential. If starting Classics at Level 3, the student may like to discuss entry into the course with the HoD of Classics.


Scholarship opportunities are available at both Levels 2 and 3. This involves a three-hour written paper in which students produce three essays. In the first section, students select two contexts from a previously provided list and write two essays based on the provided questions. Several of these contexts are studied across Levels 2 and 3, although students will also need to conduct their own research. The second section requires students to write an essay on one of two concepts using unfamiliar source material. Students must analyse and interpret unfamiliar sources in relation to their chosen concept and use these sources to inform their response.

Outcome description

Students will use their knowledge of classical studies to demonstrate their ability to think critically about the ideas and values of the classical world. They will communicate their understanding through primary and secondary source evidence in a range of integrated contexts, including history, literature, philosophy, architecture, and art.

The study of Classics equips ākonga with a plethora of specialised skills like research and source analysis, in addition to highly-transferable skills and knowledge such as abstract thinking, corroborating claims, and constructing narratives. Classics can be pursued at a tertiary level and complements a range of disciplines such as Law, Politics, Medicine and Education.

Classical Studies: Level 3