Classical Studies

Welcome to the study of the ancient world!

The study of the Classical world has an extremely proud and long heritage at the Royal High School, originally incorporated into its Royal Charter in medieval times.  Classical Studies is a study of the civilisations of classical Greece and Rome without involving the study of the Greek or Latin languages. The classical culture of Greece and Rome dominated the European world for approximately half of recorded history and all aspects of modern society are based upon the developments and attitudes of this culture.

Current levels of study

At the Royal High school we have a thriving program of study for students keen to explore more about the ancient world and its legacy.


Students can opt into Classical Studies as an elective option, their studies offer Broad General Education, but with an eye on National Qualifications in S4. 

Students study:

CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY – they discover the Olympian Gods, the Underworld, rituals and sacrifice, prophecy and Augury.

THE TROJAN WAR – learn about the war that became the backdrop to the Iliad

AJAX by Sophocles – Students read an entire play in translation which deals with the events that happened to the great hero of the Trojan War Ajax.


Students choose to pursue either National 4/5 at this level there are three units and an AVU (which is a research project of their own choosing completed under timed conditions)

LIFE IN CLASSICAL ATHENS – Students are introduced to the great city state of Athens, were they look at what life would be like growing up in the Ancient World, what life was like for a slave, and how women were treated

POMPEII AD 79 – Here students look at life in a normal town in the Roman Empire, and the great eruption of Mount Vesuvius  which wiped out the town of Pompeii

THE ODYSSEY – The legendary journeys of Odysseus as he tries to return home are examined and 4 chapters of the epic are looked at in detail, main universal themes are examined such as heroism, fate, and women.


Higher has a long history now in the Royal High School and students have established a tradition of excellence in attainment.  It follows a similar model to N5 only more detail is required.  Students complete an AVU like at N5, and three units before the exam.

THE ILIAD – the epic poem of Homer’s account of the war  between Greece and Troy is looked at in detail.  Along side the study of its universal themes.

ROME- We focus on the late Republican era and examine government, voting, and a special focus on imperial administration during the Emperors looking at the revolts of Boudicca and Judaea.

ATHENS- 5th Century Athens is looked at including social aspects, and a detailed study of democracy and the growth of Athenian Imperialism.

How can Classical Studies help my career?

At the Royal High school Classical Studies is taught, delivered, and created entirely in a digital environment, students will develop ICT skills essential for modern life, creative skills such as creating or editing sound, video or presentations such as keynote or PowerPoint.  Students are also encouraged to develop analysis, evaluation skills as well as formal writing at extended length, which are all vital skills for future employment.There are certain areas of the job market who look exceptionally well on Classical Studies, which is one of the oldest subjects in the University curriculum:






Museums/Libraries/ Galleries

Travel & Tourism

Journalism/ creative writing

Game design

To name but a few areas.