Classical Studies



Mr P McCaughey (Subject Co-ordinator)
Mr J Milofsky

Subject Overview

Classical Studies is uniquely placed to develop a range of skills and capabilities in preparing pupils for life and work. As a subject it helps to develop skills in analysis, interpretation, summary, argument, evidence gathering, discussion, communication, performance and creativity. Although the subject is dependent upon texts, imagery and written evaluation, Classics will suit a pupil who has an interest in storytelling, adventure and the study of the human psyche. The subject is such a unique learning opportunity for a pupil, as at its’ core, Classical Studies seeks to foster an appreciation for uniqueness and develop an analytical and communicative mind, in a variety of disciplines.

Junior Cycle

For the the Junior Cycle, pupils of Classical Studies will study Homer’s Iliad, a text that is commonly referred to as the cornerstone of all western literature. Pupils will also take modules in Roman Comedy, the melodramas of antiquity, as well as the study of the Athenian Acropolis, Virgils’ Aeneid and the life and times of Gaius Julius Caesar. Students also have the opportunity to explore and examine the thriving existence and terrible demise of the Roman town of Pompeii.

Please click here to visit Junior Cycle Classical Studies curriculum.

Transition Year

Pupils in Transition Year in The High School will take a Classical History module as part of their revolving course options. This module explores the Classical Age of Ancient Greece (c. 490 BC to 323 BC), with particular focus on the Persian invasions of Greece and the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC. Special attention is also placed on Spartan society, culture, warfare and lore. Pupils will have the opportunity to present practical projects on the subject matter, such as creating Spartan warrior costumes, cooking a Spartan meal, or putting on a short play depicting Spartan life. No PowerPoints allowed!

Senior Cycle

Pupils of Classical Studies in the Senior Cycle have the privilege and opportunity to study epic mythology, with focus on Homer’s Odyssey and Virgil’s Aeneid. They will take modules in Greek Drama and analyse plays which serve as inspiration for all contemporary playwrights in dramatic tragedy today, as well as engage in in-depth examination of Greek Art and Architecture and an assessment of the life and career of Alexander of Macedon, more commonly known as the infamous Alexander the Great.

Please click here to visit the Senior Cycle Classical Studies curriculum.

Career Opportunities

- Acting

- Teaching

- Lecturing

- Academia

- Archaeology

- Law

- Psychology

- Journalism

- Publishing

- Studying Classical Studies in school is not proscriptive in terms of career opportunities. As so many disciplines are encountered, the subject can appropriately cater for any form of Third Level Education and beyond.

Additional information

There is the opportunity with Classical Studies for trips abroad (e.g. British Museum in London, Parthenon in Greece, Pompeii in Italy), although a trip is not a guaranteed annual fixture in a Junior or Senior Cycle course. There is also the possibility of entering the Classical Studies Speech competition, held each year at Trinity College Dublin, in addition to the chance to attend several other events throughout the year, such as the annual Ides of March Classics Table Quiz, organised by the Classical Association of Ireland Teachers. Trips to smaller venues (e.g. UCD Classical Museum), as well as going to see visiting productions of Classical plays, abridged epics etc. are also possible.