Skip to content ↓

Latin and Greek are fascinating languages: both are constructed in a way that make linguistic structures clear (such as the structure of a complex sentence, the relationship between different sorts of clauses, the different viewpoints created by different forms of the verb). Studying either language (or both!) will therefore improve your understanding of language in general, and especially your understanding of English.

You will learn to process information and to apply rules accurately, to be alert to fine details and to be sensitive to nuances of meaning. In addition you will get to read original and inspiring texts, and you will develop your appreciation of cultural relativity through the differences in the ideas and values of the Ancient Greek / Roman worlds and our own.

You will also develop your skills of literary analysis and you will learn how to write clearly, concisely and analytically.

Beyond the classroom

We run an exciting enrichment programme, which includes 6th Form seminars with other schools, Study Days hosted by the University of Cambridge, visits to galleries/theatres, and residential trips abroad to places such as Rome and the Bay of Naples.


The Pre-U course for Latin and for Greek follows the same structure:

  • Language work (50%) - you will expand your knowledge of grammar and vocabulary, and practise translating from Latin/Greek into English, and from English into Latin / Greek.

  • Literature work (50%) - you will start with a general reading course designed to help you understand the literary contexts key texts were written within. You will then move on to the examination texts: one will be a prose author (such as Tacitus or Livy), and the other a poet (such as Virgil, Catullus or Horace).

The final exams are structured as follows: 
  • Unseen Translation (30%): you will translate a piece of original (or lightly adapted) prose and a piece of original poetry into English.
  • Comprehension or Prose Composition (20%): you will answer questions on a piece of unseen Latin prose, or translate a short paragraph of English into Latin/Greek.
  • Prose Literature (20%): you will answer questions on the text you have studied; these questions will include literary analysis and an essay question.
  • Verse Literature (30%): this paper follows the same model as the prose literature paper.