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New WJEC Latin Certificates fully accredited

WJEC has developed a new and exciting alternative to GCSE Latin. The WJEC certificates, fully accredited and approved for funding and reporting in attainment measures, are available to all schools across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The certificates are:

  • the same size as GCSEs (120 guided learning hours)
  • fully accredited and approved for 14-19 funding and reporting in attainment measures
  • rigorous (supported by the Council of University Classics Departments and the Joint Association of Classical Teachers)
  • flexible (units leading to qualifications in Latin, Latin Language & Roman Civilisation, Latin Literature)
  • motivating (include a Level 1 stepping stone)
  • well resourced (a range of free support materials developed by the Cambridge Schools Classics Project)

As well as providing a recognised alternative to GCSE at Level 2, the Level 1 certificates will offer much-needed recognition for the large number of students who study Latin at KS3 but do not continue to GCSE - a survey of the 1,000 plus schools offering Latin suggests that this is as many as 75% of all who start the subject.


All units are offered at both Level 2 (equivalent to GCSE Grades C and above) and Level 1, and lead to qualifications graded A* - C at each level. There is a core language unit which is compulsory for qualifications in Latin Language (for which an Additional Language unit is taken) and Latin Language & Roman Civilisation (for which a Roman Civilisation unit is taken). Unlike GCSE therefore, the second language unit is not compulsory. To provide greater flexibility and enable teachers to tailor courses to students' interests, the Roman Civilisation Unit may be taken as 'Controlled Assessment' rather than a written paper.

Following the model of English/English Literature, Latin Literature is offered as a separate qualification. There is an element of choice between a thematic and a narrative approach and also, as with Roman Civilisation, an opportunity for 'Controlled Assessment' to take the place of the second written paper. 

Further details, including specifications, specimen assessment materials and resources are available.

Timetable for Assessments and Awards

2010 June
Core Latin Language written paper available at both levels

2011 January
Core Latin Language, Additional Latin Language, Roman Civilisation papers available at both levels

2011 June
All written papers (above plus Latin Literature Themes, Latin Literature Narratives) and controlled assessment options available at both levels

2011 August
First qualification awards

Teacher Courses

A round of free Teacher Courses, focusing on assessment requirements, is being held in March 2010 at venues in Manchester, London, Birmingham, Newcastle, Bristol and Cardiff.  Further details and application forms are available on the WJEC professional development pages.

Support for Teachers

A wide range of support for the certificates has been developed in conjunction with the Cambridge Schools Classics Project, including:

  • Vocabulary lists in various formats and an on-line vocabulary tester
  • Sources for Roman Civilisation topics
  • Materials and on-line activities for Latin Literature 


The Level 1 and 2 Latin certificates have been produced by WJEC in response to schools' views on the needs of their learners, particularly in the context of the revision of GCSE Latin. If you have any comments or queries on the new provision, please send them to latin@wjec.co.uk