Transition Year Unit

UCD School of Classics is delighted to launch the


Access Classics created this Transition Year (TY) Unit to facilitate second-level institutions in either introducing Classical Studies at TY level, consolidating their students’ learning of the subject from the Junior Cycle, or acting as a bridge into, or introduction to, the subject at Senior Cycle level. Attached below are: A Manual for Teachers and a supplementary PowerPoint.

Click on the images to download a free and printable copy of the resources. See the bottom of the page for some additional resources for the Unit (these will be updated regularly so make sure to keep checking in!).

This manual for teachers contains background information, teaching plans, suggestions for lesson extensions and ideas for projects.

The manual is broken into four sections:

  1. What is Classical Studies? A case study of Ancient Cyprus
  2. People and the world around us
  3. Knowledge and advancements in the ancient world
  4. The past in the present

It is very helpful for us to know if some or all of the Unit is being used in a school and how many students it is reaching. So, if you intend to use the Unit, please let us know by dropping a line to or

This PowerPoint is created to complement the manual for teachers and contains additional information for students and easily printable worksheets.

We are very pleased to announce that we can now make available to teachers a Certificate of Completion for those students who have completed the Access Classics Transition Year Unit, or who have completed sections of it as part of a Unit. Just get in contact and we can tailor the certificate to your school!

Additional resources

Click on the images below to download a copy of the resources

Word search in Ancient Greek for Section 4.1. This will help students become more familiar with the Greek letters and to see how everyday words can derive from ancient languages.

2. PowerPoint on the Casino at Marino in Dublin. This short PowerPoint connects with Section 4 of the Unit: The Past in the Present by presenting students with an example of Classics in Ireland!

A short introductory PowerPoint on the Parthenon. This works as a brief introduction to the Parthenon, whose sculptures are discussed in Section 4.2: The ethics of museum artefacts.

PowerPoint on monstrous beasts and the hero Heracles for Section 2.3. This expands on some of the “monsters” encountered in the TY Unit and encourages students to see the importance of monsters, and particularly overcoming monsters, in ancient mythology.

Why use the Classical Studies TY Unit?

  1. The Manual for Teachers contains extensive lesson plans, materials, discussion topics and project ideas, all of which allow it to be taught by teachers who are not familiar with Classical Studies. This means that schools which do not, or cannot, currently offer Classical Studies at Junior Cycle or Senior Cycle can introduce it to their Transition Year students.
  2. As the Unit covers less common aspects of Classical Studies (see breakdown in Unit Outline or the Teachers’ Manual), it can be used to consolidate learning from the Junior Cycle, serve as an introduction to the subject at Senior Cycle, or act as a bridge between the Junior and Senior Cycle Classical Studies offerings.
  3. Classical Studies is a multidisciplinary subject encompassing, for example, literature, history, geography, art, architecture, language, archaeology, and philosophy. As such, it complements numerous subjects taken at both Junior Cycle and Senior Cycle level, most notably English, History, Art, Geography, and modern languages.
  4. As the Unit asks students to consider their own political, social, religious and cultural institutions and practices, as well as their relationship with their health and wellbeing, it ties in with various Indicators of Wellbeing (notably ‘responsible’, ‘connected’ and ‘respected’), and aspects of the Unit could be used for some of the allotted Wellbeing hours at Junior Cycle level.
  5. The Unit is flexible and user-friendly, meaning it can also be used for lunchtime Classics Clubs.
  6. The Unit can be taught fully in the virtual or physical classroom, or through blended learning. There are suggestions for fieldtrips, but these are supplementary to the lessons and not essential.
  7. Access Classics is delighted to facilitate teachers in teaching the Unit, for example through guest lectures or additional resources.