The Philosophy course enables you to develop a broad spectrum of knowledge, understanding and skills, through the exploration of ethics, philosophy of religion and Christian beliefs and teachings. The course aims to engage learners thoroughly, developing an interest which extends beyond the classroom and into the wider world. You will enhance your academic skills of critical analysis, evaluation and extended written argument, all crucial for anyone seeking to enter into higher education, as well as those wishing to pursue alternative career pathways.
The course is comprised of three separate, equally weighted components.
You will study philosophical issues and questions raised by religion and belief. These include arguments regarding the existence or non-existence of God, the nature and influence of religious experience, and the problems of evil and suffering.
You will study ethical language and thought, with exploration of key concepts and the works of influential thinkers. Ethical theory will also be applied to issues of importance; namely euthanasia, business ethics, and sexual ethics.
You will undertake a systematic study of Christian theology. This will include the exploration of the history of Christian thought, as well as contemporary Christian teachings on issues such as gender, secularism, pluralism and Liberation Theology.
The three components that will be assessed are:
• Philosophy of religion
• Religion and ethics
• Developments in religious thought
The exam for each component will be worth 120 marks and represents 33.3% of the total marks for A Level.
Each paper will contain four essay questions, with the learner choosing three out of the four to answer. Questions can target material from any area of the specification. Two questions might be set from one specification section, or all questions might be from different sections. In order to guarantee access to the full range of marks for the assessment all specification content should be covered. Each essay will be worth 40 marks.
GCSE Level 6 in R.E, English or History
Sixth Form entry also requires:
• GCSE Level 5 in English and Mathematics
• Four other GCSE’s at Level 5
Philosophy is a highly academic subject that supports applications into a multitude of degree courses and career pathways, including Law, Medicine and Politics. The course complements other areas such as English, History, Psychology and Sociology, through the development of a variety of essential skills. Notably, Philosophy, Ethics and Theology have been the academic subjects of choice for many high profile public figures, such as David Cameron, Bill Clinton, Martin Luther King and Ricky Gervais.