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AS/A2 Level Philosophy and Ethics

Teacher in charge of Subject


Philosophy and Ethics deals with some of the most important questions in life – Who are we?  Where do we come from?  What is the meaning of life?

The skills of evaluation and analysis that Philosophy and Ethics teaches you are applicable to almost any walk in life. It is not just about what others think; it is about learning to think for yourself.

  1. Course Title

    AS/A2 Level Philosophy and Ethics

  2. Exam Board and Specification No.

    AQA (2060)

What do I need to have studied/have knowledge of?

Although you don’t need to have studied Philosophy and Ethics beforehand, it does help to have at least a B in a GCSE Humanities subject and English to show you have developed written and evaluation skills.

Philosophy is a way of thinking.  Those who study Philosophy are asking questions about the world; its people and ideas, that although may seem simple at first are actually very complex.  Philosophy is a challenging but rewarding course.

What will I learn on this course?

This course involves the study of two disciplines: Philosophy and Ethics. Unlike Philosophy and Ethics courses at GCSE, the AS/A Level concentrates on studying, debating and enquiring into issues and questions such as: “What is the psychology of religion?” “If there is no God, what is the implication for morality?” “If our life is determined before we are born, how can we be held responsible for our bad actions?”

You will be expected to analyse and evaluate some of the greatest philosophical arguments that have been debated and contested over thousands of years. Can you outthink the greatest thinkers?

You will study units:

Unit 1 Ethics

  • Utilitarianism
  • Situation Ethics
  • Abortion and Euthanasia

Unit 2 Philosophy

  • The Cosmological Argument
  • Psychology and Religion
  • Atheism and Postmodernism

Unit 3 Ethics

  • Free will and determinism
  • Virtue Ethics
  • Science and Technology

Unit 4

  • Religious Experiences
  • The connection between ultimate reality and experience of God
  • Verifying and disproving religious experiences

What key skills will I develop?

You will develop:

  • Clear and logical independent thinking
  • Interpretation and critical evaluation
  • Research skills
  • Negotiation
  • Problem solving.

How will I be assessed?

There is no set coursework, each unit is assessed through exams.

All units are externally assessed.  In the first year there are two external examinations.  Each exam is one hour fifteen minutes long.

In the second year there are also two external examinations. Each exam is one hour thirty minutes.

What could this course lead to?

The careers which lead on from a RS qualification are some of the most interesting and versatile available:
Law, Financial services, Medicine, Politics, Consultancy, Journalism, Media sector, Education sector, Publishing sector and Social and Pastoral care.

This course is also highly thought of by the universities.

Additional events, trips or enrichment activities

Trips to universities to hear speakers and meditation experience.

Are there any additional costs for this course?

Resources will be provided, however you may wish to purchase study guides and extended reading materials.

Who do I contact if I have any further questions?

Mr M Parry –