Philosophy and Ethics A-level

2 years

Course Details

Through studying Philosophy and Ethics, you will develop a capacity to think critically and creatively and to express your ideas clearly and persuasively.

You will also improve your ability to identify flaws in the logic and reasoning of others.

These skills are important in a range of careers including journalism, law, politics, medicine and teaching.

If you want to expand your mind and discuss possible answers to deep and challenging questions, then this is the subject for you.

The subject covers the distinct but related disciplines of philosophy and ethics. Both of these are applied to knowledge you will gain of a particular religion.

In Philosophy you will apply rigorous philosophical analysis to a variety of topics in the Philosophy of Religion. These will include arguments (and evidence) for and against the existence of God (such as cosmological, teleological, and ontological arguments) and questions about life after death. In addition, you will examine topics as diverse as the immortality of the soul, the possibility and believability of miracles, the problem of evil and suffering, and the meaningfulness of religious language.

In Ethics you will learn about a number of ethical theories including: natural law, situation ethics, virtue ethics, utilitarianism, and Kantian ethics. You will then explore how they can be applied to two broad sets of practical moral issues: issues of human life and death including capital punishment, abortion, embryo research, euthanasia, and assisted suicide; and issues of animal life and death including the use of animals for food, cloning, blood sports, and as a source of organs for transplants. You will then examine a range of other ethical issues such as the possibility of free will, the nature and role of the conscience, and meta-ethics which concerns the nature and source of ethical values and judgements.

In order to apply the knowledge that you have acquired and the skills you have developed you will study a range of ideas presented by a particular religion. In this context, you will examine the existence (or not) of the soul, the meaning and purpose of life, and the conflict between science and faith. You will also study environmental ethics, war and peace, and questions about weapons of mass destruction. Finally, you will consider and question matters related to sexual identity and sexual ethics including celibacy, marriage, homosexuality, and transgender issues.

You will need a minimum or five GCSEs, including Grade 5 in English Language together with four other subjects at Grade 4 or above (one of the four subjects must include Maths).

Additional entry requirements:

  • It is advantageous for students to have taken GCSE RS/RE and achieved a grade 4 or above.

The College will always treat each applicant as an individual. Should you not have or not expect to obtain the grades stated above, or not have relevant industry-related experience, the College would still welcome your application for this course as this will enable us to identify whether this course is, in fact, the right course for you or whether another course may be more appropriate.

All course offers will be subject to satisfactory interview and reference.

AQA A-level Philosophy and Ethics (/7062)

You are assessed through examinations, which will be divided between Philosophy and Ethics and the dialogues between Philosophy, Ethics, and religion:

  • Examination – Philosophy and Ethics
  • A-level 50%
  • Examination – Dialogues between Philosophy, Ethics, and religion
  • A-level 50%
  • University
  • Higher/Degree Apprenticeship
  • Employment
Degrees in Medicine, Law, Journalism, Publishing or Politics. Philosophy and Ethics is invaluable if you wish to work for charity organisations, and any career requiring high level communication and analytical skills, such as, publishing, journalism, management, the legal profession and teaching.

University Guarantee

Every Sefton Sixth Form College student who successfully achieves a Level 3 qualification and meets attendance and entry requirements, is guaranteed a place on a course at the Hugh Baird University Centre.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions that we are often asked:

You will take three subjects over two years.

We offer a small number of BTEC courses at Sefton Sixth Form College. You can study one BTEC course alongside your two A-levels.

It is not expected that a student would attend both sites, but the feasibility of this would be discussed on an individual basis. Potential timetable clashes and workload would need to be considered in detail for this to be a possibility.