The Philosophy course enables you to develop a broad spectrum of knowledge, understanding and skills, through the exploration of religious beliefs and teachings, as well as the disciplines of ethics and philosophy of religion. The course aims to engage learners thoroughly, developing an interest which extends beyond the classroom and into the wider world. You will develop a deeper understanding of the beliefs, teachings and philosophy that you study, as well as enhancing your academic skills of analysis, evaluation and extended written argument. In addition, due to its highly relevant, engaging material, study of contemporary issues, and emphasis on critical analysis, this is a worthwhile course of study 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.
Paper One: Philosophy - 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.
Paper Two: Ethical issues - 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.
Paper Three: Theology - You will undertake a systematic study of Christian theology. This will include the exploration of religious beliefs, values, teachings and practices that shape religious identity, as well as sources of wisdom and authority.
You do not require any specific resources to take this course, although you will find it extremely useful to purchase a recommended textbook and revision guide to support your learning in the subject.
There is no expectation that you have any prior knowledge of philosophy or religious studies, although some aspects of the course do link to GCSE courses in these areas. You will, however, need to demonstrate an interest in different viewpoints, and a willingness to engage in class discussions and debates.
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.
GCSE Level 6 in either R.E., English or History.
Entry to Sixth Form also requires: