Philosophy & Ethics A Level

About the Course

Philosophy and Ethics encourages learners to think rigorously about fundamental questions of truth and human understanding. It also introduces students to the academic study of Philosophy, Ethics, and Theology. The course covers a vast range of philosophical and theological thought and encompasses every major intellectual tradition from Ancient Greece through to the modern-day. Students are introduced to some key thinkers such as Plato, Rene Descartes, John Stuart Mill, and Immanuel Kant. The course also allows students to consider the impact of key Christian thinkers such as Aquinas, Anselm, and Bothieus. Throughout the course, students are able to develop key academic skills such as critical thinking and developing an argument. The A-level course comprises three 2 hour exam papers on which students are assessed and they are assessed solely through essays.

Exam Board



Please refer to our Sixth Form prospectus for entry requirements.

Course Content

The course explores a range of key philosophical issues including how we gain knowledge, whether we have a soul, whether we can prove the existence of God, why there is evil and suffering, and what language we should use when talking about God. The ethics part of the course looks at theories of moral behaviour such as; Utilitarianism, Situation Ethics, Natural Law, and Kantian Ethics which are then applied to a variety of contemporary issues such as euthanasia, business ethics, and sexual ethics. Finally, the Development in Christian Thought section explores topics such as human nature and the origin of sin, death and the afterlife, the person of Jesus as well as contemporary issues including religious pluralism and gender in society.

Beyond the Classroom

Students are offered a wide range of opportunities outside of the classroom. To support the Developments in Christian Thought paper, we offer a trip to see The Book of Mormon. We also have several visiting speakers come into school to engage in dialogue with our students and most recently students have had the opportunity to attend an A-Level Philosophy conference led by Peter Vardy, prominent A-Level author.

Your Future

Where will success take me? The skills that you will learn in Philosophy and Ethics will be useful to you in any number of careers; teaching, youth work, journalism, civil service, or government, to name a few. If you're thinking of a career in law or medicine then this qualification is looked upon favorably for undergraduate courses too. You will learn critical thinking, how to use evidence, how to use logic, how to develop an argument, and engaging with source texts. Students who have studied this course have gone on to study at a range of top universities including the Universities of; Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, York, Durham, and Newcastle.