Exam board: AQA


Entry Requirements: A*-C in Religious Studies, 5+ in English Language or Literature


Course description:


In the first year students will study two components.  The first is philosophy and ethics: students will study philosophical debates such as arguments for the existence of God, the logic of evil and suffering and how people experience religions.  On the ethics paper, students will study ethical theories and apply these to issues of both human and animal life and death


The second component is the study of religion.  Students will study issues relevant to all religions, and take a particular focus on Christianity.  Issues covered include discussing the sources of wisdom and authority, the nature of God and ‘ultimate reality’, life after death, key moral principles and religious identity.


The Year 13 course follows a similar structure but with the additional topics added – in philosophy these are religious language, miracles, and self, death and the afterlife, and in ethics these are meta ethics, free will and moral responsibility, and the role of the conscience.  On the study of religion: gender and sexuality, Christianity and science, challenge of secularism, migration and religious pluralism.


At the end of Year 13 there is one 3h Philosophy of Religion and Ethics exam worth 50% of the marks and one 3h Study of Religions exam worth a further 50% of the marks – both papers will cover content from both Year 12 and Year 13. There is no coursework for this A-Level.


Why you should consider this course:


Is this the real world? Why does the universe exist?  Is war ever justified?

If you are interested in the questions above the Philosophy and Ethics might be for you.  It is an opportunity to explore questions that delve into the deepest aspects of what it means to be human. You will have the opportunity to share ideas with your peers and develop your own opinions.


Philosophy literally translated means love of wisdom. Philosophy encourages you to question, explore ideas and to think for yourself. An important aspect of the course is learning to think critically and express your ideas effectively.


Ethics is a branch of Philosophy which is concerned with how we know what is right and wrong.  Just like studying Philosophy of Religion, studying Ethics will help you develop your reasoning skills. It will also broaden your awareness of the complexity of moral issues.


Subject suitability for degree course or future career:


Studying Philosophy and Ethics will help you develop the tools you need to think critically and reason effectively. It will teach you how to recognise strengths and flaws in arguments that are presented to you. It encourages you to think deeply, ask questions and to be curious about life. The skills you learn will be useful in any subject that you study at University and in daily life.


The A-Level can be good preparation for a wide variety of University courses such as Broadcasting, Humanities subjects, Journalism, Law, Police work, Social Work and Teaching. It can also be useful for students studying for a profession where they will have to make decisions with ethical implications such as Medicine.


Contact name: Morgan Mirams: