The subject of Philosophy is a popular choice for students' Sixth Form studies, with over 60 students studying it in Years 12 and 13. It is a course which places an emphasis on developing a student's problem solving and creative abilities, as well as providing a forum for the debate of questions that have vexed humankind for centuries. The subject can be particularly useful for building a student's powers of analysis and evaluation, creativity and the ability to explore challenging and demanding concepts. Everyone who takes the course can make a valuable contribution, as Philosophy is very much about unlocking and understanding the human experience and condition. Needless to say, it is an exacting and academically rigorous course. It works well with humanities subjects like English and History, but the logical, analytic side of Philosophy combines well with Mathematics.
Some of the topics that are studied are: Plato's Cave and the Theory of the Forms, Descartes’ methodological doubt, and various philosophical arguments for the existence of God, as well as some critiques of religion, the analysis of knowledge and empirical experience and the nature of mind and thoughts. In Ethics we examine the nature and role of Ethics, whether ‘morality’ exists in any objective sense and then we consider ethical frameworks and theories such as Utilitarianism. In essence we wish to give our students a knowledge of some of the ideas that have shaped the world in which we live.
Philosophers go on to jobs in politics and government, law, psychology, education, and further education as well as having broad transferable skills of processing and evaluating competing arguments.
We follow the AQA A Level Philosophy course with four major topic areas: Epistemology, Moral Philosophy, Metaphysics of Mind and Metaphysics of God. The exams are two three-hour papers at the end of Year 13, covering all of these topic areas.
Grade 6 in GCSE English Language or Religious Studies guarantees a place on this course.
Please note that applicants must also meet our overall entry requirements of scoring at least a total of 42 points (simply add up all your GCSE grades) and achieve a Grade 4 or higher in both English Language and Mathematics.
You could take this course to complement other advanced level courses or to prepare for the A2 part of an Advanced GCE in Religious Studies, which could lead you onto higher education to study Theology or Religious Studies. With further training, you could go into a job related to Religious issues and Theology such as a Social Worker or Counsellor. You could also go straight into a job as the GCE is a recognised qualification that will help you develop the skills, understanding and knowledge that many employers across lots of industries are looking for, especially in sectors where people are the main focus.