Exam Board: OCR
In Philosophy and Ethics, we examine some of the deepest questions underlying human existence. Is there an ultimate intelligence behind the universe, and if so, how could we ever know? Why are we here? Is there such a thing as good and evil, right and wrong – or are they just human inventions, to keep people in their place? If there is a God, and God is both good and all-powerful, why is there so much evil in the world? Over the centuries, some of humankind’s greatest thinkers have suggested answers to these questions, and you will be grappling with these answers, as well as (hopefully) suggesting answers of your own. Philosophy and Ethics is an essay-based subject that requires the ability to argue and debate and also the ability to think for oneself. The teachers have tailor-made a textbook to the exact requirements of the Specification, so that note-taking during lesson-time is reduced to a minimum and discussion can range widely.
The subject is valued by universities because it develops critical analysis and gives pupils the confidence to deal with the abstract.
Philosophy of Religion I - This is an examined module that compares and contrasts ancient Greek and Judaeo-Christian ideas of the divine. We examine the traditional arguments for God’s existence as well as secular challenges to religious belief.
AS 50% A2 25%
Ethics I - This is an examined module looking at the notion of moral goodness. What is it? Where does it come from? Is it merely custom or is it somehow natural to us? We also look at applied ethical questions such as genetic engineering, abortion and euthanasia.
AS 50% A2 25%
Philosophy of Religion II - This is an examined module that covers questions such as the meaning of religious language, whether it is possible for humans to experience God and whether it might be people for people to live on after physical death.
Ethics II - This is an examined module. It looks at the issue of free will and determinism. If everything we do is determined by our environment or our genes, or fate, or a combination of these, moral choices are an illusion. What grounds do we have for supposing we are free?
Sessions will vary: there will be lecture-style lessons, seminars and small-group discussions. Everyone is encouraged to take an active involvement in the lessons. Video footage is often used, ranging from Ghost to The Song of Bernadette, as well as straight documentaries, such as Stigmata in Derby, Glimpses of Life After Death, and Can God’s Existence Be Proved?
Costs involved are: two London conferences at around £15 each.
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. The subject is valued by universities because, as well as being a long-established A Level qualification in its own right, it develops critical analysis and gives pupils the confidence to deal with the abstract. 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 AS 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.