History, Philosophy and Theology

History, Philosophy and Theology
History, Philosophy and Theology
We are only accepting one application per candidate.

What will you be working towards?

Code 7172
Qualification Type GCE A/AS Level or Equivalent
Qualification Level Level 3


Why Study Philosophy?

Philosophy is fundamentally the nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, it comes from Greek words meaning “love of wisdom.” Philosophy uses the tools of logic and reason to analyse the ways in which humans experience the world. It teaches critical thinking, close reading, clear writing, and logical analysis; it uses these to understand the language we use to describe the world, and our place within it. Different areas of philosophy are distinguished by the questions they ask. Do our senses accurately describe reality? What makes wrong actions wrong? How should we live? These are philosophical questions, and philosophy teaches the ways in which we might begin to answer them.


Course Description

We will consider the very basis of knowledge. Questions such as: How do we acquire knowledge? What counts as reliable knowledge? Is there certain knowledge? Is knowledge justified true belief? What happens if your justification turns out to be false? Is getting knowledge from a teacher enough to say that it must be true? What further checks could you carry out to make this knowledge more certain? We will consider whether the attributes of God are logically impossible.

For instance, can an omnipotent God make a stone so heavy he cannot lift it? Can the existence of God be proved logically or empirically? If God is all-knowing, does that mean he already knows our future? There is the opportunity to consider ethics. Are we free or determined? If the latter, can we be held responsible for our actions? Do we have objective ethical truths or is our morality relative? How do we approach ethical dilemmas? Is it clear what course of action is the best? If you are faced with a choice to save five people you do not know, or one you do, what do you choose to do?

Beyond A level

Successful completion of this A level will give access to a range of possible career and educational opportunities. Employers and universities value the range of transferable skills accumulated by the students throughout their A level which include synthesising, interpreting and evaluating information from a variety of scholarly sources and the need for the research to be effectively communicated. Students who have completed this course have gone on to study a host of disciplines including sciences, journalism, business studies, philosophy and theology, anthropology, archaeology, robotics, and engineering.

How will it be delivered?

There are two external exams at the end of Year 13, each of 3 hours, contributing equally to the qualification.

Entry requirements

It is not necessary that you have studied RS at GCSE, and neither must you have any particular religious leaning. If you have an interest in asking questions about the existence of God, in human existence, in ethics and values; if you have an interest in religion in general or if you wish to follow a philosophical and ethical approach to study then this course will provide you with the opportunity to study those areas of interest.

To take the course, it is strongly recommended to have achieved GCSEs at grade 5 or higher in English Language, as well as grade 5 or above in Mathematics, and if taken a grade 5 or above in Religious studies. What is absolutely required though is that you have an inquisitive nature – that you love asking questions and always push for answers. Without this desire to know, or to find out, the course will fail to engage you.