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Why Choose Philosophy?

The A Level in Philosophy provides students with the opportunity to develop analytical thinking skills which are essential for many forms of study and future careers. The course will provide students with the chance to investigate important life questions, examine how people make moral and religious truth claims, explore the meaning of knowledge and examine different interpretations, values and beliefs. 

The course continues some themes developed in GCSE Religious Studies; but is a new subject which requires a new way of thinking. The subject is an interesting overlap of thinking skills, logical approaches and extended writing. Students need to display a genuine enthusiasm for the course. Although no personal belief is required at all, pupils need to have a respect and fascination for religious and philosophical ideas and concepts. 

The course has been designed to:

  • Enable students to develop the key study and critical assessment skills that are required at undergraduate level

  • Provide a means with which students can problem solve in an engaging environment

  • Enable pupils to show their ability to develop a line of argument

  • Allow pupils to develop skills of empathy and self-development 

  • Create a brand new way of approaching the knowledge we have of the world around us


Pupils study 4 modules across the 2 years: 

  1. Epistemology – the quest for knowledge and our perception of the world. How do we justify our knowledge? Do we trust our sensory perceptions? How much proof do we need to believe something?

  2. Moral Philosophy – the philosophy behind our ethical decision making, what do we mean when we say do the “right” thing. Ethical theories of Utilitarianism, Kantian Deontology and Virtue Ethics

  3. Philosophy of Religion – what are the characteristics of God? How do we know God? Arguments and Proofs, Does our language enable us to talk about God?

  4. Philosophy of Mind – the relationship between body and soul, functionalism and behaviourism 

GCE title and specification code - AQA Philosophy 7172 

You can see the full specification by clicking on the following link