Accessibility links

Philosophy and Ethics A Level at Aylesbury Grammar School

Course description

In Ethics we explore the moral dimension of how human beings decide what is right and wrong, good and bad. We examine ways in which different philosophers have tried to define what it means to be a good person. Most of the philosophers we study are European and have been shaped by their Christian religion. In that sense the course comes under the remit of Religious Studies (the title of the qualification). We will not, however, be looking systematically at the teachings of any religious tradition in detail.

To study ethics seriously you must be prepared to examine your views critically and be open to a range of ideas that may be quite different from your own and may challenge them. You must be willing to train your mind to think more clearly, logically and systematically and to analyse and evaluate a range of ideas. These transferable skills are highly valued by employers.

Course content

In year 12 we study two AS units:

 Unit A: Utilitarianism, Situation Ethics, Abortion and Euthanasia

 Unit B: Kantian Ethics, Natural Law, Environmental issues


In year 13 we study two A2 units:

 Unit 3A Free Will, Virtue Ethics, Sexual behaviour and human relationships

 Unit 4A: Religion and Human Experience

Entry requirements

Students must have a grade B or higher in both their Religious Studies GCSE and English Language GCSE.


Each of the four units is assessed by written examination – the two AS exams lasts 1 hour 15 minutes each and the A2 exams last 1 hour 30 minutes each. In each exam students answer two questions from a choice of four, except in unit 4A which consists of one extended essay.

Future opportunities

This course will benefit anyone intending to pursue a career in health, social work, accountancy, banking, armed forces, management, government, politics, law, education (and many other professions besides); because they all involve making important ethical decisions on behalf of other people on a regular basis.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Aylesbury Grammar School directly.

Last updated date: 15 June 2015

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 - 2 Years