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Philosophy and Ethics A-Level at Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College

Course description

In Philosophy and Ethics we ask BIG questions, such as: To what extent does our morality depend on religion? Is war ever justified? Are abortion and euthanasia ever right? Can we know whether God exists or not? Do we have free will?

Studying Philosophy and Ethics at AS Level is both challenging and exciting. You’ll have the opportunity to grapple with a wide range of philosophical issues in two introductory units. You’ll be invited to challenge your own ideas about religion and morality and you’ll also be expected to be open to the views of others and to write your responses in a clear and coherent way.

At A2, you can go deeper into both Philosophy of Religion and Moral Philosophy we will discuss and debate some of the most puzzling issues that human beings have struggled to resolve concerning how we should live and how we should treat each other. If you enjoy reading, debating and writing about important matters, we promise you’ll find A2 Philosophy and Ethics fascinating.

Philosophy is highly regarded by universities and is accepted for entry onto degree courses in Philosophy and many other subjects. Universities and employers alike value the analytical skills developed through studying this discipline.

Course content

AS Level

This course consists of two modules, each covering two topics that introduce students to the study of Philosophy:

Module 1: Philosophy of Religion

  • Ancient Greek influences on philosophy of religion;
  • Judaeo-Christian influences on philosophy of religion;
  • Traditional arguments for the existence of God;
  • Challenges to religious belief.

Module 2 – Religious Ethics

  • Ethical theories;
  • Applied ethics topics.

A2 Level

Students who choose to continue their study of Philosophy and Ethics will take two further modules:

Module 3 – Philosophy of Religion

  • Religious language and the meaning of religious statements;
  • The nature of religious experiences;
  • The coherence of the concept of God;
  • Life after death;
  • Miracles

Module 4 – Religious Ethics

  • Meta-ethics;
  • Free will and determinism;
  • Conscience;
  • Virtue ethics
  • Applied ethics topics.

How it is taught

We use a variety of teaching methods, and expect you to get involved; you will be expected to participate in discussion and problem solving activities, as well as read, take notes and write essays.

All the units are assessed by exams.

Entry requirements

The usual entry requirement to QE is 5 GCSE grades at C or above including Maths or English. A good number of students study four AS Levels in their first year and to do this we require at least 3B grades and 3C grades at GCSE including Maths and English Language. Students who do not achieve these GCSE grades take fewer subjects at A Level and will be required to do resits in GCSE Maths and English if they have not already achieved a grade C in these core subjects. The College is large enough to have a very flexible timetable that allows students to take almost any combination of subjects at A Level. The advantage of this system is that we can tailor your programme to suit your needs and abilities. We give lots of advice if you decide to apply to the College.

Subject Specific

Students do not need any specific GCSE grades to take Philosophy and Ethics other than meeting the general college entry requirements for Advanced Level study. However, we prefer that students have at least a grade C in GCSE English.


AS - Religious Ethics

1.5 hour exam - 1st Year May 50%

AS - Philosophy of Religion

1.5 hour exam - 1st Year May 50%

A2 - Philosophy of Religion

1.5 hour exam - 2nd Year June 50%

A2 - Religious Ethics

1.5 hour exam - 2nd Year June 50%

Future opportunities

Philosophers from QE have gone on to a wide range of careers, including journalism, medicine, teaching, advertising and working in the health service. Universities accept Philosophy and Ethics as an A Level for a huge variety of courses. Many Philosophy and Ethics students choose to do combined courses such as Philosophy with Politics, Psychology or Physics.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College directly.

Last updated date: 17 April 2015
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