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Philosophy and Ethics A Level at The Misbourne School

Course description

Philosophy is a subject which deals with fundamental questions of life.

Does God exist? If God exists, why is there evil and suffering? Why are we here? What is the purpose of life? Is there such thing as a religious experience?

Ethics looks at issues of right and wrong.

Can something ever be described as wrong? Who are we to decide? How do we decide?  We consider current ethical debates such as abortion and euthanasia, capital punishment, embryo research, cloning and designer babies and testing on animals.

Students gain critical and evaluative skills sought by higher education and employer – particularly in Law, Education, Social work, Politics, Medicine, Administration and the Media. This is the subject to choose if you love to argue and challenge conventional thought and take an interest in current issues!

You need to have strong essay writing skills and be prepared to write lots of notes in both lessons and in your own time. You will need to be confident in speaking out in lessons, willing to debate and at times to play devil's advocate. The course is graded on written papers - there is no coursework - so you will need good literacy skills and the ability to revise well.

Course content

Philosophy: Arguments for the existence of God, Evil and Suffering, Religious Experience, Life after Death, God and Ultimate reality, Key moral principles, Religious Identity and Sources of wisdom and authority.

This side of the course you will need to understand the meaning and significance of the content in the wider world and the influence of these beliefs and teaching on individuals, communities and societies

Ethics: Natural moral law, doubt, situation ethics, moral decision making, embryo research, designer babies, abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide, capital punishments, the use of animals of food and intensive farming.

This side of the course you will need to understand the meaning and significance of the content in the wider world and the influence of these beliefs and teaching on individuals, communities and societies.

Both the Ethics and Philosophy side of the course has a focus on Christianity

How will the course be delivered?

The course will be delivered by two teachers; with one teacher specialising in philosophy and the other in ethics. Both teachers will be using a student centred approach which develops skills of independent study and confidence in conveying ideas to others; active methods of learning employed

Entry requirements

English Language or English Literature (5), and if taken, Philosophy and Ethics (B)

Five A* - C GCSE grades or equivalent, including GCSE English Language and GCSE Mathematics at grade 4 as long as the subject entry requirements above do not state the need for a higher grade..

In exceptional circumstances, students with GCSE English Language or GCSE Mathematics grade 3 may be considered.

Students below grade 4 in GCSE English Language and GCSE Mathematics will undertake the statutory retake programme, attending lessons throughout Sixth Form until they achieve at least a grade 4


At the end of Year 13

  • Students sit two papers in June of three hours each. There is no coursework.
  • One paper is Philosophy and Ethics and the other is on the study of religion.
  • Each paper include two compulsory two-part questions, each worth 10 marks and 15 marks

Financial information

Students in The Misbourne Sixth Form who experience financial constraints or barriers can apply to access additional funding to support their academic journey through their Key Stage 5 studies.

Students who meet the eligibility criteria can access this additional funding to assist with the cost of transport, essential course equipment, meals in school, educational visits, uniform or other school resources, the cost of attending university or career interviews, financial support towards childcare costs or exam re-sit fees.

A Bursary Fund Committee meets three times a year to consider applications and award bursaries.

Future opportunities

Philosophy is the study of ‘why’ and therefore is an excellent starting point for any future degree. It is highly thought of by universities as a good foundation from which to study.

Ethics is key to business, medicine and politics and is a topic often featured in the news.

Career Opportunities exist in: journalism, business, scientific research, police, social services, medical services, politics, military occupations and teaching.

Further information

What will it combine with?

Philosophy and ethics will complement a range of arts, humanities and science subjects, but especially psychology, sociology, geography, government and politics, law, business studies and English.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Misbourne School directly.

Last updated date: 09 February 2017
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