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Religious Studies ( Ethics & Philosophy) A Level at Lymm High Voluntary Controlled School

Course description

The course gives students the opportunity to develop their philosophical thinking skills and put very famous arguments to the test. It is an excellent preparation for university, as we encourage learning through discussion, engagement with famous primary texts and independent research. You don’t have to be religious to study this course and you don’t have to have studied it at GCSE. You just have to be interested in the most important questions that humans can ask and you must be prepared to think logically and critically about the way that you argue.

Course content

What will I study? Unit 1: Philosophy and Ethics Philosophy • The Design Argument — key ideas, strengths and weaknesses • The Cosmological Argument — key ideas, strengths and weaknesses • Problems of evil and suffering, different types of problems and solutions • A study of philosophical debates about miracles: concepts of miracle; reasons to believe in miracles; philosophical problems with reference to Hume Ethics • The relationship between religion and morality • Utilitarianism • Situation ethics • Issues of war and peace • Sexual ethics

Unit 2 This unit has an enquiry–based approach to teaching and learning: • Area B: The Study of Philosophy of Religion • Area C: The Study of Ethics Within each area of study there are three topics. Students must study one topic.

Unit 3: Development Topics • Philosophy of Religion • The Argument from Religious Experience • The Ontological Argument • The Non-Existence of God • Religious Language • Life after Death Ethics •Critique of the Relationshp between Religion and Morality •Deontology, Natural Law and Virtue Ethics •Ethical Language •Objectivity, Subjectivism and Relativism •Justice, Law and Punishment

Unit 4 In the Implications paper, candidates are given a piece of text from an anthology and are asked one question concerning the implications of this text for religion and human experience.

Entry requirements

Minimum of a B in English and a Humanities subject.


AS - There are two exams at the end of the AS year: • Unit 1: “Foundations” in which you have to answer three questions on Philosophy of Religion and Ethics. • Unit 2: “Investigations” in which you answer one question in 1 hour 15 minutes on a prepared topic.

A2 - Candidates sit 2 papers at the end of the year: “Unit 3: Developments”, which is 1 hour and 45 minutes long and “Unit 4: Implications” which is 1 hour and 15 minutes long. In the Developments paper, candidates answer three questions. This can either be 2 Philosophy of Religion and 1 Ethics or vice versa.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Lymm High Voluntary Controlled School directly.

Last updated date: 01 July 2015

Key information

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