Philosophy AS/A-Level at Hellesdon High Sixth Form Centre
What is Philosophy?
Philosophy literally means ‘love of wisdom’. It asks questions like:
- Why does anything bother to exist at all?
- What do we know, and how we know that we know it?
- Is there a metaphysical (religious) background to why the universe exists? Can this be shown by reasonand logic?
- How we should live morally? Does morality exist at all?
- and perhaps most fascinating of all, What is the nature of the mind and of consciousness?
Why study Philosophy?
It has been the most influential subject in the history of the world. The world has been run by philosophers andphilosophies since civilization first emerged, sometimes well, sometimes not so well. The Philosophies of the Greeks –Plato and Socrates – underpin virtually every aspect of our culture (even our language). Think of the philosophy ofMarxism, which is at the centre of the political system of Communism, which has dominated Russia/the USSR, China,Vietnam, and elsewhere. The philosophy of Nietzsche was perverted by Hitler to produce Nazi philosophy, which wasused to justify the execution of 9 million men, women and children in the concentration camps during World War II.
What makes a successful Philosophy student?
Philosophy is a difficult, but worthwhile subject, so determination is necessary. An enquiring mind is essential as wellas an ability to express your own opinion in a reasoned way, also to be able to consider other opinions andjustifications behind them.
To study at Hellesdon High School Sixth Form you will need: SIX GCSEs A* - C Grades will enable you to study FOUR A/S Level courses.
We would advise that a Grade B at GCSE would be a good indicator of potential for A Level but we will discuss this with you. Equally we can discuss options for individuals who may fall short of the six higher grade entry requirements.
When applying for courses you should look to study subjects that:
- a) You have a strong interest in (and enjoyment of)
- b) You feel you are successful at
- c) Your Yr11 teachers have highlighted you are good at.
It may also be useful to investigate university/employment websites if you have a particular interest in following a subject forward after Sixth Form.
Due to the essay writing elements and the fact that the course is 100% exam based, good written communication skillsare essential. A grade B or above in English GCSE would usually, (but not always) be a good measure of achieving ahigh grade in Philosophy.
Philosophy teaches the skills of argument and analysis. It is therefore a major access route into careers like: Law, Medicine, Business, Journalism, Dentistry, Teaching, Lecturing, Accountancy, and so on: in fact to any career that involves argument and analysis. It shows your ability to think, plan and evaluate – valuable assets for any career.
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Hellesdon High Sixth Form Centre directly.