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Philosophy & Ethics AS/A Level at Hall Cross Academy

Course description

Ever since humankind started to think, Philosophical thought, Ethics and Religion have been a fundamental part of our development.

As people look into the vastness of space or witness the miracle of birth, they contemplate the meaning of life and their own mortality.

It has always been this way. In the 21st century, Philosophy, Ethics and Religion still address the same eternal human questions about life and death, values and relationships, right and wrong.

Course content

AS Level

At AS level students will take 2 exams. Four topics are identified for study for each exam paper and there will be one question based on each topic. Candidates must answer 2 questions on each exam paper.

Unit 1 (Ethics):
  • Utilitarianism
  • Situation Ethics
  • Abortion and Euthanasia
  • Nature and Value of Human Life

Unit 2 (Philosophy):
  • Design Argument
  • Creation
  • Miracles
  • Quantum Mechanics
A Level

At A2 level students will take 2 exams. Four topics are identified for

Unit 3A (Ethics):

  • Libertarianism, Free Will and Determinism
  • Virtue Ethics
  • Sexual Ethics
  • Science and Technology

Unit 4: Human Experience

Students will study Life, Death and Beyond and include areas of study such as:

  • Eschatology and Judgement
  • Nature and Value of life
  • Apocolyptic beliefs
  • The spiritual world

Entry requirements

B grade in English Language/ Literature.


In the first year, you will take two papers in the areas of study chosen. The exam board studied is AQA and the exam title is Religious Studies. Philosophy and Ethics forms part of the suit of subjects within the umbrella of Religious Studies.

The 2 exams at AS last for1 hour 15 minutes. Students are required to answer two essay questions from a choice of four in each exam.

At A2, each exam lasts for 1 hour 30 minutes.

In the Unit 3 exam, students answer two essay questions from a choice of four, and in the Unit 4 exam, students answer one question from a choice of two on the topic of Life, Death and Beyond.

Future opportunities

The skills that you will learn in Philosophy and Ethics will be useful to you in any number of careers; teaching, youth work, journalism, civil service or government to name a few.

If you’re thinking of a career in law or medicine then this A Level is looked upon favourably for undergraduate courses too.

Further information

As part of the AS course we have previously run a visit to the Freud Museum in London followed by a visit to the West End to see the award winning show, 'The Book of Mormon'.

We also have a variety of speakers who come into lessons to share their thoughts and engage in philosophical and ethical discussion with our students.

We run revision and intervention sessions throughout the academic year and support our students in groups and on a one to one basis, where appropriate.

In order to be a successful student we insist on our students completing our wider reading challenge that gets them reading a wide variety of additional material that supports their subject knowledge, provides evidence for exam questions and also prepares them for University.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Hall Cross Academy directly.

Last updated date: 17 May 2016
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