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Critical Thinking AS-Level at Kingsbridge Community College

Course description

This course is a challenge!

Although the exams are short, and there is no requirement to write long essays, you will need to work hard to understand the techniques of argument. The skills that you will learn here will be invaluable, not merely for success in the exams, but for all your other courses (particularly those where you have to argue) and for life in general.

If you want to be successful then you will need to be prepared to pitch into discussion and put forward (and defend) your own point of view. As there are fewer lessons than other AS subjects a high level of attendance is very important.

The course is examined through two exams:

AS Unit 1: Introduction to Critical Thinking

The first AS Unit concerns the credibility of evidence. We rely on the testimony of others for much of our information about the world, but how can we decide whether or not a source of information is reliable? When several sources of information conflict, what method can we use to decide which of them (if any) to believe? This Unit gives answers to these questions, providing students with tools to assess the credibility of documents and individual witnesses and with a framework for resolving disputes.

AS Unit 2: Assessing and Developing Argument

Perhaps the core skill in critical thinking is that of assessing and developing arguments. This is the concern of the second AS Unit. It teaches students how to analyse the argument in a passage, establishing what evidence is being offered in support of what conclusion. Once this has been done, students are asked to assess the strength of the support provided by the evidence, often exposing flaws in the reasoning. Finally, students are asked to construct persuasive arguments of their own, developing skills that should prove useful outside the classroom.

If you are intending to apply for Medicine, Veterinary Science or Law, or intend to apply for Oxford or Cambridge, this course will help to prepare you for the additional tests that Universities require and we recommend that you take this as a fifth AS subject.

Entry requirements

At least 5 GCSEs at grades A* - C including English and Maths. Students are expected to select a minimum of 4 AS subjects in Year 12 and continue to follow a minimum of 3 subjects to A2 in Year 13. 

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Kingsbridge Community College directly.

Last updated date: 07 April 2015

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 year