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Philosophy & Ethics A2 at Southborough High School

Course description



‘Two things awe me most, the starry sky above me and the moral law within me.’ – Immanuel Kant

‘Let me give you a definition of ethics: It is good to maintain and further life, it is bad to damage and destroy life.’ – Albert Schweitzer


What is Philosophy and Ethics?


This course involves the study of two disciplines: Philosophy and Ethics. It concentrates on studying, debating and enquiring into issues and questions such as:


  •  If life is no more than DNA reproducing itself, isn’t it impossible for there to be an afterlife?
  • Do we have a duty to fight for our country?
  •  If our life is determined before we are born, how can we be held responsible for our bad actions?

You will be expected to analyse and evaluate some of the greatest philosophical arguments that have been debated and contested over thousands of years.

The course

Students complete two units in year 12 to complete their AS level, and two further units in year 13 to complete the full A-level course.



Course content


Year 13 (A2)

Philosophy of Religion

 Religious language; Experience and religion; Nature of God; Life and death; Miracle.

Religious Ethics

Meta-ethics; Free will and determinism; Conscience; Virtue ethics; Applied ethics topics


Entry requirements


Frequently asked questions

Q. Do I have to be religious to study Philosophy and ethics?

A. No, the course is designed to make you think for yourself. If you can think and defend your own view in an academic manner then your view is always valid.

Q. What subjects are Philosophy and Ethics compatible with?

A. Philosophy and Ethics is useful to study alongside any subject. It can be studied alongside other Humanities (History, English, Business Studies and Geography) or the Sciences, as the course involves analysis of the problems of genetic engineering and even creation.


Q. What degrees can I do with Philosophy and Ethics A-level?

A. The skills of analysis and evaluation that you will learn at A-level are applicable to any degree; thinking for yourself is a highly valued skill and is useful in any field. Degree courses such as Law, Journalism and Medicine recognise Philosophy and Ethics as a challenging A-level that equips you with the skills to approach controversial situations with an understanding, analytical and respectful attitude.


Q. Do I need to have studied it before?

A. There are no formal entry requirements to study R.S. at Southborough. However, students will be required to have demonstrated an aptitude for the subject through good GCSEs in humanities subjects such as R.S., History or Geography and/or in English.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 20 May 2014
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: one year
  • Number of planned places: 12

Contact details