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Philosophy & Ethics AS & A Level at Banbury Academy

Course description

Philosophy and Ethics A’ Level invites students to ask questions, debate, challenge and investigate. We explore the world we live in alongside the deeper moral, ethical and philosophical questions and issues of life and beyond. This is an exciting A’ Level which has the reputation for being one of very few courses where you know less at the end of the course than you did at the beginning!

Philosophy: This is a subject that will either give you a headache or a real buzz! The aim of philosophy is to explore the BIG questions of life and the universe that have fascinated human kind for centuries. We explore questions such as: How did the universe begin? Is there design in the universe? Why, if God is good and powerful, is there evil in the world? Can we ever know God through religious experience? Is religion merely a ‘psychological crutch’ or a method of controlling society? What happens when we die?

Ethics: This course focuses on the dilemmas and decisions we are all faced with. Just look at the newspapers or listen to the news to see the challenges of living in the 21st Century. How should we respond to them?  Ethics takes a deeper look at how human beings decide what is right and wrong, good and bad. The questions we explore range from ‘if I do a good thing for a bad reason, does it matter? Is it ever right to kill another person? Do the needs of the majority necessarily outweigh the needs of the few? Is war ever justified?

Entry requirements

  • Preferably grade B in English or English Literature and at least 4 other GCSEs grade C+
  • An enquiring mind and the ability to construct and deconstruct arguments.  


Philosophy of Religion Paper

  • Philosophical Issues (AS only)
  • Arguments for the existence of God (Cosmological, Teleological, Ontological) (AS only)
  • Nature and influence of religious  experience (AS only)
  • Problem of evil and suffering (AS only)
  • Language
  • Philosophers
  • Non‐existence of God and critiques of religion (Freud and Marx)
  • Influences and developments: life after death and religion/science debates

Religion and Ethics Paper

  • Significant issues in concepts and debates (AS only)
  • Utilitarianism, situation ethics, and natural moral law (AS only) 
  • War and Peace (AS only)
  • Sexual Ethics (AS only)
  • Ethical Language
  • Ethical Theory
  • Comparison of 2 scholars Kant and Aristotle ‐Medical Ethics: beginning and end of life debates

Theoretical Background Paper

  • Religious beliefs, values and traditions (AS only)
  • Sources of wisdom and authority (AS only)
  • Practices that shape and express religious identity (AS only)
  • Social and historical developments
  • Comparative study of two scholars
  • Religion and Society

Future opportunities

Philosophy and Ethics A’ Level develops a broad range of transferable skills to enable students to respond with confidence to the demands of undergraduate study and the world of work. It particularly develops the skills of critical thinking, analysis, debate and evaluation; skills particularly useful in careers such as journalism, law, politics, media, education, medicine and public relations.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 26 September 2016

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