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Religious Studies: Philosophy and Ethics A-Level at St Leonards Catholic School

Course description

The Religious Education Department offers students the opportunity to study an A/S and A2 course in Philosophy and Ethics, following the OCR specification for Religious Studies.

Course content

THE AS COURSE
 
In AS Philosophy (G571) you will study:
  • some aspects of the thinking of the Greek Philosophers Plato and Aristotle;
  • the origins of the Judaeo-Christian concept of God;
  • the traditional arguments for the existence of God as presented by scholars such as Anselm, Descartes, Aquinas and Kant;
  • the problem of evil
  • objections to these arguments from other philosophers and from science.
In AS Ethics (G572) you will study:
  • a variety of ethical theories about morality, including the theories of scholars such as Aquinas, Kant, Bentham and Mill;
  • critically theories such as Natural law, the Categorical Imperative and Utilitarianism;
  • how religion and morality are linked and how far morality may be seen to be dependent on God;
  • how to apply your knowledge and understanding of the theories studied to issues such as the right to a child, abortion, euthanasia and genetic engineering, war and peace.
At the end of the AS course you will complete an examination in both Philosophy and Ethics.
 
THE A2 COURSE
 
If you decide to continue onto the A2 course in Philosophy (G581) you will study the following topics:
  • religious language – exploring questions such as is it meaningful or is it impossible to say anything meaningful about God using human language?
  • religious experience and the different types of experiences people claim to have had and how they may help them to believe in God.
  • the nature of God – the variety of philosophical views and the problems that arise from them
  • issues of life and death – what happens at death?
In A2 Ethics (G582) you will study:
  • ethical language and what different scholars mean when they use terms such as ‘good’, ‘bad’, ‘right’ and wrong’.
  • ideas such as free-will and determinism, the nature and role of conscience and the implications of these for moral responsibility and decision making.
  • the different ethical theories you have studied to environmental and business ethics and to sexual ethics.
At the end of the A2 course you will complete an examination in both Philosophy and Ethics.

 

Entry requirements

  • each applicant must achieve at least eight GCSE or equivalent Level 2 Qualification passes at grade A*-G
  • each applicant must achieve at least five GCSE passes1 at grade A*-C
  • each applicant must achieve at least four GCSE B grades including at least a grade B2 in each subject to be taken at AS Level (see course entry requirements listed in section 6 of this admissions policy).
  • any applicant wishing to study a science subject (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) at AS Level must achieve at least a grade B in GCSE Additional Science if taking double science rather than separate sciences. If taking separate sciences then the applicant must achieve at least a grade B in the science subject to be taken at AS Level.
  • any applicant wishing to study a subject at AS that they are not currently studying at GCSE must consult the list of entry requirements listed in section 6 of this admissions policy.
  • any applicant currently studying a subject at GCSE that they wish to continue to study at AS must achieve at least a grade B in that subject at GCSE.
  • each applicant must study a minimum of four AS Level courses to completion in Year 12 and a minimum of three A2 Level courses to completion in Year 13.
  • each applicant must study the General Religious Education Course to completion

Future opportunities

This subject can make a significant contribution to any job that requires to think clearly and rigorously. Students of this course go into Law, Politics, the Civil Service, Medicine, Personnel, Business and Journalism because they will have to learn how to think clearly and analytically. They will have learnt how to write well and to present their ideas logically and clearly. Medical students find the Ethics parts of the course at both AS and A A2 an excellent preparation for some of the moral issues and dilemmas that they have to deal with.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Leonards Catholic School directly.

Last updated date: 22 April 2015

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1-2 years

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