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A-Level Philosophy at Winstanley College

Course description

Why should I study Philosophy at Winstanley?

Philosophy has been defined as ‘thinking about thinking’. It probes deeply into ordinary opinions and convictions on almost every topic; morality, politics, psychology, physics, and religion, taking familiar ideas apart and investigating the issues they raise. If you enjoy thinking and reflecting on these kinds of questions, then Philosophy is for you. But this course does not just introduce these and other like topics to you, it aims to give you the skills of thinking logically and effectively about them. Learning to do philosophy is training in disciplined thinking. At Winstanley you will be encouraged to think clearly and precisely about the problems you are attempting to solve and concentrate your attention on critical reasoning. In particular, you learn to look at your own reasoning self-critically as you respond to the criticisms of others. Philosophy fosters intellectual maturity. Because the lessons at Winstanley involve active discussion, it is hoped that your confidence will increase as you acquire interpersonal skills of expressing yourself straightforwardly and listening to other people.

Subject combinations

Prior knowledge of Philosophy is not expected from any student beginning this course. Because the skills employed in Philosophy are so fundamental to any academic discipline, it can be usefully combined with any subject, as it has been with former students. Although the method by which you will be assessed involves writing, and good reading skills would be an obvious asset, students studying Science or Maths have made very successful philosophers in previous years, as well as those studying other subjects. What is needed is an interest in philosophical problems, together with a willingness to argue a case rather than just assert it.


As a P & R student at Winstanley you will get the chance to go on a variety of department trips, workshops and conferences. You will also have access to a well-resourced section in the library, a fully stocked Moodle site, a selection of journals and use of the P&R department work area which is stocked with useful resources and an area to get some work done. The department also has a tutorial system where you can get individual one-to-one support throughout the year. There is a Winstanley Religion & Philosophy society who elects a president every year and they run student led enrichment such as film club, book club and charity events. Every year we run successful residentials. Locations in past years have been Rome, Beijing, Helmsley, Edinburgh and Auschwitz, Poland.

The future

Previous students have gone on to study a variety of degree courses, including Philosophy, Theology and Religion. The skills you will be developing are highly valued in all kinds of careers where critical evaluation and the understanding of others are needed; ranging from law, the media, management, teaching, social work, domestic and international politics. Employers need ‘transferable’ expertise and even though technologies and markets change, the kind of abilities philosophy encourages will always be in demand.

What will I study?

  • Ethics
  • Epistemology
  • Metaphysics
  • Philosophy of Mind


Examination 100%

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 21 September 2017
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years