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Philosophy and Ethics at City of Norwich School

Course description

Unit 1: AS Philosophy Foundations

The Design Argument – Does God exist? What are the arguments from religions? Does evolution destroy belief in God?The Cosmological Argument – What caused the universe? What is the purpose of life?Miracles – What is a miracle? Are miracles real or are people just seeing what they want to see?Evil and Suffering – Why is there evil in the world? Why do people suffer? Is there a convincing argument to account for evil from a religious perspective?

Unit 2: AS Ethics Foundations

Morality – Where do people get their sense of ‘right and wrong’ from? Is it based on rules, or does it change in different situations? Is religion a force for good or evil in the world?Situation Ethics – Is doing ‘the most loving thing’ the best way to act? Should laws be broken if the consequences are good?Utilitarianism – “The greatest good, for the greatest number” – This unit applies this idea to different real life examples. Is this the best guide for how to act?Sexual Ethics – This unit explores different attitudes towards sex, marriage, homosexuality and pornography. You explore the attitudes from religious and non-religious perspectives.


Unit 3: AS Investigations

Medical issues – You carry out an in-depth study of abortion and examine the controversies which arise, applying ethical theories, using case studies and carrying out detailed independent research.
Unit 4: Philosophy Developments

Ontological Argument – Can we define God? Can logic lead to proof of God?Life after Death – Is death the end? You explore the claims of religions and of atheists.Religious Experience – Can we trust people who say they have experienced God? What can experiences mean to individuals?Religious language – You explore the logic of language and apply these ideas to religious concepts.


Unit 5: A2 Ethics Developments


Moral Arguments – Why be good? What is the purpose of morality? You investigate the ideas of Immanuel Kant to reach a conclusion.Deontology – Which is more important, the action or the consequence? You use the ideas of scholars, applying their ideas to real life examples.

Natural Law – What is the purpose of humanity? This unit considers religious views regarding the purpose of mankind.Relativism – Should we accept the actions of others if we disagree? Should we allow different countries to enforce laws we disagree with? You must argue from your own perspective with regard to those questions.Ethical Language – What does the word ‘good’ actually mean? Is it taught, or do we all share a sense of ‘goodness’. You examine a variety of meta-ethical ideas.


Unit 6: A2 Implications


Philosophical Analysis – You work independently to analyse modern philosophical articles. The exam will ask just one question: “Do you agree with the ideas?” You have the opportunity to offer your own views and reach full, philosophical conclusions.

Where can Philosophy and Ethics lead you

This A-level allows for a diverse choice of opportunities which include studying law, medicine or the social sciences. It will also support careers in teaching, police, social work, or working in overseas development. Many employers look favourably on candidates who possess strong interpersonal skills and the ability to understand and evaluate different cultures and beliefs; this A level certainly provides those skills. The fundamental argument skills, logical techniques and evaluative perspective you will develop is an asset to any profession or choice of further study.

Entry requirements

A minimum requirement of 3 x A*-B and 3 x A*-C grades at GCSE including English and Mathematics to study 4 A’ levels. A minimum requirement of 5 x A*-C grades at GCSE including English and Mathematics to study 3 A’ levels with directed time. A minimum requirement of a B grade in English Language or Mathematics GCSE for students who wish to study English Literature and Further Mathematics respectively. Other Level 2 qualifications are not accepted as GCSE equivalences.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact City of Norwich School directly.

Last updated date: 26 June 2014
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Key information

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

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