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PHILOSOPHY, THEOLOGY AND ETHICS A Level 3 at Dover Grammar School for Girls

Course description

This specification offers a course with three very different topic areas.  In Philosophy, learners will study philosophical issues and questions raised by religion and belief.  These include arguments regarding the existence and non-existence of God, the nature and influence of religious experience and the problems of evil and suffering.  Ethics is characterised by the study of ethical language and thought, with exploration of key concepts and the works of influential thinkers.  Ethical theory will also be applied to issues of importance, namely euthanasia, business ethics and sexual ethics.  Theology provides a fascinating insight into the exploration of religious beliefs, values, teachings and practices that shape religious identity, as well as sources of wisdom and authority.  Also central are the ways in which religious traditions have developed over time, and religious responses to challenges and significant contemporary social issues.

This is a captivating and academically demanding A level course which is ‘good preparation for university study’ (Clare College Cambridge website).  It requires students to be mature and open minded as different points of view will be explored throughout the course.  A questioning mind and an ability to deal with abstract concepts is an advantage, as is the ability to analyse and criticise reasons for belief.

Course content

Students are required to complete 3 papers

Paper 1: Philosophy (Paper code: H573A/01)

The philosophical views of Plato and Aristotle followed by the soul, mind and body.

Teleological and cosmological arguments for God, as well as challenges to arguments from observation.

The nature and influence of religious experience followed by the problem of evil.

Written examination: 2 hours, 33.3% of the qualification 120 marks

Paper 2: Ethics (Paper code: H573/02)

Utilitarianism and Kantian Ethics.

Natural Moral Law and Situation Ethics.

An application of moral theory for Euthanasia and Business Ethics.

Written examination: 2 hours, 33.3% of the qualification 120 marks

Paper 3: Theology (Paper codes: H573/03)

Augustine’s teaching on human nature, followed by death and the afterlife.

Natural versus revealed knowledge of God’s existence, and a question of who Jesus was.

Moral principals in Christianity, followed by the teaching and example of Bonhoeffer.

Written examination: 2 hours, 33.3% of the qualification 120 marks


Entry requirements

Entry requirements for the Sixth Form: At least a grade 5 or above in English and Mathematics. You will require a 6 or B grade in most subjects you wish to study at A Level. To study Mathematics, Modern Foreign Languages or a Science subject you will require a 7. A 6 may be considered for Science on the condition that a Mathematics\ Science related course forms part of your Personal Enrichment Pathway (PEP). For Further Mathematics you will need an 8 or 9. The minimum requirement is four 6 or B grades and two others at a 5 or C grade. (Short Courses count as half a GCSE) . You will need a positive attitude in your chosen subjects and a respect for school aims, objectives and ethos. Commitment to the expectations of the Sixth Form and your school community.


The A Level course is based on external examination only.

Future opportunities

You could take this course with other advanced level courses as a general preparation for a higher education course or as a foundation for studying Theology or Religious Studies, Philosophy, Law and other humanities subjects at Higher education.With further training, you could go into a job related to Religious issues such teaching, Law, armed services, social work, public relations, nursing, personnel, counselling, research and church work.As with the other humanities, Philosophy of Religion is a good foundation for entering employment as it helps you develop the skills, understanding and knowledge that many employers across lots of industries are looking for, especially in sectors where people are the main focus.

Further information

To find out more about this qualification, contact us, ask your Connexions Personal Adviser or school/college careers staff.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 22 November 2017
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years