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Philosophy & Ethics AS & A Level at Scarborough Sixth Form College

Course description

This course explores some of the ultimate questions facing humanity through an open and enquiring study of philosophy and ethics. If you are an inquisitive individual and are interested in having the opportunity to discuss and debate key issues.

The course also delves into key philosophical arguments from the views of Plato and Aristotle or looks quizzically at the world and God’s existence in comparison with key thinkers such as David Hume. Students are encouraged to interact and take part in lessons through group and paired work but independent work is also important. It is not necessary to have studied Religion at school or to have a religious belief.

Course content

AS Year

Philosophy of Religion
This module introduces some of the key ideas and concepts in philosophy. We will start by looking at Ancient Greek and Biblical influences on philosophical thought. We then go on to consider the traditional arguments for the existence of God: can we prove that God exists? What is the evidence? We also examine challenges to religious belief such as the problem of evil.

Religious Ethics
This module addresses key ethical theories from prominent philosophers such as Thomas Aquinas, Kant and Jeremy Bentham. These theories are then applied to practical ethical issues such as medical ethics, business ethics and the ethics of war and peace.

A2 Year

Philosophy of Religion
In this module we will examine arguments and evidence for life after death and the existence of the soul – for example, we will consider past life ‘memories’, near death experiences and arguments from a range of philosophers and religious thinkers. We also study religious experience and miracles, the nature of God and the meaning of religious language. In addition a we study developments in Christian thought; which includes views of human nature, different ways of interpreting who Jesus

Religious Ethics
A2 ethics involves the study of ‘meta-ethics’, or the meaning ethical language, as well as key ethical theories. We also consider the concepts of free will and determinism: are we free to make our own moral decisions, or are we simply products of our society or biology? If God creates us, then does this mean He is responsible for our moral decisions? And what is the role of conscience in moral decision-making? We then go on to apply ethical theory to issues such as environmental ethics, business ethics and sexual ethics.

Entry requirements

You do not need to have taken GCSE Religious Studies however you will need to meet the A Level entry requirements.


All modules are assessed by written examination.

Future opportunities

After an A or AS level in Philosophy & Ethics (R.S.) you can use it to apply for a job or degree in just about anything. The application of ethical principles is essential to most disciplines but particularly to modern-day medicine, law, science, technology, environmental studies, economics and business.

At degree level Philosophy & Ethics (R.S.) is a useful subject on its own but could also be taken alongside the study of literature, culture, history, sociology, psychology or music. It obviously has great value for such careers as social work, medicine, nursing and teaching.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Scarborough Sixth Form College directly.

Last updated date: 16 November 2016
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