Accessibility links

Critical Thinking AS Level at South Dartmoor Community College

Course description

The Course in Critical Thinking is different from all other subjects at AS level. It doesn’t involve learning any facts, but as the title suggests, it is about learning how to think and reason and use accurately the language of Thinking and Reasoning, as well as how to write in a coherent and logical way. Although these skills are particularly applicable to subjects such as English, History, Law and the Social Sciences, taking Critical Thinking will be beneficial to any candidate. It will show that such candidates have attained a national standard in skills which will be prized by universities and employers alike.Critical Thinking is a fundamental academic skill and it is useful for students taking a wide variety of AS and A2 subjects.

Course content

You will learn to:

  • develop an understanding of the principles, concepts and techniques of Critical Thinking;
  • develop the skills of communication, problem solving, analysis and evaluation; • develop a framework for moral, social and ethical decision-making;
  • develop a capacity for methodical and critical thought which will serve as an end in itself as well as a basis for further study;
  • understand the importance of examining knowledge and beliefs critically;
  • recognise, analyse and evaluate your own and others’ beliefs and knowledge claims in a variety of contexts;
  • recognise and evaluate assumptions;
  • evaluate reasoning of different kinds, including common and important species of reasoning;
  • make connections and synthesise information and arguments;
  • generate your own arguments and express them clearly.

Entry requirements

The minimum qualifications required are 5 GCSE passes at grade C or above, to include English Language with at least a grade B.


The qualification is only offered at AS level at present. It has two units with two examination papers in which candidates will be required to give evidence to support an argument, to write a critical evaluation of an argument, to write reasoned cases using evidence provided, and to assess the reliability of differing accounts of the same event.

Component 1 – Introduction to Critical Thinking (50%) • the language of reasoning • credibility - 1.5 hours

Component 2 – Assessing and Developing Argument (50%) • analysis of complex arguments • evaluating complete arguments • developing reasoned arguments - 1.5 hour

Future opportunities

Critical Thinking is useful for all forensic professions (Law, Police etc), anyone interested in further degrees or who need to be involved in persuading and convincing the public. It is also an essential component of the AQA Baccalaureate along with the Extended Project Qualification.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact South Dartmoor Community College directly.

Last updated date: 21 September 2016

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 year