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Religious Studies and Ethics at Neston High School

Course description

What do the terms ‘philosophy’ & ‘ethics’ mean? Philosophy, from the Greek meaning ‘love of wisdom’, concerns the human search for a true understanding of the world. Ranging over every branch of human thought, it asks what knowledge is, how it is acquired and it relates to our existence. Ethics relates to the Greek word ‘ethikos’, meaning ‘character’. Ethics is the branch of Philosophy concerned with morality. It explores ideas of right and wrong, actions and consequences, motives, moral decision making and human nature.

Why study Philosophy and Ethics? This is your chance to engage with some of the greatest thinkers the western world has produced and some of the biggest issues they have tackled. Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Hume, Kant, Bentham, Mill, Descartes, Russell, Plantinga, Singer and many others: you will consider their views, as applied to key questions such as ‘Does God exist?’ ‘How should we behave?’ ‘Are we truly free?’ ‘Are rules absolute or relative?’ ‘What happens when we die?’ etc.

Philosophy and Ethics @ Neston High School This is a successful and well-established course, where students have achieved a high level of success (including an almost 100% pass rate). All have expressed their enjoyment of the subject matter covered and the methods of study used. A number have gone on to study Philosophy and/or Theology at University. Some have even gone on to train as RE teachers themselves! Almost all have gone on to study some form of higher education.

Areas of Study AS Philosophy Plato on the nature of reality, Aristotle on the cause of the universe, Judaeo/Christian influences, arguments for God’s existence - Ontological, Cosmological, Teleological & the Moral Argument, key responses to these arguments, other challenges to belief in God - the problem of evil & challenges from science.

AS Ethics Is morality absolute or relative? Key normative ethical theories – Natural Law, Kantian Ethics, Utilitarianism, Situation Ethics & Religious Ethics in general. Applied ethics – abortion, euthanasia, fertility treatment, genetic engineering, embryology & warfare.

A2 Philosophy Classic ideas on the nature of God (simplicity, eternity, omnipotence, omniscience & omnipresence) and the problems arising, ideas of life after death (monist/dualist, theistic/atheistic), God’s ineffability and other challenges to the use of religious language, the nature of religious experience & challenges to the idea, the nature of miracles & problems arising.

A2 Ethics Ideas on free will & determinism, sexual ethics, meta ethics - the use/meaning of ethical language, virtue ethics, conscience, environmental & business ethics How are students assessed? This course is assessed solely through written examination. Students take two units for AS Level, with a further two units studied for A2 Level.

What next? Philosophy & Ethics A Level is accepted as an entry to a variety of courses at University and also as a suitable qualification for a wide range of careers, including teaching, industry, public relations, personnel, social work, management and many others.

Entry requirements

5 A* - C with 1 C in RE, English or History

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Neston High School directly.

Last updated date: 07 August 2014

Key information

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