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Philosophy AS & A2 Level (AQA) at Crossley Heath School

Course description

Have you ever considered the following questions?

Is there a God?

How ought we to live?

What really exists?

Why does anything exist?

How can we be sure that the world really is the way we think it is? How do we know that we are not victims of a massive illusion or Matrix-style deception as to the nature of the world we live in?

How do we even manage to think anything? How is it that a lump of organic matter – your brain – can have thoughts about its surroundings?

What does it mean to say that we ought not to do something? Are any such claims about what we ought to do strictly and objectively true, and if so, what could make them true?

What (exactly) are you anyway, and does life have any meaning or purpose?

If so you may want to consider studying Philosophy. Whilst most students do not study Philosophy formally before the Sixth Form or University, practically all of us (in an informal way) have, whether we realised it or not, been doing Philosophy almost since we first learned to speak.

As with doing anything that is difficult, you develop new skills that make it easier with practice. Some of the skills that doing philosophy can teach you are:

  •  understanding the relations between ideas: how one idea can imply another or contradict it
  •  the ability to spot flaws in arguments
  • the ability to argue
  • imagination: coming up with novel solutions and novel ideas
  •  communication and conversation: philosophy is done through discussion and debate

Course content



In Epistemology, we will discuss if  you can tell that the world around you is the way it seems, and that you are not just a brain being stimulated to have the experiences that you are having. It covers key terms such as rationalism and sense experience.

Philosophy of religion-

This topic questions the existence of God, the characteristics of God and religious language.


Moral Philosophy-

Moral Philosophy examines whether there are any moral truths, and the methods and nature of moral decision-making. It also explores the use of language and applies it to practical ethics, such as animal rights and euthanasia.

There is also an analysis of philosophical problems with reference to specific philosophical texts. For example: the study of Hume, Plato and Descartes.

Current student thought about studying philosophy-

“I wanted the chance to think about some wider topics that aren’t usually addressed in other lessons. It seemed incredibly interesting (it is) and also it compliments a wide range of subjects” (Yr 12 student)


Entry requirements

If you are interested in this course then you need to possess an open, analytical mind and be willing to explore a variety of theories about the truths we take for granted. An outstanding skill in reasoning, interpreting and applying information as well as evaluating ideas is essential to grasp the demands of this course. You must have at least a GRADE B in ENGLISH.

Future opportunities

In fact, it’s surprising just how many career paths a philosophy degree can help with. In a nutshell, doing philosophy can make a significant contribution to any job that requires you to think well, that is clearly and rigourously. Big business – the City firms, the banks, the management consultancies, the chartered accountants – are enthusiastic about people who’ve done philosophy, because they know how to think clearly. Philosophy students also go into law, politics, and the civil service. Journalism is a logical career path, since you have to be able to write well and present ideas logically and clearly. Advertising is another choice, and of course, last in this very incomplete list, but never least, there’s always education! 

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Crossley Heath School directly.

Last updated date: 06 November 2014
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: One Year for AS Two years for A2