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Philosophy at The Bishop's Stortford High School

Course description

Examination Board: AQA.

'It is not the truth which a man possesses... but the earnest effort which he puts forth to reach the truth, which constitutes the worth of a man. For it is not by the possession, but by the search after truth that he enlarges his power'.

Gotthold Lessing (1729-1781).

Philosophy offers an exciting opportunity for students who love independent thought.

What makes a good Philosopher?

The successful Philosophy student will possess an inquisitive (and open) mind, and love of opinion. A Philosophy student will pay close attention to detail, and may never be satisfied. Philosophy requires students to be familiar with classic texts, and so a love of reading would be a distinct advantage. The successful Philosophy student will learn that precision of expression is of paramount importance to being understood.

A typical Philosophy student could often be described as being interested in debate, and keen both to express their own ideas and listen to those of others.

What can I expect to learn in Philosophy?

Specific subject knowledge is valuable in its own right, but Philosophy aims to provide students with transferable skills. These skills will not just be important to other subjects where there is an analytical element, but also any written theories that they will encounter in everyday life.

Philosophy aims to equip students with the skill and rigour to present arguments with coherence, and form and justify their own opinions on the validity of the arguments of others.

Course content

The new syllabus concentrates on providing a solid philosophical base in Year 12 by the study of four units - Reason and experience,' Why should I be governed?', God and the World, and the Value of Art. These units provide students with the skills necessary to further their study into key themes and further philosophical problems at A2.

Areas such as Political and Moral Philosophy can be furthered through the in-depth study of the key political text - JS Mill's On Liberty.

Entry requirements

B grade or above in GCSE English Language and Mathematics.


Examination: 100%, June.

Coursework: None.

Future opportunities

Philosophy is a subject that is easily combinable with a number of subjects at TBSHS and beyond. Politics, English Literature, History and Psychology are some of the possible complementary subjects, and Philosophy can be combined with any number of subjects at university (most famously P.P.E. at Oxford).

The skills learned will benefit students of single honours Law, Politics, Theology, English Literature, and a number of other textual disciplines.

Past students have gone on to study both single honours Philosophy at University, as well as Philosophy in combination with subjects such as Law.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Bishop's Stortford High School directly.

Last updated date: 26 May 2015
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