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Philosophy A Level at West Lakes Academy

Course description

This specification has been designed to ensure students gain a thorough grounding in key philosophical concepts, themes, texts and techniques.

Students will develop a range of transferable skills which can be applied far beyond the study of philosophy.

Course content

At AS, the specification concentrates on a number of key philosophical themes, intended to provide students with a broad introduction to philosophy. These will include the study of reason and sense experience for gaining knowledge about ourselves and the world, empiricism, personhood and metaphysics. We will also look at ideas of government, advanced arguments for the existence of Gods, the value of art, God and the world and free will and determinism.

At A2, students will specialise further, selecting two themes to study in depth and focusing on philosophical problems through the study of a key text. Themes and texts are integrated, so complimentary themes and texts can therefore be selected throughout the course. The options available include political philosophy, body and mind, epistemology and moral theory and practical ethics.

Entry requirements

You need to have achieved 5 A* to C at GCSE with a C or above in GCSE Philosophy if studied you will a require grade 6-9 in English.


AS Level

  • Unit 1: An Introduction to Philosophy 1 50% of AS, 25% of A Level, written paper, 1 hour 30 minutes 90 marks Candidates must answer the compulsory question on reason and experience and one other question.
  • Unit 2: An Introduction to Philosophy 2 50% of AS, 25% of A Level, written paper, 1 hour 30 minutes 90 marks Candidates must answer two questions.

A Level

  • Unit 3: Key Themes in Philosophy 30% of A Level, written paper, 2 hours 100 marks Candidates must answer two questions from two different sections (i.e. on two themes).
  • Unit 4: Philosophical Problems 20% of A Level, written paper, 1 hour 30 minutes 60 marks Candidates must choose one section and answer the compulsory question and one essay question.

Future opportunities

AS/A Level Philosophy is a challenging, engaging and fascinating subject which will enrich the lives, discussions and academic ability of all who take it up. It is also very highly regarded pathway for degree courses in humanities, English studies, medical courses, business studies, law and teaching and is a sought after qualification.

In addition, philosophy is useful in a number of careers like marketing, accountancy, advertising, PR, journalism, law, police, armed forces or teaching. The course develops high level of analytical, group work and thinking skills which are much sought after in all walks of life but more importantly you’ll learn to research, evaluate and review philosophical theories, quandaries and research that has be at the zenit

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact West Lakes Academy directly.

Last updated date: 31 March 2017
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