Philosophy and Religion A Level at Carmel College
The course is divided into three components: Philosophy, Ethics and Religion.
A film like ‘The Matrix’ shows you what Philosophy is concerned with. How do you know that you are really reading this sheet now and not, for example, lying in bed asleep dreaming that you are reading? Plato, the great Greek Philosopher, posed questions similar to this that we are still seeking answers to!
A film like ‘The Da Vinci Code’ will help you understand the story of Religion. How do religious ideas, beliefs and rituals come about? Why does religious belief generate so much controversy? Are religious experiences something that can be investigated or proved?
Ethics is what happens when people ask the questions: How should I live? What’s the right way to behave? Is it a good thing to do that? This is the part of the course in which we examine the many different answers given to such questions and study the different Moral Systems that have come about. Lots of discussion, reading, thinking and practise in the art of writing essays is central to the course!
You do not need to have studied GCSE R.E., but you will need a grade B in GCSE English Language for you to be able to cope with the language demands of the course.
Exam Board - EDEXCEL
The essay is the major form of assessment and regular essays are set throughout the course.
A major task for all students is to learn to develop the skill of expressing complex ideas in writing.
There are two exams at the end of the first year and two exams at the end of the second year. Each exam is designed to assess your investigation of, and response to, the many issues explored in the course.
What can I do with this subject?
A better question might be: What can’t I do with it? Employers and universities know that this subject teaches people to think clearly and to express themselves coherently; the skills that you will develop in analysis and argument are valuable in a range of careers. Former students are accountants, personnel officers, solicitors, criminal psychologists, speech therapists, nurses, teachers and too many more to mention!
What support will I receive?
The Philosophy and Religion department is proud of its reputation for help and support. From beginning to end, staff are there to help you to achieve your full potential. Different teaching approaches are designed to bring out the best in you and if you want help and support outside class time, tutorials can be arranged to provide you with individual attention. You will find the course challenging – that’s to be expected from a subject preparing you for university – but you are never expected to struggle on your own!
What is the department like?
Philosophy and Religion students study in the West Park building which provides a modern and spacious, state-of-the-art learning environment. Facilities include well-resourced classrooms equipped with interactive white boards, multi-media projectors and wireless internet connection. Students also have access to a computer suite and study areas within the building.
What else will I do?
There are annual visits to university departments and to a major Buddhist Centre in the Lake District. 2015 also saw our sixth trip to Auschwitz in Poland which provided graphic material to enhance the study of the major challenge to all religious belief: the problem of evil and suffering and man’s inhumanity to man.
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Carmel College directly.