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Religion, Philosophy and Ethics A Level at St Leonard's Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Comprehensive School

Course description

The Religious Education Department offers students the opportunity to study an A/S and A2 course in Philosophy and Ethics, following the OCR specification for Religious Studies.

Course content


In AS Philosophy (G571) you will study:
- some aspects of the thinking of the Greek Philosophers Plato and Aristotle;
- the origins of the Judaeo-Christian concept of God;
- the traditional arguments for the existence of God as presented by scholars such as Anselm, Descartes, Aquinas and Kant;
- the problem of evil
- objections to these arguments from other philosophers and from science.

In AS Ethics (G572) you will study:
- a variety of ethical theories about morality, including the theories of scholars such as Aquinas, Kant, Bentham and Mill;
- critically theories such as Natural law, the Categorical Imperative and Utilitarianism;
- how religion and morality are linked and how far morality may be seen to be dependent on God;
- how to apply your knowledge and understanding of the theories studied to issues such as the right to a child, abortion, euthanasia and genetic engineering, war and peace.
At the end of the AS course you will complete an examination in both Philosophy and Ethics.


If you decide to continue onto the A2 course in Philosophy (G581) you will study the following topics:
- religious language – exploring questions such as is it meaningful or is it impossible to say anything meaningful about God using human language? - 45 -
- religious experience and the different types of experiences people claim to have had and how they may help them to believe in God.
- the nature of God – the variety of philosophical views and the problems that arise from them
- issues of life and death – what happens at death?

In A2 Ethics (G582) you will study:
- ethical language and what different scholars mean when they use terms such as ‘good’, ‘bad’, ‘right’ and wrong’.
- ideas such as free-will and determinism, the nature and role of conscience and the implications of these for moral responsibility and decision making.
- the different ethical theories you have studied to environmental and business ethics and to sexual ethics.
At the end of the A2 course you will complete an examination in both Philosophy and Ethics.

Future opportunities

This subject can make a significant contribution to any job that requires to think clearly and rigorously. Students of this course go into Law, Politics, the Civil Service, Medicine, Personnel, Business and Journalism because they will have to learn how to think clearly and analytically. They will have learnt how to write well and to present their ideas logically and clearly. Medical students find the Ethics parts of the course at both AS and A A2 an excellent preparation for some of the moral issues and dilemmas that they have to deal with.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Leonard's Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Comprehensive School directly.

Last updated date: 06 July 2015

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 Years