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Philosophy A level at Wilmslow High School

Course description

Philosophy asks and explores the most important questions there are. It studies the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality and existence and draws students into dialogue with the most searching, creative and influential thinkers of the last three millenia.

Philosophy develops skills in reasoning, argument and analysis. Students learn how to debate logically and express themselves fluently.  Studying Philosophy demands rigour and imagination, and encourages deep, clear and independent thinking in order to create razor-sharp, informed arguments.

This course centres upon four modules: Epistemology, Philosophy of Religion, Ethics, and Philosophy of Mind.

Course content


Module 1: Epistemology
What are the immediate objects of perception? What is knowledge? Where do our ideas and concepts come from? This course explores these fundamental debates, and acts as a springboard for students’ own ideas.

Module 2: Philosophy of Religion

This unit analyses different conceptualisations of God.   Classical arguments relating to his existence are explored such as the ‘ontological argument’, the ‘argument from design’, the ‘cosmological argument’ and ‘the problem of evil’, as well as the use and verification of religious language.

Students use an anthology of philosophical texts as a toolkit for analysis, reflection and application.


Module 1: Ethics
How do we decide what is morally right to do? Upon what basis should we act? The focus in this module is on influential thinkers such as Mill, Kant Aristotle, Hume and Ayer.

Module 2: Philosophy of Mind

What is the relationship between the mental and the physical? Are philosophical zombies a possibility? How does the mind causally interact with the body? Can there ever be true artificial intelligence? As well as these questions, students explore the extent to we which we can be certain that there are minds other than our own.

Entry requirements

The minimum requirement is Grade C in English Literature, although B grades in English language and literature are highly recommended. Students need precise analytical and linguistic skills, and a high level of competence in written and spoken English is a prerequisite to success. Students from Scientific, Arts or Humanities backgrounds will all find the course stimulating and challenging.


At the end of both the AS and A2 courses, students will sit one 3 hour written examination. The course can be studied to either AS or A2 level.  If student numbers wishing to continue the course to A2 are low then an Extended Project Qualification might replace the A2.

Further information

Philosophy A level

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Wilmslow High School directly.

Last updated date: 05 September 2016

Key information