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Philosophy & Ethics at King Edward VI CEVC Upper School

Course description

This course will appeal to students who:

  • find themselves thinking philosophically about meaningful issues such as life after death, reasons for believing or not believing in God, and the nature of evidence and proof
  • enjoy considering the various ways in which humans make moral decisions and reach a perspective on an ethical dilemma
  • take a natural interest in current debates concerning ethics and religion
  • enjoy discussing moral and religious issues with an open mind, being prepared to listen to contrasting points of view.

Entry requirements

English GCSE grade B and GCSE grade B in a Humanities-based subject

Assessment

AS Level

Unit 1 – Philosophy and religion (exam 1 hour 45 minutes)

This unit will explore differing Christian beliefs about God and the relationship between God and the world. This includes in-depth coverage of some of the key arguments for the existence of God such as the teleological, cosmological and ontological arguments. The unit explores challenges to the existence of God from the problem of suffering and also significant religious beliefs concerning life after death and religious experience.

Unit 2 – Ethics, religion and society (exam 1 hour 45 minutes)

In this unit students will develop their knowledge of key moral principles in Christianity and how religious identity is shaped in modern society. This unit will explore notable ethical theories such as Virtue Ethics, Situation Ethics and Natural Moral Law and also their application to issues of human life and death. These issues will include embryo research, abortion, euthanasia and capital punishment. The theories are also applied to issues concerning animal life and death such as the use of animals as a source of organ transplantation.

A Level

Unit 1 – Philosophy and religion (exam 3 hours)

This unit includes the areas detailed above for the AS but also features in-depth coverage of issues concerning religious language, the existence of Biblical and modern day miracles, and philosophical concerns surrounding the relationship between the mind and body. Students will consider the challenge posed by science as well as the function of religion in society from the perspectives of notable thinkers such as Sigmund Freud and Karl Marx. Students will be assessed on their ability to understand the dialogue between philosophy and religion, using skills of explanation, analysis and evaluation.

Unit 2 – Ethics, religion and society (exam 3 hours)

This unit includes the areas detailed above for the AS but also features in-depth coverage of issues concerning ethical language, free will and moral responsibility, conscience and sexual identity. Students will be asked to explore the ethical theories of Jeremy Bentham and Immanuel Kant and consider their consistency with religious moral decision making. In a discussion concerning religious pluralism, students will consider the impact of migration and differing attitudes to other faiths. Students will be assessed on their ability to understand the dialogue between ethics and religion, using skills of explanation, analysis and evaluation.

Future opportunities

Successful completion of this A Level will give access to a range of possible career and higher education opportunities. The course will provide you with the opportunity to develop a range of transferable skills. These include the skills of collecting, synthesising and interpreting information. These skills are in great demand and are recognised by employers and universities as being of great value.

This subject combines with almost all other humanities AS and A Level subjects. It can lead to university courses such as Law, Business, Economics, Philosophy and Media Studies.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact King Edward VI CEVC Upper School directly.

Last updated date: 21 January 2016
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