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Religious Studies (Philosophy and Ethics) A level at Ellesmere Port Catholic High School

Course description

Philosophy of Religion and Religious Ethics are to some extent new topics to many of you, although you will be aware of elements of some of the aspects of study from your GCSE Religious Studies. The Philosophy of Religion aspect will be very different from anything you have covered before and, in simple terms, it is the science of questioning and the answers scholars have explored regarding important issues throughout time.

Religious Ethics will be more familiar - you will recognise some of the ethical issues from GCSE RE - although it will also examine what helps us decide on moral issues and, indeed, what terms such as 'right' and 'wrong' actually mean. The skills and knowledge can be very high level; the questioning skills and moral decision making lend themselves especially (but not exclusively) to careers in medicine or law.

Course content

AS Level year:

AS Philospophy of Religion:

  • Greek Philosophers such as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle and their explanations of the world around them.
  • Traditional arguments for the existence of God (e.g. Cosmological, Teleological) and the challenges from science etc.
  • The challenges that have been made to these arguments from problem of evil.
  • A study of philosphical debates.

AS Religious Ethics

Similarly, in this part of the course, you will look at:

  • Various Ethical Theories such as situation ethics or Utilitarianism and how they establish the norms of moral behaviour.
  • Applying these theories to issues of War and Peace and Sexual ethics.
A2 Level

A2 Philosophy of Religion and Religious Ethics

Work in the second year builds upon previous study, using the skills gained so far to explore further philosophical and ethic issues.

A2 Philosophy of Religion

  • An exploration of the concept of the body and soul and evidence for life after death such as ghosts, Near DEath Experiences and past-life regression.
  • Religious Language - can we ever say anything meaningful about God?

A2 Religious Ethics

  • Religion and Morality.
  • Meta-ethics - the use of religious language.
  • Deontology, natural Law, virtue and ethics.
  • Justics, law and punishment.

Entry requirements

It is expected that all candidates will have achieved at least a 'C' grade in Religious Studies at GCSE.

Candidates will be expected to 'read around' the topics covered and be prepared to work on essay writing and analytical skills, as well as questioning and debating skills.


There are two examinations in AS, one of 1 hour 15 minutes and the other 1 hour 45 minutes both of which carry equal weight in regard to marks. For A2, these marks are carried forward and added to two further examinations, all of which take place in the June session.

Future opportunities

The skills aquired in Philosophy and Ethics are useful in many different areas and are a good foundation for many academic courses at University. Many courses value the skill of questioning, reasoning through of issues and an ability to make sound, informed, ethical choices.

Further information

There is usually at least one visit or conference per year, for example the Philosophy and Ethics Conferences in Manchester and the Chester Ghost Tour.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 19 September 2016
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September


  • More information
    • By Rail

      The closest station is the Overpool Railway station. Further information can be obtained from National Rail. Station info hereand you can plan your journey here.

      By Bus

      Numbers 401, 1 and 3 travel with Ellesmere Port Catholic High School Area. The services all run frequently from the Sutton Way Bus stops (Google map)
      Online bus timetables for Arriva (401) and First (1 & 3).

      By Taxi

      There are taxi ranks at Ellesmere Port Centre.

      By Bicycle

      Surrounded by the suburbs of Cheshire and Wales, the school is easily accessible by bicycle or on foot. As part of our commitment to sustainable living, we encourage the use of local cycle routes. Cycle parking facilities are provided at the school for students, staff and visitors.