Studying A-Level Philosophy is a rigorous intellectual course focused on reasons, arguments and justification. You'll start to ask big questions such as What is knowledge? What is truth? What is Good? and be introduced to Epistemology (theory of knowledge), Moral Philosophy, the Metaphysics of God, and the Metaphysics of Mind.
Hastings (Station Plaza)
Over the next two years, you'll develop critical and intellectual skills to challenge preconceptions and develop knowledge and understanding of major philosophical issues.
In the first year, you will cover Epistemology and learn the theory of knowledge. You will learn the tripartite theory and understand perception as a source of knowledge, including Direct Realism, Indirect Realism, Berkeley's Idealism. You will then move onto moral philosophy and discuss what is meant by good, bad, right and wrong. You will then consider normative ethical theories, including utilitarianism, deontological ethics, and virtue ethics and how applied ethics, such as stealing, simulated killing, eating animals, and telling lies relate to everyday life.
In the second year, you will have the chance to explore metaphysics of God, the concept and nature of God, issues with God's attributes, and arguments for the existence of God, including ontological, teleological and cosmological arguments.
You will also discuss the problem of evil, the status of religious language, the metaphysics of mind, dualist theories, physicalist theories, mind-brain type identity theory, eliminative materialism, and functionalism.
A GCSE grade 6 in English Language and grade 5 in Maths.
A-Level Philosophy is assessed by unseen examinations at the end of the two-year course. There is one three hour paper consisting of 5 question each on epistemology and moral philosophy, and a second three hour paper consisting of 5 questions each on the metaphysics of God and the metaphysics of mind. You will also be assessed throughout the course with written homework, class presentations, written exercises and mock examinations. At the end of your first year you will sit of formal 1st year exam which will inform both your predicted grade for UCAS applications and your progression to the second year of study.
Once you have completed this course, you will achieve a AQA A-Level in Philosophy which is graded A* - E.
Philosophy A-Level is extremely popular with universities as it demonstrates the capacity for original and rigorous thought and the critical analysis of difficult texts. These skills form an important basis for intellectual development, and are highly prized on any Higher Education course.
You will be given a course handbook at the beginning of the year, which provides information about the recommended text books for the course, the average cost of which is approximately £25.