Philosophy and ethics

Philosophy and ethics is an inspiring and engaging academic subject that creates opportunities for critical thinking as well as deepening knowledge and understanding of the world around us. It allows for the development of critical and evaluative skills sought by higher education and employers.

Philosophy and ethics gives you a thorough understanding of diverse philosophical and ethical viewpoints. Through lively and engaging classroom discussion you have an opportunity to understand philosophical concepts, key thinkers, themes, texts and ways of thinking. It provokes challenging questions about meaning and purpose in life, beliefs about God, ultimate reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human?

The content we cover is varied and interesting and will offer a new perspective and encourage you to consider issues from an analytical viewpoint using creative and critical thinking. It gives you an informed understanding of political, social and moral issues. During your studies you will cover many theories and study the works of many key philosophers and thinkers from Plato to Aristotle, to Kant and Freud.


Philosophy and ethics

Awarding body


Entry requirements

GCSE at Grade 5 or above in religious studies or, if GCSE religious studies was not studied, a Grade 5 or above in English language.

Year 12

Section A: Philosophy of religion:

  • Arguments for the existence of God
  • Evil and suffering
  • Religious experience
  • Religious language
  • Miracles
  • The self and life after death.

Section B: Ethics and religion:

  • Ethical theories
  • Issues of human life and death
  • Issues of animal life and death
  • Introduction to Meta ethics
  • Free will and moral responsibility
  • Conscience
  • Bentham and Kant.

Year 13


  • Sources of wisdom and authority
  • God/gods/ultimate reality
  • The self, death and the afterlife
  • Good conduct and key moral principles
  • Expression of religious identity
  • Religion, gender and sexuality
  • Religion and science
  • Religion and secularisation
  • Religion and religious pluralism.


Paper One: Written exam (3 hours) at the end of Y13. It is worth 100 marks and 50% of the total A level.

Paper Two: Written exam (3 hours) at the end of Y13. It is worth 100 marks and 50% of total A level.


Why study philosophy and ethics?

Philosophy and ethics can give you many transferable skills which will not only be useful for future studies but also in everyday life in how you approach situations and problems in which you are faced. The subject is academically rigorous and widely recognised by universities and can work well with both humanities and written subjects as well as science due to covering units such as medical ethics.

Students have gone onto study theology, religious studies, philosophy, education, law, politics, medicine and more. It can lead to careers in law, education, social work, politics, the armed forces, police and healthcare.