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Philosophy & Ethics

PHILOSOPHY, RELIGION & ETHICS A LEVEL

This A Level can open up a wide range of opportunities. Universities like the A level because it produces students with enquiring minds. In addition careers in law, business and public services, such as social work, counselling, policing and many more value the A level, as students learn about the impact of belief and practice upon society, but also an understanding of ethical theories that help in the making of big decisions, whether that be relating to ethical business models or the allocation of public service funding. 

In this course students will develop an interest and understanding of some of the fundamental questions of human life. They will gain an insight into how human beings try to answer them, something which might shape how they see society and yourself. Students will begin to explore what it means to be a human being. 

You will be able to develop an understanding of religion and belief and relate it to the wider world. You will develop knowledge and understanding appropriate to a specialist study of religion and develop an understanding and appreciation of religious thought and its contribution to individuals, communities and societies. You will adopt an enquiring, critical and reflective approach to the study of religion and reflect on and develop their own values, opinions and attitudes in light of your study. 

Course Outline 

The topics and elements of the OCR course that we have chosen for students, are directly related to the specialisms of the A level teachers in the department. 

Philosophy of religion 

Philosophical issues and questions; The nature and influence of religious experience; Problems of evil and suffering; Philosophical language; Works of scholars; Influences of developments in religious belief. 

Religion and ethics 

Significant concepts in issues or debates in religion and ethics; a study of three ethical theories; Application of ethical theories to issues of importance; Ethical language; Deontology; Virtue Ethics and the works of scholars; Medical ethics – beginning and end of life issues. 

Developments in Religious Studies 

Religious beliefs, values and teachings; Sources of wisdom and authority; Practices that shape and express religious identity; Social and historical developments; Works of scholars; Religion and society; Primary texts. 

Assessment 

The A Level consists of three externally examined papers. Students are required to choose three papers from a choice of four available from the OCR examination board. Students must complete all assessment in May/June of Year 13. 

They will meet with examiners and philosophers to help them with their studies and have access to resources created by staff and the exam board. 

Each of the three examinations has a written paper that consists of 120 marks. Each paper is 2 hours long, and you will have to answer 3 questions from a choice of 4. 

Requirements 

• GCSE Grade 6 in English and another humanities subject. 

• A strong interest in religion and a good general education.