A-level Philosophy and Religious Studies

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Examine the answers for the biggest questions asked by the worlds greatest philosophers.

Explore and discuss the big questions in life with a Philosophy and Religious Studies A-level. As well as gaining an understanding of the human condition, you get to learn how to defend a point of view using clear logical persuasive argument.

What I'll learn

You will follow the EdExcel specification:

First year (AS)

  • Unit 1: Philosophy of Religion and Ethics: arguments for and against the existence of God. Ethical theory and issues in applied ethics: the ethics of war and sexual ethics.
  • Unit 2: Investigations: An in-depth study of existentialist philosophy.

Second year (A2)

  • Unit 3: Developments: Philosophy of Religion and Ethics: further work on arguments for and against God, and life after death; further work on ethical theory; applications to justice and punishment.
  • Unit 4: Implications: study of 3 short set texts relating to ethics.


How I'll learn

You learn in a variety of ways, typically through discussion, groupwork, independent study, traditional essays, reading and research tasks. There is a balance between challenge and support. You play an active part in your learning and there is a strong focus on your individual learning needs. 

You develop the skills necessary for further academic study, such as strong report writing, essay writing and study skills, including presentation skills. 

You also improve the wider skills vital for success in further study or employment, including self-confidence, speaking in front of others, working with others, taking responsibility and managing your time. By the end of the course, you will benefit from individual support, including clear advice about higher education and careers.

Classes take place over four days a week between 9am and 5pm. We expect our students to be fully committed to their studies and attend all timetabled sessions. In addition, you have the opportunity to attend trips and visits according to the needs of individual subjects. There are many enrichment opportunities, enabling you to extend your learning beyond the bounds of your chosen subjects.


How I'll be assessed

Formal assessment is through examinations and, in some subjects, through coursework. The examination periods are in May/ June. There are a range of regular assignments, essays and class-based assessments to help you develop your study skills for the next educational step. Individual learning targets are set each term and you receive regular feedback.


Entry Requirements

All A-level students must have six C grades in academic subjects at GCSE, including English and maths, at grade 5 but excluding PE, dance, IT i.e. subjects with a large practical component.


How to Apply

Applying for one of our programmes is easy.

You can apply for a vocational programme online. Simply follow the link to ‘apply now’ on your chosen programme page. You will then be asked to register or log in to progress with your application.

As part of your application, you will be asked to provide us with your contact details, how your chosen programme fits with your future plans and if you require any extra support (for example, because of a disability, medical condition, learning or language support needs.)

Printed application forms are also available on request by calling us on 0800 612 6008 or visiting us at one of our college Advice Centres.

Please contact our Careers team if you need advice and guidance to help you choose the right programme for you.