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Optional subject


Level: IGCSE Examination board: Edexcel Specification: 4RS1

GCSE course outline

By studying both Christianity and Buddhism, students will be able to approach religious, moral, philosophical and social questions from the perspectives of two very different systems of thought, as well as non-religious views. 

Area of Study 1

Beliefs and values (60%)

  1. The Universe, Creation and the Place of Human Beings
  2. Life and Death
  3. Peace and Conflict
  4. Rights, Equality and Social Justice

Area of Study 2

The Religious Community Buddhism (40%)

  1. Origins and the impact of the Community
  2. Celebration and Pilgrimage
  3. Worship and Practice

Skills required

To be successful in Philosophy students do not need to be religious. All that is required is enthusiasm and curiosity – and a willingness to approach the issues with an open mind and respect for others' views whether they are theistic, atheistic or agnostic.

Assessment method


Assessment is by examination only. Area of Study 1 is assessed by a 1 hour and 45 minutes long paper at the end of Year 11.

Area of Study 2 is assessed by a 1 hour and 30 minute long paper at the end of Year 11.

Post 16 opportunities and careers

Philosophy is an excellent step towards a wide range of future opportunities, supporting progress to further studies at A level. At LVS Ascot Sixth Form we offer a very popular A level Philosophy course that links well to this GCSE. Philosophy is excellent preparation for students who wish to confront, evaluate and form considered opinions on some of life's biggest issues and questions. Employers and universities want students with enquiring minds who can appreciate different viewpoints and make balanced, informed decisions.

Philosophy was my favourite subject at GCSE. The knowledge I gained was not only useful in my wider academic life, but also in my personal life. I gained a deeper understanding of culture than I would have in any other subject. Oliver

Get in touch

For more information contact the Head of Department.

Name: Simon Martin

Email: Simon.Martin@lvs.ascot.sch.uk