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Level: A level Examination board: AQA Specification: A level 7172

AQA Philosophy is divided into four topics, two studied for Paper 1 and the other two for Paper 2.

Year 12

Topic 1: Epistemology – investigating various theories of knowledge, the relationship between what we can and

cannot know and the impact of this relationship on our individual existence.

Topic 2: Moral Philosophy – studying how we decide what is morally correct by exploring Utilitarianism, Aristotle's virtue ethics and Kant's deontology while concurrently debating the status of ethical language and the validity of ethical claims.

Year 13

Topic 3: Metaphysics of God – considering and critically analysing various arguments for and against God's existence while debating numerous issues surrounding the validity and use of religious language.

Topic 4: Metaphysics of Mind – looking into the relationship between mind and body, various theories including dualism and monism, the issue of qualia and a debate as to whether or not 'philosophical zombies' exist.

Opportunities beyond the classroom

Extra-classroom opportunities include visits to relevant lectures and theatre productions with philosophical content.

Course requirements (GCSE grades/interests)

A GCSE in Religious Studies is not required for this course, and neither is any religious belief or background, but successful students will have achieved a minimum of seven GCSE's at grade 9-4 or above including grade 7 in English and Maths. The most important quality is the possession of an inquisitive nature: students must love asking questions and pushing for answers. Without this fundamental desire to question and know, Philosophy will fail to engage them.



The two-year course is divided into four units. Though there is no formal coursework component, the nature of Philosophy demands and expects a good deal of reading and writing. The two papers are each three hours in length.

Higher education courses linked to the subject

In addition to further study at university, Philosophy is an excellent foundation for any subject. Recent students have gone on to pursue courses in courses in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE), History, English, Mathematics, Physics, Computing and Psychology.

Careers linked to the subject

Studying Philosophy is of great value in and of itself and, because of the transferable skills students acquire through the A level, the course can well-equip a student for any profession, subject or course requiring creative and careful thought.

Studying Philosophy enables me to better understand the bigger picture – to see how history, religion and political science are all interconnected. Amy

Get in touch

For more information contact the Head of Department.

Name: Mr Simon Martin