A Level in Philosophy – September 2024

Funding information: Free For Eligible 16-18 year olds and First Full L3 for 19-23 year olds. Adult Learner Loans available, course costs apply.
Duration: 2 years
Attendance: Full-time subject

Course Overview

Why am I here? What do I know? What should I do? What is really going on?

These are the questions that students of philosophy ponder and debate.

Philosophy is about using rational argument and logical thinking to shine some light on life’s big questions. In doing so you will gain a greater understanding of the world we live in, and of yourself. It will help you to become a great thinker.

The ability to consider abstract subjects and apply them to everyday life will be personally useful but is also a very worthwhile skill in most career choices.

Assessment includes two written exams: Paper 1 (Epistemology and Ethics) and Paper 2 (Religion and Mind). Examinations are 3 hours long (AQA awarding body).

Course Content

During the first year of the course you will study:

  • Epistemology – including where ideas and knowledge come from and the nature of sense perception
  • Ethics – how do we decide what is morally right? What do we mean when we say ‘right’ and ‘wrong’? Or ‘good’ and ‘bad’?

In the second and final year of study you will focus on:

  • Metaphysics of Religion – can the existence of God be proved? Does evil cause a problem for god? When we talk about ‘god’, what do we mean?
  • Metaphysics of the Mind – what is the relationship between mind and body? Can a machine be conscious? Should we be worried about artificial intelligence (AI)? Are ‘philosophical zombies’ logically possible?

A selection of the philosophers tyou will study include: Aristotle, Berkeley, Descartes, Gettier, Hume, Leibniz, Kant, Locke, Mill, Plato, Russell, Singer and Socrates.

Entry Requirements

You will need a minimum of 5 GCSEs at grade 5 or above, including maths and English and at least one grade 6 in a written subject.

Assessment Methods

  • written assessments
  • coursework
  • written exams


You will be able to progress to university level study or on to employment. Former students have chosen degrees in subjects such as law, PPE (Politics, Philosophy and Economics) and philosophy and ethics. Philosophy is useful for any career in which you will be asked to come up with clever solutions to big and complex problems.