Philosophy AS/A2 Level

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Course Specifics

Sixth Form
Level 3
16-18 School Leavers
1 year for AS Level 2 years for full A Level
Interview Required:
Age 16-18 Cost:
No cost
Age 19 or Over:
Funding Assisted:
Advanced Learner Loans available
1780 video

Course overview

Have you ever sat quietly and asked yourself difficult questions? Like ‘does God exist?’, or ‘are we really free?’ or ‘should we believe what we see?’ Well you are asking philosophical questions.

But what is Philosophy? Well, even The Oxford Companion to Philosophy says that most interesting definitions of Philosophy are controversial, whilst Mastering Philosophy says there is “no straightforward definition”. But what most people agree on is that Philosophy is about using rational argument and logical thinking to shine some light on life’s big questions. In doing so you’ll get a greater understanding of the world we live in, and of yourself. You might be thinking to yourself, ‘what’s the point of taking Philosophy?’

One answer is that it will help you to become a great thinker. Considering abstract subjects and applying them to everyday life will be personally useful, but is also a very worthwhile skill in a number of career choices. In many careers you will have to - Think, Explain, Analyse, Evaluate and these are the skills you gain from philosophy.

What exactly do students study in Y12?

Epistemology: What can we know? What is Perception? What can I ever know about how you perceive the world? Can you trust your senses, or are you really a brain in a tank? The film ‘the Matrix’ explores this theme.

The definition of knowledge: What is knowledge? Where do ideas/concepts and knowledge come from? In looking into this topic students read about the great philosophers from the past, you may have heard of some of them already? Descartes, Plato, Russell etc.

The second section is on the Philosophy of Religion: Can the existence of God be proved? What is the concept of God? Students investigate arguments relating to the existence of God, for example argument from design, the cosmological argument, and the problem of evil. Can you prove that God exists just by thinking about Him? Him or Her?

In Y13 students investigate concepts of moral philosophy and more on the brain.

It is a fascinating subject and one which helps you to construct arguments which can only help your other studies.

Who is this course for?

Ideally you will be achieving at least 25 points/5 x 5 points or above/A*-C/9-4 grades at GCSE (or equivalent), including English and maths. You also need to have an open and inquiring mind as Philosophy requires you to think in the abstract. A Level work opens up the door to many careers in the future.

Entry qualifications

Ideally you will be achieving at least 25 points/5 x 5 points or above/A*-C/9-4 grades at GCSE (or equivalent), including English and maths.

What other experience will I gain?

Being part of Chesterfield College Sixth Form is so much more than A Levels. We want you to leave us with as many skills as possible to help you with you next step (as well as making your time here fun). Many of the Philosophy students work as student ambassadors and Peer mentors – Y13 students who pair up with Y12 students to offer help and support.

Where will this lead?

You will be able to progress to university level study or on to employment. Former Philosophy students study a wide variety of courses and some have progressed to further philosophical studies in Politics Philosophy and Economics (PPE) and Philosophy and Ethics. Philosophy is useful if you want to go into many careers as in all cases you will be asked to think about solutions to big problems s philosophy combines well with ALL other subjects.

What are my career options?

What Ofsted say

"We have lots of discussions and it really makes you think. It also helps with your other subjects because it teaches you how to organise arguments. Sometimes it blows your mind!! And we can’t stop talking about it even in the refectory. I never thought that would happen!!”

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