Philosophy A Level

(equivalent to one A Level)

A Level | AQA

Sharpen your reasoning and evaluative skills and explore the ideas of some of the most influential thinkers in the Western world; Philosophy combines well with almost any subject and is highly regarded by universities.

The word “Philosophy” literally means “love of wisdom” This is a course for those who want to grapple with big questions, who want to think hard, to read, debate, and articulate their ideas. Philosophy is intellectually challenging and very stimulating, you will have your preconceptions challenged and will begin to think in new ways.

Course details

What are the entry requirements?

The minimum requirements are five GCSE subjects at grade 4 or above, with a 5 in English Language and  4 in Maths (recommended grade 5). However, Philosophy is a demanding subject; the real qualification that will help you to succeed is a curiosity, logical thought and the determination to think hard and read around the subject.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment Duration %
Exam 3 hours 50%
Exam 3 hours 50%

Exams are taken at the end of the 2 years.

What skills will I learn?

When studying philosophy, we don’t just give our opinion, we provide evidence and argument in support of a theory. We learn what great philosophers have said about many issues in the past and discuss their importance for our present thinking. There is a variety of work. Studying texts and theories involves reading, reflection and discussion; for homework, you may be set short quizzes but also substantial essays requiring some research.

What is the department like?

We are a successful department, housed in the main college building. The tutors are experts in Philosophy and are enthusiastic about their subject. We realise that it is a new and difficult subject for most students, and we like to use a variety of ways to introduce and illustrate philosophical issues. We are supportive and offer lunchtime support sessions for all that require it.

Our students achieve highly with many going on to study Philosophy (amongst many other subjects) at university. We are able to support students with applications to Oxbridge, we take trips to university Philosophy departments and have arranged for guest speakers to visit.

Future Careers and Progression

What are the progression routes for this qualification?

Any degree will value a student with a Philosophy A Level, which is why it is on the ‘preferred’ subject list for many universities. The sciences, humanities, arts all value someone who can think! High-ranking universities describe Philosophy as having an ‘emphasis on the development of analytical and critical skills’ (Cambridge) and as developing ‘analytical rigour’ and ‘logical reasoning’ (Oxford). Philosophy also develops your abilities to ‘think outside of the box’, problem-solve and communicate ideas clearly and persuasively.

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"Taking philosophy is a rare opportunity to study abstract topics about fundamental principles of the world. Just as you begin to broaden your experiences at college, philosophy is a great way to prepare you for the many challenges you might face in life. It also gives you a good insight into how others think." ~ Hannah Cauchi

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