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A-level Philosophy comprises four topic areas: Epistemology, Moral philosophy, the Metaphysics of God and the Metaphysics of mind.

Philosophy is a subject which requires a great deal of reading and time dedicated to the development of essay writing skills. As such, students of other humanities-based subjects, including history, religious studies or sociology are especially encouraged to apply.

Students of maths and science-based subjects will also be well-suited due to the logical-rigour that this subject demands.


Course Content

Philosophy A-Level has four main areas of study.

Epistemology which wants you to thinking about how you gain knowledge. Is it something that we are born with or do we learning it through encountering with our sense? It also encourages you to think about the interesting area of perception and questions whether Descartes was correct about the issues with our scepticism.

Moral Philosophy is our everyday experience of using our ethical toolkit to try and work out what is the right action to take. We are also challenged in this module to consider the moral problems of simulated killing, animal welfare, telling lies and stealing, applying the learning and coming to critical judgements. 

Metaphysics of mind asks you to take some of the key information from Descartes, Chalmers and others and develop an understanding of whether there is such a thing as consciousness or are we to understand whether we have a mind based on behaviourism, functionalism or eliminative materialism.

Metaphysics of God wants you to think about some of the biggest and contentious arguments about the existence of God including whether God’s characteristics clash or if we can use religious language to talk about God. This demands that you are critical and evaluative, while understanding how problematic this topic is.

Methods of Teaching, Learning and Assessment

The course is designed to be taught through providing essential foundation knowledge that will help with the overlap between all four areas that you study.

Year 1 helps you to develop you philosophical reasoning skills, critical thinking and scaffolding of all the different styles of questions you will be working with in the final exam.

In Year 2, we use this knowledge and development to look at some of the more complex philosophical theories and support you to develop your timings, endurance for the three-hour exam and also planning for every possibility that AQA could ask. You will have one assessment per term which will comprise of a mixture of different question types.

Awarding Body: AQA Philosophy (7172)

100% Exams at the end of Year Two: 

Paper 1


Epistemology and Moral Philosophy-3 hour paper with 2x3 mark questions, 4x5 mark questions, 2x 12 mark questions and 2x 25 mark essay questions

Paper 2


Metaphysics of Mind and Metaphysics of God-3 hour paper with 2x3 mark questions, 4x5 mark questions, 2x 12 mark questions and 2x 25 mark essay questions




Resources for this subject include a wide range of text books, online resources from A-level Philosophy and a wide range of reading booklets.

Lessons are delivered on PowerPoint and we start from the assumption that no one has encountered philosophy before so lots of support is offered.


We have a vibrant student led Philosophy Club and also opportunities to listen to guest lecturers from local universities.

There are opportunities to attend a student A-level Philosophy conference in London and also tune into student webinars from University of Reading.

Additional Costs

The cost of student conferences locally and in London and visiting universities as part of our course will incur a small cost.

Financial assisstance is available via the College Bursary Scheme.


Philosophy has a lot of skills that employers or universities are communication skills that contemporary employers are looking for.

Furthermore, you will develop the independent study and close reading skills required to follow a range of career/academic pathways, from law, humanities or journalism, to business, education and the arts.

Where can this course lead?

Apply for this course

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