Philosophy, Ethics & Religious Studies

A Level

The course will offer you an in depth study of Philosophy and Ethics.  There will be an opportunity to develop what you have already learned about in GSCE Religious Studies and the opportunity to investigate new and more complex philosophical and ethical problems.

An A Level in Philosophy, Ethics and Religious Studies requires you to develop many important transferable skills such as essay writing and critical analysis, offering you a strong foundation with which to continue your education at university.

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EXAM BOARD

OCR

THE PHILOSOPHY, ETHICS & RELIGIOUS STUDIES DEPARTMENT AT WYKE SIXTH FORM COLLEGE

We have a specialist RS classroom with all the key resources required for teaching and learning in PERS. You will be helped in your studies a highly experienced subject specialist who has many successful years of experience of A Level teaching.

COURSE DETAILS – YEAR 1

Philosophy 1

  • Greek Philosophy
  • Body and Soul
  • Arguments for the existence of God
  • Religious experience
  • The Problem of Evil

ETHICS 1

Ethical Theory

  • Utilitarianism
  • Situation Ethics
  • Natural Law
  • Kantian ethics

Applied Ethics

  • Euthanasia
  • Business ethics

CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY 1

Insight

  • Beliefs about Human Nature
  • Beliefs about Death and the Afterlife

Foundations

  • Knowledge of God’s existence
  • The Person of Jesus Christ

Living

  • Christian moral principles
  • Christian moral action

COURSE DETAILS – YEAR 2

PHILOSOPHY 2

  • Ideas about the nature of God
  • Religious language

ETHICS 2

  • Conscience
  • Ethical Language and Thought
  • Sexual Ethics

Christian Theology 2

Challenges

  • Religious Pluralism
  • The Challenge of Secularism

Developments in Christian thought

  • Feminist Theology
  • Liberation Theology

HOW THE COURSE IS DELIVERED

Over the two years at Wyke you will study three components:  Philosophy of Religion, Religious Ethics and Developments in Christian Thought. Each unit will be examined at the end of your second year. There will be an internal exam at the end of your first year which you will need to pass in order to progress to the second year. The three components are studied across both years, with the elements in Year 2 building on Year 1.

DEPARTMENTAL ENRICHMENT

There are many opportunities for enrichment within the PERS department. We run a bi-annual trip to Rome and every year students have the chance to attend at least one student conference specifically tailored to the specification we follow, as well as this there are many opportunities throughout the year to attend relevant lectures at local universities and guest speakers here at Wyke along with Sociology students.

PRE-MEDICAL PROGRAMME

At Wyke we recognise that applications for Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science are particularly competitive and over the last few years Wyke has supported 24 students to gain places onto these course at university. In addition to the careers and UCAS advice in college we offer an establish programme to support students considering applying for these subjects. The PERS department supports the Pre-Medical Programme with the ethical and philosophical aspects of applications to these degrees and delivers sessions which link to these areas of your application.

WHAT DOES THE COURSE LEAD TO?

This course provides many occasions for personal and intellectual growth; you will also gain cultural literacy and you will be asked to interpret and express your position on controversial and hotly debated issues. Philosophy, Ethics and Religious Studies will offer you a strong skill-set to take to university, including critical thinking, analysis and independent study skills suitable for English, History, Philosophy or Theology degree courses. Philosophy, Ethics and Religious Studies is excellent preparation for any university degree within Arts and Humanities, and even for vocational degrees such as Medicine, which require you to have an understanding of ethics and which will include modules about Medical Ethics as preparation for work.

For those considering taking Philosophy, Ethics and Religious Studies forward to degree level, a Bachelor’s degree in subjects such as Theology, Comparative Religion or Philosophy impose no limitations on future careers and lends its own particular strengths to a number of different career choices. Graduates in these areas have gone on to professional training in:

  • Business (particularly international business)
  • Counselling and Social Work
  • Education
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Medicine

Others have moved directly into the job market, taking up positions in:

  • Event planning, hospitality, or the service industry
  • The government, foreign service, or the diplomatic service
  • Marketing and management
  • Museums and the arts
  • Non-profit or non-governmental organisations

In today’s multicultural society, basic knowledge about other cultures and religious perspectives is crucial and success in your chosen career will depend on making connections with people, many of whom will not have the same socio-economic or religious background to you, and therefore a knowledge and understanding of religion will help you in whatever your chosen career may be. Philosophy, Ethics and Religious Studies is about people as much as it is about God and morality. Many careers involve the ability to relate to others and incorporate many perspectives at once; knowledge and understanding of religion provides an excellent foundation for these sorts of careers.  

 WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP PREPARE ME FOR THE COURSE?

Philosophy, Ethics and Religious Studies is an academically challenging course and most students find the start of their A Levels demanding. The key to success is preparation and organisation, and students who attend the Philosophy, Ethics and Religious Studies sessions at Wyke Start have a much more assured and confident start to their studies. Studying A Levels is very different from the teaching and learning you have been used to at school. On the Philosophy, Ethics and Religious Studies course, you will be expected to be independent learners, who take initiative and work hard outside of your lessons. There will be a lot of reading and writing to do on the course and it will be your responsibility to ensure that you come prepared to every lesson. This is an essay-based course and it is imperative that your writing is of a good standard.

USEFUL READING & WEBSITES

Vardy, P. The Puzzle of Ethics

Vardy, P. The Puzzle of God

Vardy, P. The Puzzle of Evil

www.ithinkthereforeiteach.com

www.divinityphilosophy.net

www.rsrevision.com/Alevel

www.philosopherkings.co.uk

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