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A Level

Philosophy, Ethics & Religion A Level

Subject Area
Humanities & Social Sciences
Start Date
September 2024
Study Mode
2 years
Level 3

This is a stimulating course that invites you to investigate controversial areas of ethics, enter into philosophical discussion and discover religious ideas of the 21st century. GCSE Religious Studies is not a requirement.

Entry requirements

A minimum of 4 subjects at grade 5 or above at GCSE plus English Language at grade 4 or above. You must also have achieved a grade 5 in either GCSE English Language, History or Religious Studies.

What will I study?

Year One

Units include:

Philosophy of Religion

  • God/gods/ultimate reality
  • Life after death
  • Arguments for the existence of God
  • Evil and suffering
  • Religious experience, how it’s assessed


  • Ethical theories: situation ethics, virtue ethics, natural moral law
  • Ethical issues such as euthanasia, abortion, designer babies and animal rights


  • God
  • Self, death and the after life
  • Good conduct and key moral principles
  • Sources of wisdom and authority

Year Two
Units include:

Philosophy of Religion

  • Religious language
  • Miracles
  • Self and life after death


  • Key moral principles
  • Religious identity
  • Free will and moral responsibility
  • Conscience


  • Expressions of Christian identity
  • Christianity, gender and sexuality
  • Christianity and science

Preliminary reading

  • Religious Experience by P Cole (Pub. Hodder and Stoughton)
  • Ethical Studies by R Bowie (Pub. Nelson Thornes)
  • Puzzle of God by P Vardy

Method of delivery

You will typically be in College four days per week. In-College delivery is supported by online resources, and students develop strong independent learning skills to equip them for their next steps.

How will I be assessed?

Two written papers at the end of the second year for the full A Level.

Good course combinations

This course works well with English, Maths and Humanities subjects.

Your next steps

This subject with its debate, exploration of ethical issues and investigation into belief, provides an ideal platform for courses at degree level. Professions such as law, medicine and those involving people can draw on the many varied aspects of the Philosophy, Ethics & Religion course. Past students have gone on to acting, courses in maths, human rights law and youth work.

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