Department Leader: Laura Shocklidge
Our students are interested in questioning unanswerable questions about life, death and the universe (Philosophy) and want to understand how we come to recognise what is morally wrong or morally right (Ethics). An interest in arguing for or against religious arguments is also important (Religion). Students apply the arguments of traditional and modern scholars as well as generate their own views.
There are two examinations to be taken at the end of Year 13. Students learn through a variety of lesson activities including group work, independent research, debate, peer teaching, oral presentation, problem solving games and exam technique workshops.
- Arguments for the existence of God Ethical theories
- Evil and suffering Issues of human life and death
- Religious experience Issues of animal life and death
- Religious language Introduction to meta ethics
- Miracles Determinism (Free will or not)
- Self and life after death. Conscience
Bentham and Kant
- God/gods/ultimate reality
- Self, death and the afterlife
- Behaviour and key moral principles
- Expression of religious identity
- Religion, gender and sexuality
- Religion and science
- Religion, secularization and New Atheism
- Sources of wisdom and authority
The course requires a lot of reading and writing but also a lot of discussion. We touch on political, social, moral, spiritual and cultural issues as well as philosophy and ethics itself. It is a subject for Atheists, Agnostics and Theists who feel passionate about life, death and the universe.
The study of Philosophy, Religion and Ethics uses many skills including analysis, evaluation, critical thinking, problem solving, research, communication and more. This means that Philosophy, Religion and Ethics students are specialising in a fascinating subject whilst learning transferable skills for any future career or higher education.
• Understand scholarly views towards philosophical, religious and ethical issues
• Investigate how to apply scholarly theories to modern moral dilemmas e.g. genetic engineering, abortion, euthanasia.
• Analyse texts from a wide variety of scholars
• Construct their own persuasive arguments
• Debate, discuss and evaluate philosophical and ethical issues
Lessons include a mixture of text analysis, video analysis, debate, discussion, critical thinking, essay structure and writing style coaching.
Careers using Philosophy, Religion and Ethics include: advertising, PR and communications, media, journalism, publishing, politics, teaching, law, medicine, social work, event management, marketing, working with charities and much more. Philosophy, Religion and Ethics is a highly regarded academic subject. It is traditional enough to be highly respected by employers and universities but modern enough to engage with people of any age. You would have to study two or three A Levels to test the number of skills found in Philosophy, Religion and Ethics, and these are skills for life.
C grade in English and/ or a C grade in Religious Studies (Philosophy and Ethics GCSE).