Does God exist? If God exists, and is good, then why is there so much suffering in the world? Why should we believe in the concepts of miracles? Is religion just a fiction invented to bring comfort to people in difficult times? Is it ever morally right to go to war?
These are the kind of questions that you will study. We will examine some of the answers that the great philosophers have given to these questions over the centuries. You will broaden your horizons and develop your powers of reasoning. You will also learn to express your views clearly and logically, both in speech and in writing.
You will develop knowledge and skills that will be highly appreciated both by universities and employers.
This course can be studied as part of the communications A Level pathway at Reading College.
What you'll learn
Your study will involve an overview of the main theories in different areas of philosophy.
You will study the following topics:
- Unit 1: foundations – a study of philosophical arguments about the existence of God and selected problems in the philosophy of religion. Ethics; ethical concepts and dilemmas.
- Unit 2: religious studies – investigations: the study of philosophy of religion: religious experience and the study of ethics: medical ethics; you study one topic.
At A2, you will continue to study philosophy of religion and ethics:
- Unit 3: developments -comprises further study of philosophical arguments about the existence of God and selected problems in the philosophy of religion, as well as further study of ethical concepts and problems.
- Unit 4: implications – in the implications paper, you are given a piece of text from an anthology and asked one question concerning the implications of this text for religion and human experience.
How you'll learn and be assessed
You will learn in groups and there will be ongoing timed assessments. You will have your own specialist personal tutor who you will meet individually or as part of a group tutorial and they will help you set, review and achieve your targets.
You may have the opportunity of participating in an overseas trip to areas of philosophical interest. There are also visits to museums and conferences.
There is an extensive programme of support to help you make higher education decisions and move on to university. The vast majority of A-level students progress successfully to higher education. Enrichment opportunities are also on offer and you will be encouraged to select from a range, including: volunteering, work experience, sport and performing.
Formal assessment is through examinations and the examination periods are in May/ June, there is no formal coursework assessment on this course. There will be a range of regular assignments, essays and class-based assessments to help you develop your study skills for the next educational step. You will learn in groups and there will be ongoing timed assessments. Individual learning targets are set each term and you will receive regular feedback on your progress in meeting these targets.
No additional requirement to standard A Level Entry Criteria