Philosophy A Level
Qualification: GCE A Level in Philosophy
Exam Board & Specification Code: AQA; 7172; Specification
Course Entry Requirements: 6 in English Language GCSE or 6 in English Literature GCSE
Please make sure that you have understood the overall entry requirements to study at BHASVIC. These are available here and outline the GCSE grades you need to take up one of the Study Programmes at the college.
Length and size of qualification: 2 year single course
Timetable hours: 4.5 hours per week
Assessment method: 2 x 3 hour exams
BHASVIC Department: Philosophy, Politics and Law
What will I study?
In Philosophy, you will encounter the work of some of the greatest thinkers in the western tradition. The Greeks invented western philosophy but the tradition begun with Socrates, Plato and Aristotle has continued uninterrupted up until the present day. You will study aspects of the work of philosophers like John Locke, David Hume, Rene Descartes and Bertrand Russell during the first year of your course in epistemology (the theory of knowledge) and ethics. You will be expected to develop a critical and evaluative approach to their arguments and you will learn how to construct and develop your own responses to them.
Is this course right for me?
Philosophy is a stimulating subject, but a demanding one. You must be prepared to read, think and write about ideas and concepts which can be difficult to understand but you will learn to identify strengths as well as weaknesses in many standard arguments of the philosophical tradition. In addition, you will develop the skill of constructing your own arguments in response to the arguments of others and you will be expected to develop your own point of view in relation to a range of philosophical questions.
Philosophy students tend to have an inquisitive nature, and are willing to question just about anything and everything. Philosophy is a subject that has a very wide application in future careers. Due to its concentration on thinking about difficult ideas and challenging concepts, you will be able to use these transferable skills in a wide range of progression contexts. There are a number of transferable skills that can be gained from studying Philosophy. These include: logical and analytical thinking and reasoning, problem solving, written and oral communication, ability to interpret, condense and clarify information, ability to formulate your own opinions and defend them in debate and the ability to interpret and analyse a variety of different information. Industry sectors where a Philosophy qualification may be considered an advantage are: journalism, law, social services, business, education, IT and The Civil Service. Useful websites to research careers and wider progression options could include Prospects, All About Careers and The Apprenticeship Guide.