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Philosophy A Level

Course Overview

Philosophy offers an intellectually stimulating and thought-provoking exploration into the fundamental questions of human existence, knowledge, ethics and the nature of reality.

Over the two year course you will study a wide range of philosophical theories, concepts and arguments put forward by influential thinkers from Plato to Descartes, Hypatia to Foot and many more in between. You will consider arguments relating to the nature of reality, our ability to perceive it accurately, how we should make moral decision, questions and arguments relating to the existence of God and the problem of evil, and finally an exploration of the philosophy mind. You will also have the chance to apply these theories to practical examples including the question of how we should treat animals, whether robots and AI can ever be considered to be persons. You will also gain experience in developing your own arguments through an evaluation of the philosophers we study.


Course Components

Year 1 components

Epistemology (the study of knowledge) including -

  • What do we know?
  • How do we know?

Moral Philosophy including -

  • Utilitarianism
  • Kant
  • Aristotle

Year 2 components

Metaphysics of God including -

  • Arguments for and against God’s existence
  • The problem of evil

Metaphysics of Mind including -

  • Mind and body are separate substances (Descartes)
  • The mind is the brain
  • We are more like complex biological machines.

Key Info

Minimum entry requirements

Five GCSEs at Grade 4 or above including: 

  • GCSE grade 5 in English Language


  • 100% exam
  • 2 x 3 hr written papers
  • Exam board: AQA


Subject Lead

Mrs F Smith

Why Choose this Course?

Throughout human history there is evidence of us asking why things are the way they are, whether things have to be this way, how we create change and how to live a good life. In studying Philosophy, you have the chance to engage in the challenge of answering these questions. Studying Philosophy will cultivate your intellectual curiosity, foster a deeper understanding of complex ideas and encourage you to challenge the way things are or appear to be. Studying Philosophy will nurture empathy as it exposes you to and develops your ability to take part in respectful dialogue.

Skills you Gain

Studying A Level Philosophy develops critical thinking skills enabling students to analyse arguments evaluate evidence and construct logical reasoning. It enhances analytical skills allowing you to break down complex concepts and understand intricate ideas. Philosophy also fosters effective communication, both written and verbal, enabling you to articulate your thoughts clearly and engage in thoughtful discussions. Studying Philosophy will encourage seeking out different perspectives, engage with philosophical texts and critically evaluate theories. Overall it will equip you with valuable skills applicable to various academic and real-life contexts.

After Northgate

Students who study Philosophy find success in a wide range of careers, including law, academia, journalism, consulting, public service, teaching and many more. The skills you develop through your studies are highly valued in fields that require critical thinking, problem-solving and effective communication.

 "It hurts my head…but in a good way - prepare to question everything!"

Contact Us

Northgate Sixth Form,
Sidegate Lane, Ipswich, IP4 3DL

Tel: 01473 210 123