KS5 Philosophy and Ethics

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KS5 Philosophy and Ethics (Religious Studies)

What does the course involve?

Within Religious Studies we cover a plethora of topics spanning across 3 units – Philosophy, Ethics and Buddhism as the chosen study of religion unit. Students will explore a wide range of ethical theories and their application towards moral dilemmas and issues, as well as philosophical concepts regarding God’s existence and the way the world works as part of the Philosophy and Ethics paper. In studying Buddhism, students will develop their knowledge of the beliefs and practices of Buddhists and how these affect their ethical decision making and links to philosophical concepts such as Evil and Suffering and using weapons of mass destruction etc.

As part of the course, students will be developing their communication skills, focusing on their literacy and oracy skills within group/class discussions, debates, creating and delivering presentations and learning appropriate structures to apply their knowledge to exam style questions within their written communication. This also enables students to develop their critical analysis skills in determining the relevance and application of ethical theories, philosophical concepts and Buddhist beliefs to current issues and inform their own general knowledge of various perspectives.

Content Covered as Part of the Course:

Year 12

  • Philosophy – Arguments for the Existence of God; Evil and Suffering; and Religious Experience [including then challenges in its verification]
  • Ethics – Three Ethical theories and how they are applied to issues concerning human and animal life andm death e.g. use of animals in blood sports, abortion and euthanasia etc
  • Buddhism – General beliefs and practices of Buddhists based on the importance of the Buddha, different schools of Buddhism and how they worship, application of beliefs to ethical issues

Year 13

  • Philosophy – Self, Death and the Afterlife; Miracles and Religious Language
  • Ethics – Meta‐ethics; Free Will and Moral Responsibility; Conscience; and Bentham and Kant
  • Buddhism – follows a more sociological aspect of applying and contrasting Buddhist beliefs, teachings and practices based on gender and sexuality, links between religion and science, issues of secularisation and religious pluralism

How is it assessed?

This is a 2 year course, at the end of Year 13 students will sit 2 exam papers [there are no coursework units].

  • Paper 1: Philosophy and Ethics – 3 hours long and worth 100 marks [50% of overall grade]
  • Paper 2: Study of Religion [Buddhism] – 3 hours long and worth 100 marks [50% of overall grade]

Both exams consist of A01 theory questions worth 10 marks each and evaluation A02 questions worth 15 marks each. There are two 25 mark questions as part of the Buddhism paper discussing links between Buddhism and Philosophy and Ethics.

Homework tasks are set based on research or activities to extend and embed knowledge on the topics covered [this can include practice exam questions]. End of unit assessments are also used at the end of each unit based on quick knowledge questions and timed exam style extended writing responses.

Future Career Options? – Can facilitate a variety of careers due to the nature of the topics covered and skills developed based on either a university, apprenticeship or job route e.g. within Law, Research, Journalism, RE and Philosophy, Criminology and Investigation,, Sociology, Psychology, Social Work, Business, Teaching, working in the Prison system/Police, Armed forces, Politics, Nursing, Public Relations, Social Media and Marketing etc

Exam Board: AQA

Links & Resources

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Links & Resources

Links & Resources

Links & Resources

Links & Resources

Lightcliffe Academy

Stoney Lane
Halifax, HX3 8TL

Tel: 01422 201 028
Fax: 01422 204 615

Registered Office:

Abbey Multi Academy Trust
c/o Chapter House
Abbey Grange Church of England Academy
Butcher Hill
LS16 5EA
Registered Company Number: 07705552