A Level Philosophy

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What Board do we do? AQA, AS/A Level Code: 7171/7172

What is Philosophy?
Philosophy is about asking, and attempting to answer, fundamental questions such as: what is knowledge; do we see the world as it is, or is our perception of the world misleading; does God exist and what is the problem of evil; what is the nature of mind and can we explain the mental purely in terms of the physical; what is moral goodness, and what is the nature of moral language.

The study of philosophy combines reading from the works of great philosophers, identifying the issues and arguments involved, and arriving at reasoned conclusions. Students will gain knowledge of important philosophical issues, and will learn how to interpret and assess arguments and counter-arguments. Students will learn the key skills of how to write clearly and accurately, how to express persuasive arguments, and how to develop their own thinking.

Which subjects combine well with Philosophy?
Philosophy combines well with the natural sciences (PhysicsChemistryBiologyGeography and Psychology), with social sciences (HistorySociologyEconomics and Politics), and with Mathematics. It also combines well with Business Studies and Computer Science, and modern language courses with a literature component.

What careers and University courses can Philosophy lead to?
Philosophy is a good choice for ambitious students seeking careers with international organisations, the Civil Service, law firms and accountancy/consulting firms, and leading businesses especially in information technology and environmental sectors. The key skills of understanding ideas and arguments, clear and critical thinking and writing, and making rational decisions, are highly valued at senior management levels.

Over-subscribed universities also value Philosophy qualifications: a demonstrated capacity for independent thought and research is especially attractive to admissions tutors. As well as single honours Philosophy degree courses, Philosophy is directly relevant for degrees offering combined qualifications, such as Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE), and a range of dual honours degrees which combine Philosophy with, for example, Theology, Physics, Linguistics, Languages, Mathematics, Music. Students also often take Philosophy as a modular component of a degree course. The A Level course provides an excellent introduction for all these possibilities.


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