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Est. 1921


Course Details

Exam Board and specification code:

AQA A-level Philosophy (7172/1/2)

Course Co-ordinator:

Mr JP Buluma

Video Introduction:

What is this course about?

This specification has been designed to introduce students to the key methods and concepts in philosophy through the study of four broad themes: Epistemology; Philosophy of Religion; Ethics; and Philosophy of Mind. Students will develop and refine a range of transferable skills, such as the ability to ask penetrating questions, to analyse and evaluate the arguments of others and to present their own arguments clearly and logically.

Although the specification is arranged thematically, students have access to an anthology providing them with the texts required for close study. To give all students the opportunity to engage with a full philosophical text, Descartes’ Meditations is used as the key text in both sections of the Year 12 course and in the Philosophy of Mind section of the Year 13 course.

Is it the right subject for me?

Hopefully, your Year 12 and 13 studies will be more than a means to an end for you.  This subject has something extra - real 'value added' features:-

  • exploring the mysteries of human existence
  • analysing and evaluating on what we consider to be knowledge. (What do we mean when we say; ‘I know’?)
  • it will enhance your critical skills, test the views of others, including scholars, challenging the evidence and the testimonies.
  • you will face the challenge of exploring questions that have no answers.

Course Content

Students are required to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the content, including through the use of philosophical analysis (conceptual analysis and argument analysis). They must also be able to analyse and evaluate the philosophical arguments within the subject content to form reasoned judgements.

Paper 1 (Code 7172/1)

Paper 2 (Code 7172/2)

Section A: What can we know? (Epistemology)

Section B: Moral Philosophy:- How do we make moral decisions?


Section A: Five questions on epistemology

Section B: Five questions on moral philosophy

3 hour written examination
50% of A-Level

 All questions are compulsory.

Section C: Metaphysics of God

Section D: Metaphysics of mind:- Is the mind and body separate? (Philosophy of Mind)


Section A: Five questions on the metaphysics of God

Section B: Five questions on the metaphysics of mind

3 hour written examination
50% towards A-Level

 All questions are compulsory.

What might this course lead on to?

If you want to go on to study the subject at university, there is a huge range of courses available, including Philosophy, Law, philosophical anthropology, classics, and politics.

Entry Requirements:

You need Grade 6 and above in English Language or English Literature to study this course. There is no prior learning of philosophy required.