Philosophy, Ethics and Theology A Level

Philosophy, Ethics and Theology A Level


Philosophy, Ethics & Theology

A Level                                                               Exam Board: OCR

 Examination requirements:

A 7 or better in Religious Studies GCSE together with a 6 in English Language or Literature, or 7 in English Language or Literature if RS not taken at GCSE.

Career Opportunities:

In a world where technological development is at the forefront of our lives, it may at first seem surprising that Philosophy, Ethics and Theology is one of the fastest growing subjects in the UK. However, if we step back and look at the bigger picture behind the many ground-breaking changes around the globe, we will often find a student of Philosophy, Ethics and Theology is never too far away from the action. For example, as Google make the finishing touches to their autonomous cars, it is philosophers and ethicists who are debating over the code of conduct that will drive the computers’ decisions when difficult, potentially life-changing choices need to be made.

The skills nurtured when studying Philosophy, Ethics and Theology such as critical thinking, problem solving and the communication of ideas are a crucial part of many degree and career opportunities ranging from Law, Politics, Economics and Sociology, to Psychology, Medicine and Robotics.

As the world moves forwards, employers will need people with the sensitivity and thoughtfulness to look at the choices we are making and to evaluate them in a critical way which keeps in mind the thousands of years of thought and debate that has taken us to where we are, whilst having the flexibility and moral insight to understand where new choices and ways of thinking may be necessary.  

Structure of course:

In the Philosophy of Religion students will study the following topics, among others:

  • ancient philosophical influences
  • the nature of the soul, mind and body
  • arguments about the existence or non-existence of God
  • the challenge for religious belief of the problem of evil


In Religion and Ethics students will study the following topics, among others:

  • utilitarianism, situation ethics, Kantian ethics & natural moral law
  • euthanasia
  • business ethics
  • debates surrounding the significant idea of conscience
  • sexual ethics


In Developments in Religious Thoughts students will study the following topics, among others:

  • gender and society/theology
  • religious pluralism
  • the challenge of secularism
  • liberation theology and Marx


How the A Level is assessed

  • Three written exams of 2 hours

A Level Philosophy, Ethics & Theology is an academically demanding and thought-provoking subject that is appropriate for those of any faith or of none.  The best students may be committed atheists who find the philosophical and ethical questions that the subject raises fascinating and intellectually stimulating, or those of a strong faith who are excited to explore the foundations of some of the key thinking behind both religious and secular debate throughout mankind’s relationship with God.

Over the course of the two years the Philosophy & Theology and Psychology departments run a joint trip to Krakow, Poland, incorporating a visit to Auschwitz concentration camp.  This study trip is designed to support a number of the topics studied at Religious Studies A Level, including ‘The Problem of Evil’, ‘Conscience’ and ‘Christian Moral Action’.  It is a two night visit costing approximately £400, dependent on the number of students participating.