Philosophy and Ethics

Exam Board



What is Philosophy & Ethics:

Philosophy is asking and answering the really big questions in life: Does God exist? What is the purpose of life? Who should have power? When is killing justified?

Ethics is applying this thought to life. At the core of the course in a comparative study of two great religions which between them have over 2.5 billion followers, and which have done much to shape the history of the world: Christianity and Islam

Who might enjoy this course?

You will enjoy this course if you have a curious mind and enjoy thinking - inside and outside 'the box'.  You will be interested in why things happen, and why people act as they do. Issues such as justice, equality and the value of life will intrigue or provoke you; you will want to share your opinion and listen to others.

What about exams? What will I study?

Your studies will include both belief and practice of these religions, with a close examination of several themes including:

The family

Peace and conflict

Crime and punishment

Throughout the course we will constantly address the most challenging questions: we open by examining the philosophical arguments for the existence of God, and continue to deal with questions of what life is about and how it should be lived.



There are two examinations of 1 hour 45 minutes. There is no coursework / controlled assessment.

In paper 1, you will answer questions on:


Marriage and the Family

Living the Religious Life

Matters of Life and Death

In paper 2, you will answer questions on:


Crime and Punishment

Living the Religious Life

Peace and Conflict

What could I do next with Philosophy & Ethics?

Studying Philosophy, rather like History, equips you to evaluate argument, considering the motives and beliefs of those who follow religious convictions, and those who do not.  You should become more confident in putting across your point of view, and better able to address and understand the views of others. This is a highly regarded GCSE and a classic preparation for a career in the law; it is also a strong foundation for social work, journalism or an academic career. Many students will continue to A level or consider Sociology or Law A levels as a next step.