Why choose Philosophy?

What can we know? What is human consciousness? Philosophy deals with the big questions in life.

Philosophy deals with the big questions in life and examines the rich treasure trove of answers to questions such as: what is the nature and limitation of our knowledge?  How do we decide what is right? Does God exist? What is human consciousness? Philosophy A level will appeal to you if you enjoy thinking deeply, reading critically and expressing your ideas clearly in essays and discussion.

Your opinions will be challenged in lively classroom discussion as you are led through the maze of dilemmas. A level Philosophy is the antidote to learning facts and figures: this subject encourages you to think for yourself! The course is complimentary to both arts and science A levels and prepares you for allied academic subjects at university as well as Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) or straight philosophy. Thinking is a vocational skill and philosophy graduates are extremely marketable in a wide variety of fields such as law, journalism and public services.

Why study Philosophy?

Philosophy is subject with a clear method. It trains you to think carefully and critically, and then to write (and speak) clearly. These skills can be applied to every area of study and in every profession: studying philosophy is the ideal preparation for work and life!
Philosophy at Hills Road is taught by two professional philosophers who are experienced teachers and research active. There is a lively philosophy society which invites guest speakers to talk to students, such as Simon Blackburn, Onora O'Neill, A C Grayling and Rowan Williams.

What is Philosophy?

This is a philosophical question. Nothing is free from the enquiry of the philosopher, who seeks to answer the really difficult questions in life. There are a number of books that will give you an introduction to the subject:
Sophie's World - J Gaardner, What does it all mean - T Nagel, The Philosophy Gym - S Law, Philosophy: The Basics - N Warburton

There is no coursework and all examination questions are compulsory.

“Philosophy is a very strange subject! Nothing makes sense for a long time; then it does – and that’s a fantastic feeling!”

Details of the A level Philosophy examination (7172) from September 2017 onwards may be found on the AQA website here.

Entry Requirements

GCSE grade 6 in English (Language or Literature).

Awarding Body


Units of Study

Year 12

Philosophy Yr 12 - Section A

Epistemology: What we can know?

Philosophy Yr 12 - Section B

Ethics: How do we make moral decisions?


Year 13

Philosophy Yr 13 - Section A

Metaphysics of God: Can the existence of God be proved?

Philosophy Yr 13 - Section B

Metaphysics of Mind: Are my mind and body separate?