Philosophy & Ethics

If you have any further enquiries, please email Miss Charlene Enright, Head of Religious Studies, at

What is Philosophy & Ethics?

Within the course, we evaluate and discuss philosophical questions of existence, both of self and of God. Theories of behaviour and ethics are critically examined and applied to relevant topical issues including medical ethics and animal rights.

Philosophy & Ethics is a rigorous academic discipline that has held the attention of scholars throughout the ages, and one that continues to inspire to this day.

Why at Salesian College?

The Religious Education Department at Salesian College has a strong academic tradition. This - combined with a friendly learning environment - provides an ideal combination for achieving academic success.

Philosophy & Ethics remains a popular choice at A Level and is a subject that complements any combination of subjects.

What are the skills required?

Students are required to investigate, interpret, evaluate and critically examine throughout the course. These are but a few of the skills that will be developed throughout the entire programme of study.

The primary skills required are those of motivation, enthusiasm and willingness to succeed. These are essential in order to fully benefit from A Level Philosophy & Ethics.

The Department

The A Level curriculum is currently taught by Miss Enright, Miss Callanan, and Mr Maher.

The Department itself is well resourced, with two dedicated teaching rooms, containing a wide range of academic material that can be used in conjunction with the Library at Salesian College. In addition to the above, there is ample opportunity to utilise the College’s ICT facilities for essays and research tasks.

Each year there is also the opportunity to attend revision seminars and lectures delivered by philosophers, such as Richard Dawkins and Richard Swinburne.

What does the course involve?

The A Level course follows the AQA Syllabus for Philosophy & Ethics.
Students study the following topics within Philosophy, Ethics and Christianity:

Component 1 - Philosophy Component 2 - Ethics
Design argument Natural Moral Law
Cosmological argument Situation Ethics
Ontological argument Virtue Ethics
Problem of Evil Issues of human life and death
Religious experience Issues of animal life and death
Religious language Meta Ethics
Miracles Freewill and moral responsibility
Self, death and afterlife Conscience
  Comparison of Bentham and Kant


Component 2 - Christianity
Sources of wisdom and authority
Self, death and afterlife
Good conduct and moral principles
Expressions of religious identity
Religion, gender and sexuality
Religion and science
Religion and secularization
Religion, migration and pluralism

What can Philosophy & Ethics lead to?

A student of Philosophy & Ethics will have every opportunity before them as the skills they will develop from this A Level are highly valued by all universities. The course itself requires an analytical mind. It asks students to assess, examine and evaluate key questions concerning fundamental questions of existence and morality.

In terms of future study, it remains a popular choice at degree level, with many universities offering joint honours courses with other disciplines.

Philosophy & Ethics is considered a supremely relevant and demanding course and is regarded as an excellent preparation for any future career. It affords the opportunity to develop on an academic and personal level and captivates and motivates those who study it.