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Fast Track a Level in Philosophy (full As+a2) 2170


£ 365 VAT exempt


  • Typology

    A Level

  • Methodology


  • Class hours


  • Duration

    1 Year


The course is designed to give you a well rounded knowledge of the subject and to give you the ability to carry on your studies at a higher level. At Level 3 you are not required to have any previous knowledge of the subject, as the materials will take you from no previous knowledge up to Level 3. For Level 5/HND subjects you will be required to have studied at Level 3 or above before enrolment.
Suitable for: SUITABLE FOR: This course is suitable for all students over the age of 17. Students can study on this course no matter where you are in the World. The course is made up of various units and each build up your knowledge base of the subject. Courses are all delivered in English.

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Basic English reading and writing skills, as full tutor support is given.

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Course programme

Fast Track A Level in Philosophy (Full AS+A2) 2170

AS (Advanced Subsidiary) AQA 1171

Course Synopsis
AS Philosophy forms the first half of Philosophy A Level. It provides a solid grounding in central aspects of Philosophy that will prepare you to do well in the second half of the A Level. Throughout the AS course you will be encouraged to think critically. In doing so, you will develop an understanding of the discipline and develop your ability to think clearly and to argue effectively. Philosophy is a fascinating and hugely rewarding subject that will help you to develop a range of transferable skills which can be applied far beyond the study of Philosophy.

Course Content

1) Why Be Moral?
A natural way to see the role of morality in our lives is to view it as a constraint on the pursuit of self-interest. Were we to pursue our aims without any check on our conduct we would, it might be expected, do more bad deeds than we would were we controlled by moral rules and opinion. But, from the perspective of self-interest, how can we show that it is reasonable to conform to the expectations of morality? Why might it pay to be moral? Doesn't morality demand that I suppress my own inclinations and desires for the benefit of others and how can that be reasonable?

In this topic you will be introduced to three contrasting approaches which try to make sense of the relation between self-interest, practical reason and morality. The issues to be covered are:

1) Morality as a social contract - According to this approach it is reasonable to conform to the expectations of morality because morality is a conventional agreement for our mutual advantage. But exactly what kind of agreement could it be? Can we articulate our self-interest independently of morality?

2) Morality as constitutive of self-interest - According to this approach it is reasonable to conform to the expectations of morality because self-interest can only be realised in the context of a moral life. But are self-interested reasons compatible with an understanding of morality?

3) Morality as overcoming self-interest - According to this approach it is reasonable to conform to the expectations of morality and these expectations disregard self-interest as morally relevant. But does eschewing self-interest leave us without any motivating reasons to act altruistically? Is moral motivation a reflection of natural dispositions?

2) The Idea of God
In this topic you will be introduced to three related discussions that centre around the idea of God. The issues to be covered are:

1) The divine attributes - God has been described as possessing omnipotence, omniscience and supreme goodness. He is said to be transcendent and immanent and His existence has no beginning or end, being either eternal or everlasting. What are we to understand by these attributes and how do they apply? Are these divine attributes singularly or mutually coherent?

2) The ontological argument - This argument attempts to demonstrate a priori that if God's existence is conceivable then God must exist - God's being is necessary. What are the strengths and weaknesses of 'ontological arguments' for God's existence.

3) The origins of God - Here we consider the claim that the idea of 'God' is innate within all of us and the difficulties surrounding that claim. We look at attempts to explain how the idea of God is merely a human construction and projection that emerges from mundane social or psychological processes.

3) Persons
The issues to be covered in this topic are:

1) What are the characteristics of personhood? - The characteristics associated with personhood, such as: rationality; being reflective about one's experiences, feelings and motives as well as those of others; possessing a network of beliefs; self-awareness and awareness of oneself as a continuing subject of experience.

2) What is a person? - The notion that not all humans are persons and, perhaps, that some non-humans are persons. To what extent do some non-human animals and some machines possess at least some characteristics associated with personhood and to a sufficient degree for personhood?

3) What secures our personal identity through time? - Whether either physical or psychological continuity through time are necessary or sufficient conditions of identity.

4) Reason and Experience
In this topic we consider the roles of sense and reason in our experience of the world. Is the source of everything we know about the world our senses, or do we know some things by reason alone? The issues we will cover are:

1) Mind as a tabula rasa - We will look at the strengths and weaknesses of the view that all ideas are derived from sense experience. When we are born are our minds blank slates or do we come into the world with ready-made concepts of God and morality? We will also look at the strengths and weaknesses of the view that claims about what exists must be ultimately grounded in and justified by sense experience.

2) Innate knowledge - We will look at the strengths and weaknesses of the view that the mind contains innate knowledge regarding the way the world is. Is 'certainty' confined to introspection and the tautological?

3) Conceptual schemes - We will look at the idea that experience is only intelligible as it is because it presents sensation through a predetermined conceptual scheme or framework.

5) Free Will and Determinism
In this topic we will discuss:

1) What is determinism? - Is all human action the inevitable result of environmental and hereditary factors? Is free will an illusion?

2) What is free will? - Does free will require a gap in universal causality? Does human decision-making occupy a special place outside of the natural order?

3) The implications of determinism - If our actions are determined doesn't this undermine moral responsibility? To what extent can we praise, blame and punish if determinism is true?

6) God and the World
In this topic we will discuss:

1) The design argument for the existence of God - The view that the order in nature can only be explained if there was a Divine creator.

2) The problem of evil - How could God allow moral and natural evil?

3) The religious point of view - Does religious belief reflect the feelings, attitudes, and commitments of the religious rather than facts about the world?

7) Knowledge of the External World
In this topic we explore in greater detail the Empiricist account of knowledge, the view that all our knowledge comes from experience. The issues we will cover are:

1) Realism - Do physical objects really have the properties we perceive in them?

2) Representative realism - Are there good reasons to doubt the existence of the external world?

3) Idealism - Should physical objects be regarded as mere ideas?

Jones, Gerald, Hayward Jeremy & Cardinal, Daniel (2008) AQA
An Introduction to Philosophy for AS Level, Hodder Education, London

Butler, Martin & Rawlinson, David (2008) AQAAS Philosophy: Student's Book, Nelson Thornes, London

Lacewing, Michael (2008)AS Philosophy, Routledge, London

The AS Examination
The AS Examination consists of two unseen written exams:

Unit 1- An Introduction to Philosophy 1
50% of the AS.
Written paper, 1 hour 30 minutes
Candidates must answer the compulsory question on reason and experience
and one other question.

Unit 2- An Introduction to Philosophy 2
50% of the AS.
Written paper, 1 hour 30 minutes
Candidates must answer two questions.

A2 (Advanced Level) AQA 2171

Course Synopsis
This A2 Philosophy course forms the second half of A Level Philosophy. Together with AS Philosophy the A2 course provides a solid grounding in Philosophy. On the course you will have the opportunity to engage with a range of philosophical issues of contemporary relevance. You will also be encouraged to develop further the valuable critical thinking skills and the ability to argue that are central to Philosophy A level.

Course Content

1. Moral Philosophy
In this part of the course we consider whether there are universal moral truths or morality is culturally relative. Should moral decisions be made in terms of consequences alone, or should moral rights, duties and principles, which have intrinsic value independent of consequences be seen as more important? We will use moral theory to shed some light on contemporary ethical issues.

2. Political Philosophy
How should society be organised so as to best promote human welfare? Does justice require greater equality both nationally and globally? We will consider these and other questions related to the political and economic organisation of society.

3. Epistemology and Metaphysics
In this section we will look at the basis we have for believing that our senses are reliable. Our senses appear to inform us of an external world but can we be certain it exists? We also consider whether 'universals' exist. White objects have a common property. They are all white. But does this mean that there is such a thing as whiteness? We will discover that it is not easy to be dismissive of this question.

4. Philosophy of Religion
On the AS we examined the argument for the existence of God that points to intelligent design. In this section of the A2 we evaluate the cosmological argument. Is big bang theory incompatible with the belief that God created the universe? We also look at the nature of religious belief and the relationship between faith and reason.

5. John Stuart Mill'sOn Liberty
In the final part of the A2 there is an option to look in detail at an influential philosophical text. We will consider the book On Liberty by John Stuart Mill. This section facilitates an exploration of a range of philosophical problems. Mill is concerned in this book with the value of democracy and the extent to which it is right to put limits on personal freedom.

Lacewing, Michael (2009)Philosophy for A2: Key Themes in Philosophy, Routledge, London.

Lacewing, Michael (2009)Philosophy for A2: Philosophical Problems, Routledge, London.

The A2 Examination
There will be two unseen written exams for the A2. These are:

The Unit 3 Exam- Key Themes in Philosophy
This is a written paper lasting 2 hours.
Candidates must answer two questions from two different sections (i.e. on two themes).
The exam is available in June only.

The Unit 4 Exam- Philosophical Problems
This is a written paper lasting 1 hour 30 minutes.
Candidates must choose one section and answer the compulsory question and one essay question.
The exam is available in June only.

Fast Track a Level in Philosophy (full As+a2) 2170

£ 365 VAT exempt