GCSE Philosophy & Ethics


Philosophy & Ethics shows universities and employers that you understand the world, life and people. It therefore allows you to acquire and develop skills that all jobs need. Furthermore, it not only provides you with academic skills but it also gives you life skills – it prepares you for life in the present and future.

Course Outline

e.g. This is a three year GCSE course which consists of 2 units and 8 sections:

Unit 2 - Religion and Life:

  • Believing in God - upbringing, religious experience, miracles, the nature of God, creation, the problem of evil and suffering.
  • Matters of Life and Death - the afterlife, near-death experiences, ghosts, reincarnation, abortion & euthanasia.
  • Marriage & the Family - attitudes to marriage, divorce, cohabitation, family life, sex, contraception and homosexuality.
  • Community Cohesion - the role of men and women, rights, prejudice, discrimination, racism, and how to achieve social harmony in a multi-cultural/faith society.

Throughout the above unit we will also need to analyse how some of the issues covered have been shown in programmes/films like: Bruce Almighty, Holby City, The Da Vinci Code, Evan Almighty, The Most Hated Family in America, The Vicar of Dibley, Ghost, Waterloo Road, Mrs Doubtfire, and Hidden Lives.

Unit 8 - Religion and Society:

  • Rights and Responsibilities - free will, how we know right from wrong, human rights, democracy, freedom, genetic engineering.
  • Environmental and Medical Issues - global warming, pollution, stewardship, infertility, transplant surgery.
  • Peace and Conflict - war, peace, the UN, Just War Theory, bullying, attitudes to forgiveness.
  • Crime and Punishment - law, justice, punishment, drugs and alcohol laws, social and health problems.


No Coursework.
Examination – Two papers on separate days, which last 1 hour 45 minutes each. These make up 100% of the final grade and achieve a GCSE in R.S.

Examining Board


Career Opportunities

The skills and knowledge you obtain will set you apart from the crowd when you apply for higher education or employment. It shows you are a well-rounded individual. This subject can lead to a career in:

Law, Counselling, Social Services, Teaching and/or Lecturing, Criminology, Police Force, Medicine, Child/Adult Psychology, Management and Business, and many more.

Teaching Methods

Each fortnight you will be timetabled for five periods of 60 minutes each.

These will be used to achieve a number of subject aims:

  • To give meaning, purpose and understanding to life.
  • Moral issues are covered in the light of different non-religious and religious views.
  • Cultivates advanced thinking skills when solving moral and ethical problems.
  • Develops the capability to understand and communicate with a wide-range of people in a professional, empathetic and sympathetic way.
  • Provides the ability to research the issues of the day, evaluate them and then give your own opinion on them.
  • Promotes the ability to present a balanced argument using evidence to support different viewpoints, as well as your own.
  • Encourages the ability of working with, and learning from, others.
  • Nurtures an understanding of the mind, society, the world and spiritual aspects of human kind.

How is the course graded


How to succeed in GCSE Art

Successful students need be imaginative, creative and positive. Students must be organised and prepared to work hard in their own time. Patience and peristence are key virtues, as is the ability to take criticism positively. Successful students need to be open, expressive and committed.

Skill Requirements

GCSE students are encouraged to work over an extended period of time on the development of their projects. This process is broken down into easily understood targets by the Art teacher and requires a mature and independent approach from the student in order to be successful.

Students should always have a set of personal targets to complete – these targets are likely to be detailed on the student’s Progress Log and found on the task lists in their sketchbook.

How can you help?

Ask your son/daughter about their artwork and their ideas. Take them to galleries and to places where they can gather photographs for their work. Provide them with materials and tools, and try to sort out a space in the house for them to study. Finally, ask to see their Progress Logs – it’s all there!

Extra-curricular Support

The Art Department opens its doors daily to students to come and work at break, lunchtime and after school on Tuesdays & Thursdays. We regularly arrange Saturday Workshops, sometimes inviting specialist artists to deliver a master class. There are many other opportunities to be involved more in Art such as mural painting, Rock Challenge set design and Saatchi Online (