Why choose this specification?

We are pleased to be able to share our new A-level Philosophy specification with you, now accredited by Ofqual.

This specification has been developed in response to questions and concerns from teachers about the existing specification.

It has been written by a small team which includes practising philosophy teachers and assessment experts. It has also been reviewed by colleagues in higher education.

Please have a look at the accredited specification and specimen assessment materials to see the details of the new specification.

Main changes

  • greater clarity on the content so that teachers are clear about what they need to teach
  • simplification of the routes through the specification to ensure comparability of results and improve reliability of marking
  • revised assessments which include a range of questions to allow students of all abilities to demonstrate what they can do; these focus clearly on the core skills of philosophy
  • revised mark schemes to give clarity on how students will be rewarded for their answers

Support for teachers

The following support will be available for teachers moving from the old specification to the new one:

  • A full set of specimen assessment materials with some additional exemplar questions to illustrate the nature of assessment
  • Launch meetings in early summer 2014 to help teachers understand the changes and the requirements of the new specification
  • An online anthology with links to the set texts used in the specification
  • An exemplar scheme of work showing how the course could be taught
  • A set of exemplar answers to some of the sample questions to illustrate how students will be rewarded for their answers, with commentaries to explain what they needed to do differently in order to improve

The specification has been accredited by Ofqual.

It is available for first teaching from September 2014 with the first AS exam in June 2015 and the first A2 exam in June 2016.

We hope that you will be pleased with the changes we have made so that the new specification better meets your and your students' needs.

If you would like to clarify anything with us in the meantime please contact the subject team at: philosophy@aqa.org.uk or call us on 0161 957 3267.