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The Higher Philosophy course aims to develop pupils’ reasoning skills by focusing on complex abstract concepts and Philosophical problems. Pupils will learn to challenge assumptions and apply knowledge and understanding to different philosophical positions and problems.




1 Year full time/

5 periods per week



Question Paper 1 worth 60 marks


Paper 2 worth 50 marks




Miss McLeod



Higher Philosophy provides opportunities for you to develop many skills that will transfer into other subjects and areas of employment. Studying Philosophy will help with your ability to think logically, to evaluate arguments critically, and to challenge your own ideas and the ideas of those around you. You will learn to challenge the assumptions that you have always held true and question ideas that should be confronted.

There are three units in this course:


Arguments in Action:

This unit is for anyone who likes a good argument! How do we define effective arguments? Arguments should be formed with a certain structure; they are made up of premises and a conclusion.  This unit will teach you how to create effective arguments and analyse the arguments of others. If we can recognise effective arguments and flaws in arguments, then we can assess the reasoning of others in every discussion that we enter. This is the foundational unit that the whole course is based on.

Knowledge and Doubt:

What does it mean to ‘know’ anything?

Is the world around us real? If you pinch yourself and you feel it, is that all the proof we need? Can we trust our senses?

Some people think that real knowledge only comes from our sense experience—we can smell, taste touch, see or hear our experience.  These people are Empiricists. Rationalists reckon we can reason out all true knowledge. If it is not rational then it is not true. Sceptics say that we can have no true knowledge of anything. Even that which we see and hear could all be imagined.

Here we study the Philosophy of Rene Descartes and David Hume.


Moral Philosophy:

Our Selected Moral Theories are Utilitarianism and Kantianism.

How do we decide right and wrong? Let’s think about the great thinkers of the past—Mill, Kant, Bentham, and others. We will use the skills learned in Arguments in Action to assess their Philosophical ideas.  


Course assessment consists of two parts:

Question Paper 1 is worth 60 marks and will take 2 hours and 15 minutes to complete.

Question Paper 2 is worth 50 marks and will take 1 hour 45 minutes to complete.

Both components will be completed as an examination at the end of the course.


Everything you need to know before selecting this course

entry requirements

To gain entry to this course you should have National 5 RMPS, and/or any other National 5 Social Subject. 

You must also have achieved National 5 English. Please speak to Miss Mcleod for further information. 

what will you get?

The course is graded

A: Band 1, Band 2

B: Band 3, Band 4

C: Band 5, Band 6

D: Band 7


Everything you need to know about future pathways from this course


Philosophy equips you with the skills and knowledge for many different careers, including:

· Politics

· Business

· Writing

· News and Journalism

· Law

· Teaching


Philosophy is one of the oldest subjects studied at University. It is seen as key to clear thinking and the skills are transferrable to any subject or area of employment.




Problem Solving: Independent thinking, positive work ethic, thinking in a critical way, justifying decisions, considering various perspectives.


Leadership: leading groups, building confidence, organisational skills, taking responsibility for your learning.


Teamwork: working successfully in a group, delegation, presenting information.


Communication: working with others, presenting findings, using clear and concise language.

my world of work

This link will take you to an excellent resource on MyWOW which looks at potential career routes when you select a combination of subjects. 

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