School Certificate in Philosophy

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Introductory philosophical ideas and debates.

  • To provide a short introduction to central ideas in philosophy and a brief overview of some influential philosophers
  • To explore some debated questions in philosophy
  • To encourage students to engage in discussion and debate as a way of learning how to think philosophically
  • To provide students with an opportunity to respond to the material they have learned with a personal philosophical project
  • To provide students with an opportunity to present their work to their class in an appropriate format (a display of their research, a video, a podcast or an oral presentation)
Education context

This will be taught primarily to students aged 13 – 14. It is designed to complement their learning in other subject areas, such as Religious Studies, providing scope for them to learn foundational ideas in philosophy, discuss philosophical questions, and develop their skills as independent learners through engagement in research project work. As such, it also serves to lay foundations for later projects such as the EPQ.

Awarding providers
  • New College of the Humanities in association with Cranleigh School
  • Philosophical Foundations.
  • Philosophical Debates
  • Personal Philosophy Project
Subject areas
  • Introductory epistemology
  • Metaphysics
  • Ethics
  • Philosophy of mind and language
  • Aesthetics and political philosophy
  • Foundation / Intermediate GCSE


  • Assessment is by means of a student project.
  • The project includes planning, research and development sections. 
  • The student may opt to give a presentation.
Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

Elements are considered holistically in reaching a decision about grading bands.

Resit arrangements

Projects may be re-submitted in a future awarding cycle provided no more than limited guidance has been provided.

Programme size

20 Guided/notional learning hours

Key issues for UK HE admissions

The project is designed to promote widening participation by creating more equitable access to cultural capital such as is embodied in the tradition of philosophy. 

The project is also designed to provide a context within which students can begin to develop their skills in independent project management and research, engagement in an academically rigorous process of argument and counter-argument, and make an appropriate presentation of their work.

Timing of assessments and results

March 2020    Deadline for entries.

May 2020    Online submission of projects. 

June 2020    Moderation of projects.

July 2020    Awarding of grades. 

August 2020    Publication of results. 

Certification information

Via an examiner’s report, available at the NCH website.

Progression information

The skills developed in this qualification will enable progression to a Higher Project or Extended Project Qualification. The  topics explored will promote engagement with A Level Philosophy or aspects of A Level Religious Studies.