Certificates in Philosophy

In September 2022 Headington’s first cohort of L5 Philosophy Certificate pupils began their year-long course.

The course, accredited by Northeastern University (USA), was comprised of a series of lessons in formulating philosophical arguments, an introduction to a wide range of philosophers and their ideas (from Thales and the pre-Socratics right up to contemporary thinkers such as Australian moral philosopher and ethicist Peter Singer), a series on research skills and the rigours of formal essay writing.

The pupils concluded with their research project on a philosophical topic of their choice. Research topics included the ethics of the death penalty, questions surrounding free will, the political philosophy of Thomas Hobbes, hedonism as a motivating factor in moral decision making and the ethics of surveillance, amongst others.

The course concluded with a presentation evening in Headington School’s Library in July, where pupils each had a stand at which they had their essay and an accompanying presentation to demonstrate their research process.

The girls took questions from staff and visitors and were most impressive in their command of the subject area they had chosen to research and write about.

Mrs Helen Whitworth, teacher of Philosophy and RS said: “We have been so delighted with our students in this first group to complete the Philosophy Certificate.

“Their enthusiasm and engagement impressed us from the outset and, as demonstrated at the presentation evening in July, their research projects and essays displayed a wide range of philosophical interests.

“Their exceptional results speak for themselves and we are incredibly proud of all they have achieved.”