Philosophical thought shapes what people think and how they engage with others. It seeks to explore life’s big issues, like what it means to be human.
Students may undertake either 100 or 200 hours of study in Philosophy. Courses are structured in the following ways:
- a 100-hour course consisting of Core 1 and Core 2 and a minimum of three options
- a 200-hour course consisting of Core 1 and Core 2 and a minimum of five options.
Philosophy stimulates critical thinking in students, assisting them to reflect on their role as active decision-makers in society.
The Philosophy course will develop student interest in key philosophical thinkers, problems and arguments. By applying this knowledge to social dilemmas through communities of inquiry, students challenge assumptions and beliefs and build their capacity for critical reasoning and ethical decision-making.
Course information for leaders
Philosophy was a new course in 2022. Students may undertake either 100 or 200 hours of study in Philosophy in Stage 5. The course is divided into core and options. The core should precede the options. The options may be studied in any order.
The course may be structured in the following ways:
- 100-hour course comprises two core topics and an additional study of selected options to meet the 100-hour requirement
- 200-hour course comprises two core topics and an additional study of selected options to meet the 200-hour requirement
Philosophy is concerned with questions of ethics, knowledge, aesthetics and reality. The course seeks to engage students in thinking about life’s big issues, such as the nature of reality, how we should live and what it means to be human.
Students engage in communities of inquiry style discussions to consider a range of issues and ideas, developing deep critical thinking skills and working collaboratively with peers.
Teachers may require time to upskill and build their knowledge in order to deliver the course.
Schools must use the Philosophy course document (DOCX 158 KB) to develop educational programs for this course to comply with the Curriculum planning and programming, assessing and reporting to parents K-12 Policy and associated policy standards.
Scope and sequences are flexible documents and may vary according to local school contexts and student cohorts, provided they comply with the course documents.
Philosophy assessment advice (DOCX 142 KB) is available to assist teachers to select a range of different activities for the purpose of assessing and reporting.
Department-approved elective courses are not eligible for credentialing on the Record of School Achievement (RoSA). Assessment activities should reflect the school's organisation of the course and provide students with opportunities to demonstrate their learning.
Schools may choose to adapt or modify this content or use other materials suitable to their local context, provided they comply with the course documents.