A future less ordinary

Critical Thinking AS Level

Critical Thinking AS Level

Our Subject

You are also given the opportunity to study AS Critical Thinking during year thirteen. This will be delivered over two hours per week but you will be expected to partake in additional independent study throughout the year.

Critical Thinking is a skills-based rather than content-based AS Level. It develops the ability to interpret, analyse and evaluate ideas and arguments and can support thinking skills in all subject areas, from arts and humanities to sciences. It is a is a form of reflective reasoning that analyses and evaluates information and arguments by applying a range of intellectual skills in order to reach clear, logical and coherent judgements within a given context.

You will develop a good grasp of analysis, an understanding of what constitutes a sound argument, knowing how to spot flaws and weaknesses in the reasoning, and the ability to compose coherent and focused arguments are all at the heart of academic endeavour.

There are two units for this AS level which each have an 90 minute exam. Both exams are taken at the end of the academic year.

Our links with HE

You will be able to transfer the skills developed directly onto your higher education study. At the heart of Critical Thinking it is developing your ability to reason and to evaluate.

Leeds University says “Critical thinking is an important skill which should be applied to all aspects of university education. Students need to be able to think critically about the resources and information they use in their studies; they need to be critical when reading the work of others; their writing needs to show they have the ability to weigh up different arguments and perspectives and can express their own opinions based on sound judgements.”

Course Structure

Unit one consists of the following:

  • The language of reasoning
  • Credibility

This unit provides an introduction to important skills in critical thinking. It also covers the area of credibility and recognises that the plausibility of an argument or the evidence used to support it is influenced by its origin, be that a person or an organisation.

Unit two consists of:

  • Analysis of argument
  • Evaluating arguments
  • Developing own reasoned argument

This unit covers a wide range of argument components building on the skills developed in Unit 1. Analysing and evaluating arguments including assessing strengths and weaknesses, and writing of original arguments in response to stimulus material.

Critical thinking provides opportunities for learners to think deeply, and in a structured way, about issues that are key to participating in society, e.g. ethical questions, cultural issues and issues of personal responsibility.

Bilborough College follows the OCR specification.


“Good critical thinking includes recognising good arguments even when we disagree with them, and poor arguments even when these support our own point of view.”
Cottrell, S. (2005) Critical Thinking Skills p47 New York, Palgrave.

The Argument Clinic – Monty Python – YouTube video.

What our students say…….”Critical Thinking is quite challenging, it allows you to discuss topical issues and consider your own views.”

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Extended Studies - Year 13 Option

Also on offer