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Religious Studies

Course Overview

This is essentially a Philosophy and Ethics course leading to a qualification in Religious Studies. The two year course is made up of three modules. The modules chosen build on knowledge gained at GCSE Level, both Full and Short courses, but is not dependent on previous experience.

A Level Religious Studies and in particular the Philosophy and Ethics options places emphasis on problem solving and a rigorous examination of evidence together with the development of sustained and well supported arguments. While it is a perfect choice for students hoping to pursue degrees in Philosophy, Theology or Religious Studies, it is also particularly useful for students considering careers in medicine, social work, personnel management, education, public relations, the police force, journalism and the legal professions.

Trips to conferences organised by examinations boards and Higher Education Providers are offered to students as and when they are available.

Entry Requirements

5 in English Language or a 5 in Religious Studies at GCSE.

Students require a D Grade at AS Level or in their end of year exam to progress from Year 12 to Year 13.

Qualities Required

An open and enquiring mind and a willingness to examine issues in a rigorous and logical fashion.

Links with Other Subjects

A Level Religious Studies is an academic discipline which aims to promote an enquiring, critical and sympathetic approach to the study of religious, philosophical and ethical issues. It combines well with both arts and science A Levels and is highly regarded by universities and College Admissions Tutors. It is not considered to be a soft option; rather it features on the Russell Group Universities higher tier of preferred subjects at A Level. 

Exam Board

OCR

As level 

Philosophy of religion:

  • Ancient Greek influences on philosophy of religion, specifically looking at Plato and Aristotle
  • The nature of the soul mind and body 
  • Arguments for the existence or non-existence of God 
  • Issues in religious language 
  • The nature and impact of religious experience 
  • The problem of evil and suffering and its challenge to belief.

Religion and Ethics:

  • Normative ethical theories such as Kantian ethics, natural law and situation ethics
  • The application of ethical theory to euthanasia and business ethics.

Developments in religious thought:

  • Beliefs, teachings and ideas about human life, the world and ultimate reality: Augustine’s teaching on human nature; Death and the afterlife.
A level 

Philosophy of Religion:

  • Ideas about the nature and attributes of God
  • Issues in religious language.

Religion and Ethics:

  • Ethical language and thought
  • Debates surrounding conscience and free will
  • Sexual ethics and the influence of ethical thought on developments in religious belief.

Developments in Religious Thought:

  • Gender and society; gender and theology 
  • The challenge of secularism; liberation theology.