A Level Religious Studies

Did you know?
of our Religious Studies A Level entrants achieved an A* or A grade in 2017

Why should I study Religious Studies?

It is an interesting and wide-ranging subject encompassing academic disciplines such as History, Literature and Philosophy and it complements other Arts subjects which involve these disciplines. It will give you an understanding of a religion which has had a profound influence on Western Civilisation and it will help you to understand how people approach decision-making about important moral and social issues. In doing this it will help you develop your own beliefs and attitudes and a range of transferable and valuable skills, including critical thinking and reasoning. If you are considering careers in law, medicine and business it will give you an introduction to ethical decision-making.


What will I need to study Religious Studies?

You won’t need Religious Studies GCSE but you would have achieved at least an A grade at GCSE in a related Humanities subject such as History or Geography. GCSE Religious Studies is useful, but not essential background. You don’t need to be religious! It is open to girls of any religious faith or none. You will need to be interested in why people’s beliefs affect their lives. You will need motivation to read widely and keep-up-to-date with current ethical issues, and open-mindedness and willingness to question and contribute to discussion, as you will be dealing in concepts.

The Examination Board is Edexcel (Pearsons). Three modules are studied and each is examined at the end of the two-year course.

Structure and Outline of the Course:

Philosophy of Religion – This includes a study of arguments for the nature and existence of God and problems, questions and possibilities raised for this the problem of evil. We also examine questions about religious experience, atheism, the relationship between religion and science, religious language (talking about God) and life after death. These are fundamental issues in classical philosophy of religion which go back to pre-theistic times.

Religious Ethics – This includes  a study of the relationship between religion and morality, ethical theories such as Utilitarianism , Natural Moral Law and Situation Ethics, Meta –ethics (using ethical language) and ethical dilemmas such as war and peace, the environment, medical ethics and sexual ethics.

Textual Studies – This includes a study of the religious, social and political background to the life and ministry of Jesus, the identity of Jesus, the purpose and authorship of the gospels and ways of interpreting them, the Kingdom of God, and the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.

Method of Assessment:

Three written papers each of one hour and 45 minutes on each module studied. The papers will comprise a range of question types including structured questions, traditional essays and a stimulus response from an extract of text included in an Anthology selected by the examination board. 

Student Comments:

“If you have an inquisitive mind and enjoy class discussion, it is an interesting subject to broaden your mind.” 

“Many people have a misconception that RS is just about God! However, A Level RS combines, history and religious ideas with ethics. It is thought provoking and topical.”

“You learn about what affected people in the past and what affects them today.”

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