Religious Studies

Head of Department: Miss C J Snaith
Exam board: AQA
Qualification name: Religious Studies A level
Qualification codes: 7062

What you will study
Component 1: Philosophy of Religion and Ethics

Section A: Philosophy of Religion

  • Arguments for the existence of God
  • Evil and suffering
  • Religious experience
  • Religious language
  • Miracles
  • Self and life after death

Section B: Ethics

  • Ethical theories
  • Issues of human life and death
  • Issues of animal life and death
  • Introduction to meta ethics
  • Free will and moral responsibility
  • Conscience
  • Bentham and Kant

Component 2: Christianity and Dialogues
Section A: Christianity

  • Sources of wisdom and authority
  • God/gods/ultimate reality
  • Self, death and the afterlife
  • Good conduct and key moral principles
  • Expression of religious identity
  • Religion, gender and sexuality
  • Religion and science
  • Religion and secularisation
  • Religion and religious pluralism

Section B: Dialogue between Christianity and Philosophy

Section C: Dialogue between Christianity and Ethics

How you will be assessed
Component 1: 3 hour written exam worth 100 marks (50% of A Level)
Component 2: 3 hour written exam worth 100 marks (50% of A Level)
Both exams are taken at the end of the second year of the course.

Why choose Religious Studies?

The course is made up on Philosophy, Ethics, and Christianity and is suitable for atheist, agnostic and believer alike. We are about the academic study of religion and morality. Students thrive upon discussion and projects surrounding both human and animal ethics. We stretch our minds, asking why a loving God would allow suffering? Are there such things as miracles? If there is life after death what form would it take? We study how Christianity responds to issues of gender and sexuality, scientific discovery and growing secularisation. This very popular A level is for thinkers and those who enjoy grappling with questions where the answers may be far from reach. We take our studies out of school to lectures and workshops.

Course requirements
Grade B or above in GCSE English is preferable. It is not necessary to have taken Religious Studies at GCSE though it is advantageous.

Related subjects at Sixth Form
Philosophy and Ethics is a course which stands in its own right or alongside other humanities subjects; it can also be combined with science A Levels. It is particularly valuable to those who wish to go on and study law, medicine or business as it allows students to see the ethics behind advances in technology and laws.

Where could this lead?
Religious, philosophical and ethical qualifications are respected by universities and employers as they reflect personal and empathetic skills as well as academic astuteness. Graduates are able to pursue careers in any of the historic professions of Law and Medicine, the Armed Forces, Business and the Civil Service, indeed any job where analytical, logical and strategic thinking are required.

Further important information
The lessons are taught in seminar, rather than didactic, style, in a relaxed and welcoming manner. There are four members of the department, all of whom have their own unique and creative style which offers students the chance to have topics or issues presented in alternative ways to support their understanding. Tutorials take place every week to offer individual support for students. We take our studies outside of the classroom to attend study days at other schools and universities.