Subject Information

Religious Studies is divided into three strands at A-level:  Philosophy of Religion, Religious and Ethics and Christian Development of Religious Thought. These are studied through the OCR specification

Religious Studies gives a great insight into what makes up the human character, how we come to make correct moral decisions and how we come to understand greater concepts such as the existence of God.

It also places a focus on student knowledge and evaluation skills.  Background reading is an essential part of the process in developing these skills as students are encouraged to take a more independent approach to learning in preparation for university life and learning.

The new A-level Specification beginning September 2016 is made up of the following three components: Philosophy of Religion; Religion and Ethics and Christian Developments in Religious Thought. The A-level will run over a two year period in Year 12 and Year 13. In Year 12 students will study the course as an AS level but should understand the value of the course only truly lies in the completion of the full A-level.

In Philosophy of Religion students will study: ancient philosophical influences (Plato, Aristotle etc…); arguments about the existence or non-existence of God; the nature and impact of religious experience; the problem of evil; the nature of the soul, mind and body; life after death; the nature of God; religious language.

In Religion and Ethics students will study: normative ethical theories (Kant, Aquinas etc…); the application of ethical theories to two contemporary issues; ethical language and thought; debates surrounding the idea of conscience and free will; developments in religious belief and philosophy of religion.

In Christian developments in religious thought students will study: religious beliefs, values and teachings, their interconnections and how they vary historically and in the contemporary world; sources of religious wisdom and authority; practices which help and shape religious identity and how these vary within tradition; social and historical developments in theology and religious thought; the relationship between society and religion.

The subject engages students in applying philosophical, alongside religious, concepts to current issues in society and how this is relevant in forming their own opinions.  It encourages students to become independent thinkers, a high value in our modern world and the key to success at university.

Assessment

Each component is externally assessed at the end of each course. The three modules are H57301 Religion and Philosophy, H57302 Religion and Ethics and H57303 Christian Development in Religious Thought

Each component is worth 33.3% of the overall A-level grade and are examined externally in Year 13. Students are marked on their knowledge, understanding (A01) and evaluation skills (A02).

Each external exam component will have 5 questions and students must answer 3 out of the 5 questions.

Exams taken in May/June of Y13

Opportunities

Religious Studies is a valuable qualification in the following areas:  Medicine, Teaching, Law, Dentistry and Police Force to name a few.

Further Information

Please see:

  • Mrs Burgess (Head of RE)
  • Ms Ellender
  • Mr McCann
  • Ms Stewart
  • Ms McBride