Why choose A Level Religious Studies
Students will be expected to have met St Paul’s entry requirements of 2 Grade 5’s and 4 Grade 4’s. A minimum of grade 4 in English and Maths is essential for all courses.
Unit One: Philosophy of Religion
This component explores philosophical issues and questions raised by religion and belief. Learners will critically analyse three contrasting arguments regarding the existence of God, be introduced to different types of religious experience and explore the problem of evil. Study of the nature of God will explore how ideas within the philosophy of religion have developed over time and there will be the opportunity to make comparisons between the ideas of key scholars. They will also focus on religious language and the meaning of religious teachings.
Unit Two: Religion and ethics
This component allows learners to study four normative ethical theories and apply them to the issues of euthanasia and business ethics. This gives them the opportunity to explore contemporary issues and deepen their understanding of the ethical theories. They will also explore ethical language and examine the concept of conscience through a comparison of key thinkers; Aquinas and Freud. They will also examine sexual ethics exploring how religious beliefs have influenced attitudes to different relationships.
Unit Three: Development in Christian thought
This component allows learners to explore human nature in the context of the purpose of life, the self and immortality. They will study natural and revealed theology and the relationship between faith and reason. They will also examine the historical and theological understandings of the person of Jesus Christ and then consider different sources of wisdom and authority. They will undertake a detailed study of the ideas and impact of Dietrich Bonhoeffer looking at moral principles in the real-world. Finally, they will explore the areas of pluralism, secularism and the changing roles of men and women.
Assessment board: OCR
All three Units have a two-hour written exam worth 33.3% of the total A level. The exams are sat at the end of Year 13.
Religious Studies is a fascinating subject that covers some of humanity’s oldest questions. Within this A level you will explore issues concerning morality and philosophy, as well as the development of religious beliefs through history, and the impact of religious issues on contemporary society. You will examine the arguments, critically analyse the evidence, and reach informed conclusions about these fascinating philosophical issues and religious debates.
Students who wish to take Religious Studies further can apply for degree courses in Theology, Philosophy or Religious Studies. Many students go on to study subjects like Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology, Politics and English Literature at university. Students of Religious Studies have continued on to successful careers in many fields, including law, education, business, social work, medicine, administration and the media.