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Religious Studies


This course is both challenging and highly rewarding. It offers students the opportunity to engage in a variety of transferable skills such as deep, reflective questioning, document analysis, essay writing and group work. During the 2 years of the course students will be analysing some of the most thought-provoking and frustrating possibilities that mankind has ever had to contemplate.



N.B. Both AS and A2 will be assessed by written examinations offered in June (Year 12) and January and June (Year 13).


Unit 1: Philosophy of Religion 1

This looks at traditional arguments for the existence of God including arguments from cause and design. Questions are raised on the validity of the miraculous and whether we can reasonably be expected to believe in miracles today. Challenges to religious belief posed by the problem of evil and suffering will also be investigated.


Unit 2: Religious Ethics 1

Students will study a range of ethical theories such as utilitarianism and situation ethics and will consider their application to a range of controversial moral issues e.g. War and peace, sexual ethics.



Unit 3: Philosophy of Religion 2

In this unit students will consider the nature of religious language and assess the validity of religious experiences. Contemplation on the possibility of life after death will be addressed as will challenges to religious belief from other disciplines such as sociology and psychology.


Unit 4: Religious Ethics 2

Students will develop their understanding of ethical theories, looking specifically at virtue ethics, natural moral law and relativism, among others, and how these can be applied to an understanding of justice, law and punishment.



Religious philosophy and ethics is not simply for those wishing to become part of the clergy. It is an opportunity to investigate the most fundamental questions known to man. The ethics side of the course is desirable to all those wishing to go into medicine, the armed forces and law. The study of philosophy gives widely transferable skills. As such it is highly desirable if you are thinking of a career that involves working with people, whether in social studies, politics or any form of care work.



Students studying Religious Studies at this level should have A* - C grades in a range of subjects at GCSE, including RS and English.