Religious Studies

PROVISIONAL SPECIFICATION

COURSE DESCRIPTION

By embarking on this course students are beginning a very challenging and academically rigorous investigation into some of humanity’s ultimate concerns and questions. Students embrace a number of skills which can then be used in a variety of life situations, such as deep reflective questioning, document analysis, debate and discussion, essay writing and group work.

COURSE CONTENT

Paper 1 – Philosophy of Religion
AS Exam 1 hour; A-level exam 2 hours
This paper looks at various philosophical issues including; several classical arguments for the existence of God; the nature, influence and validity of religious experience and the problems that evil and suffering present for belief in a divine being. At A2 study broadens to an investigation into philosophical language; scholars who have critiqued religious belief from other scholarly disciplines and influences of developments in religious belief on humanity.

Paper 2 – Religion and Ethics
AS Exam 1 hour; A-level exam 2 hours
Initially students will look at significant issues in religion and ethics like environmental concerns and debates over equality. Learners will study a range of ethical theories such as Utilitarianism, Natural Moral law and Situation Ethics and will consider their application to a range of controversial moral issues e.g. War and peace and sexual ethics. At A2 ethical language is scrutinised and medical ethics questioned before scholarly contributions from Kant and Aristotle are put to the test.
Paper 3 – Study of Religion
AS Exam 1 hour; A-level exam 2 hours
Here attention is focussed on the beliefs, values and teachings of one religion (Buddhist or Christianity) including sources of wisdom and authority, practices that shape and express religious identity, the works of scholars and the interpretation and application of religion in modern society.

CAREER POSSIBILITIES

This course is an opportunity to look at a number of fundamental questions at the heart of human existence. Students who wish to go into spheres as diverse as medicine, the armed forces and law will find the ethical side of the course of immense benefit and application in the future. Jobs which include working with people, whether they are in social studies, politics or any form of care work will gain from the study of philosophy. The skills of evaluation, deep contemplation and reflection will better equip all learners for any university course and indeed for life in general.

GCSE GRADE PROFILE

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