A-level Religious Studies is a philosophy and ethics based course. It builds upon some of the moral issues discussed at GCSE and looks at different ethical theories and contemporary moral issues. A fascinating subject, dealing with issues relevant to our society today, Religious Studies is an important course of study for anyone looking to develop an understanding of human nature and the world around us. It allows you and enables you to question theories, arguments and beliefs surrounding a variety of moral issues and provides the opportunity to develop your ideas in a safe but questioning environment.
A good foundation for future study, Religious Studies gives you well developed skills in analysis and evaluation, independent research, ICT, a sound understanding of the world around us and the key contemporary moral issues that we encounter. The understanding and empathy developed towards different ideas and beliefs are also key skills when looking for employment.
Note: whilst there is no requirement to have studied Religious Studies at GCSE, this course does provide the opportunity to build on knowledge, understanding and skills gained in Religious Studies GCSE.
Component 1: Philosophy and Ethics – 50% of A-level
Section A: Philosophy of Religion covers: Arguments for the existence of God, Evil and suffering, Religious experience and religious language, and Miracles, self and life after death.
Section B: Ethics and Religion. This module covers the following topics: Ethical theories such as Situation Ethics and Utilitarianism, Issues of human life and death, Issues of animal life and death, Introduction to meta ethics, Free will and moral responsibility, Conscience, and Bentham and Kant.
Component 2: Ethics, Religion and Society – 50% of A-level
Section A topics include: Sources of Wisdom and authority, God, Self, death and the afterlife, Good conduct and key moral principles, Expression of religious identity, Religion, gender and sexuality, Religion and science, Religion, secularisation and religious pluralism.
Section B: The dialogue between philosophy of religion and religion.
Section C: The dialogue between ethical studies and religion.
Religious Studies is a popular A-level and allows further study of Law, History, Science-based subjects and Philosophy.