Religious Studies is a fascinating subject that covers some of humanity’s oldest questions. Within this A level we explore issues concerning morality, philosophy, and the sociology of religion, as well as the development of religious beliefs through history, and the impact of religious issues on contemporary society.
We will begin our studies by examining differing ethical approaches to modern issues such as embryo research, capital punishment and the use of animals in scientific research. We will examine philosophical responses to the arguments for the existence of God, and to the problem of suffering, analysing how the arguments work and critiquing the evidence they draw upon. We will consider the philosophical debate concerning whether or not freewill exists, or whether our behaviour is causally determined.
We will explore the development of Christian beliefs in the afterlife, and the influence of progress in scientific understanding on Christian beliefs. We will explore how Christian views around gender and sexuality have developed and how the religion is responding to social changes.
Learners examine the arguments, critically analyse the evidence, and reach informed conclusions about these fascinating philosophical issues and religious debates.
In your first year, you will develop a firm understanding of ethical systems
and key responses to key debates in the Philosophy of Religion
Philosophy of Religion
- Arguments for the existence of God.
- Evil and suffering.
- Religious experience.
Ethics and Religion
- Ethical theories.
- Issues of human life and death.
- Issues of animal life and death.
- Conscience - psychological and religious views.
- Views on the concept and characteristics of God.
- Good conduct and key moral principles.
- Expression of religious identity.
Philosophy of Religion:
- Religious language.
- Self and life after death.
Ethics and Religion
- Free will and moral responsibility.
- Bentham and Kant.
Study of Christianity
- Religion, gender and sexuality.
- Religion and science.
- Religion and secularisation.
The dialogue between philosophy of
religion and Christianity
- How religion is influenced by, and has an influence on philosophy, in
relations to the issues studied across the A level course.
between ethical studies and Christianity
- How religion is influenced by, and has an influence on ethical studies in
relation to the issues studied across the A level
Two exams, each three hours in length, taken at the end of the second year of the course. All exam questions require answers in the form of essays.
Students who wish to take the subject further can apply for degree courses in Theology, Philosophy or Religious Studies. Many students go on to study subjects like Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology, Politics, English Literature or PPE 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.