Why study Religious Studies?
If you want to be challenged and stimulated to think about issues and questions about how we should live in order to be happy or to flourish. If you want to consider difficult issues that philosophers have not necessarily agreed upon then this is the subject for you. The numbers of students following the course has grown, as have the number of students achieving high A' level grades. The subject content is interesting and thought-provoking and a significant majority choose to continue the course at A2. What is Religious Studies? You will study Ethics, including questions on the morality of abortion, caring for the terminally ill and bringing back capital punishment; we will consider theories which examine the right way to live, free will and conscience. Additionally you will study Philosophy of Religion, considering arguments on the existence of God, through looking at Religion, Science, Psychology and Religious Experience.
Specification for A level
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.
Generic A-Level entry requirements, plus RS at Grade 5.
You could take this course to complement other advanced level courses or to prepare for the A2 in Religious Studies, which could lead you onto higher education. With further training, you could go into a job related to Religious issues. The qualification will also help you develop skills, understanding and knowledge that many employers across lots of industries are looking for, especially in sectors where people are the main focus.