Sixth Form: Religious Studies

Subject Overview

The course ensures students have a thorough understanding of diverse philosophical and ethical viewpoints, and a deep understanding of different Christian beliefs about key ideas, practices and twenty-first century issues. Students gain critical and evaluative skills sought by higher education and employers – particularly in law, education, social work, politics, medicine, administration and the media. Religious Studies is a thought provoking subject which helps students develop critical thinking as they engage in classroom discussion about different theories and viewpoints.

Entry Criteria

You must have at least a grade 5 in GCSE Religious Studies and a grade 5 minimum in English Language.

Syllabus (Course Outline and Structure)

AQA exam board

Paper One – 3 hours worth 50% of A level Religious Studies. Paper one has the following topics:

Section A: Philosophy of religion

  • Arguments for the existence of God
  • Evil and suffering
  • Religious experience
  • Religious language
  • Miracles
  • Self and life after death

Section B: Ethics and religion

  • Ethical theories
  • Issues of human life and death
  • Issues of animal life and death
  • Introduction to meta ethics
  • Free will and moral responsibility
  • Conscience
  • Bentham and Kant

Paper Two – 3 hours worth 50% of A level Religious Studies. Paper Two will cover the following:

Section A: Study of religion (Christianity)

  • Sources of wisdom and authority
  • God/gods/ultimate reality
  • Self, death and the afterlife
  • Good conduct and key moral principles
  • Expression of religious identity
  • Religion, gender and sexuality
  • Religion and science
  • Religion and secularisation
  • Religion and religious pluralism

Section B: The dialogue between philosophy of religion and religion.

How religion is influenced by, and has an influence on philosophy of religion in relation to the issues studied.

 Section C: The dialogue between ethical studies and religion.

How religion is influenced by, and has an influence on ethical studies in relation to the issues studied.



Complementary Subject Combinations and Enrichment Activities

A level Religious Studies complements the humanities subjects (Geography, History, Sociology), Law, English Language and English Literature. Students who wish to study Philosophy or Theology at University are highly recommended to study Religious Studies.

Subject Resources

Other Information

Why study A level Religious Studies?

  • Do you want to learn about religious and non-religious viewpoints?
  • Do you want to gain critical and evaluative skills?
  • Do you want to be challenged and question the world we live in?
  • Do you want to learn about ethical and philosophical arguments?

The contextual evidence demonstrates the status of Religious Studies as an A level for Higher Education entry. The Russell Group of top universities has made it clear that RS A level provides ‘suitable preparation for University generally’. Feedback from admissions administrators from Oxford University and Cambridge University shows that Religious Studies is accepted as an A level with academic rigor and useful for many Arts degree courses. Research has shown the range of degree courses that were taken up by students who took Religious Studies as one of their A levels.

Please speak to Ms Whittock, Curriculum Leader for any further information.