Religious Studies

Philosphy, Ethics & Religion

Entry Requirements

It is not essential to have studied Philosophy & Ethics at GCSE, as skills and subjects are developed during the course. Many students return to the subject after GCSEs, although it is generally expected that at least Grade 5 is achieved in English and Philosophy & Ethics at GCSE.

Course Content

The A Level is divided in to three sections: Philosophy of Religion, Religious Ethics and Developments in Religious Thought. Throughout the two years, you will study 6 topics from Philosophy of Religion, six topics from Religious Ethics and six topics from Developments in Religious Thought. Examples of the philosophical topics include Arguments for the existence of God, Plato & Aristotle’s world view, Religious Experience & the challenges to it from medicine & psychology and the problem of evil & suffering. Ethical topics studied include Natural Law & Situation Ethics, Euthanasia, Business Ethics & Sexual Ethics and Conscience-what is it and why should we follow it? Topics studied in Religious Thought include Can faith survive scientific advances? How can religion respond to changing gender roles? Should the Church engage with  Marxism? Who was Jesus?

At the end of the A Level, there are three two-hour exams where you are required to answer three essay-style questions in each exam.

“As for me, all I know is that I know nothing.” Socrates (470-399 BCE)

What can this course lead to?

The subject enables you to develop analytical, evaluative and persuasive writing skills. Religious Studies students go on to pursue careers in law, journalism, teaching,  politics, health care, social work, criminology, and many more. Religious Studies is a popular subject to study at A Level and at University. Well known people who have taken related courses at university include both Jake and Maggie Gylenhaal, Mayim Bialik of “The Big Bang Theory”, the comedian Katy Brand (who studied Theology at Oxford University) and Jack Gleeson - the actor behind Joffrey Lannister of ‘Game of Thrones’ fame - studied Theology after retiring from acting. That is not to mention world leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr!