A-Level Religious Studies
Does God exist? What do the ethical systems of different religions have in common? Why is there evil in the world? These are some of the questions that students will investigate while taking Religious Studies.
Religious Studies gives students an opportunity to look at a range of issues related to the philosophy of religion, ethics and the development of religious thought. The subject combines elements of philosophy with investigation of how belief systems have developed and have been influenced by changes in societies. Students have an opportunity to focus on one major religion drawn from Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism.
What is Religious Studies?
Students will study philosophical issues and questions raised by religion and belief. These include arguments regarding the existence or non-existence of God, the nature and influence of religious experience, and the problems of evil and suffering. They will explore these ideas through the works of key thinkers. Students will further study ethical language and thought: ethical theory will be applied to issues of importance such as euthanasia, business ethics, and sexual ethics.
Students will also undertake a systematic study of one religious tradition. This will include the exploration of religious beliefs, values, teachings and practices that shape religious identity, as well as sources of wisdom and authority. Also central are the ways in which religious traditions have developed over time, and how religious responses have changed in the face of challenges and contemporary social issues.
How is it studied?
OCR A-Level Religious Studies is taught within the two-year and five term A-Level programmes
Students will normally be taught in a small group, giving them an opportunity to explore ideas through class debate and discussion. The study of ethics lays down the ethical guidelines and arguments for students, but then allows them to explore how these relate to practical, modern issues. The study of religion also allows students to see how authority is established in that religion, and how this has been developed and challenged in the light of historical and contemporary developments.
OCR A-Level Religious Studies is also available as a one year or two-term retake programme.
How is A-Level Religious Studies assessed?
|1||Philosophy of Religion||33.3%||External Exam: 2 hours|
|2||Religion and Ethics||33.3%||External Exam: 2 hours|
|3||Developments in Religious Thought||33.3%||External Exam: 2 hours|
Exam Board: OCR
What do I need to study it?
5 GCSEs grade 5 or above including Maths and English or equivalent international qualifications.
For international students who have taken IELTS, we require an overall score of 5.5 with a minimum of 5.5 for each of the reading and writing components.
For international students who have taken IGCSE English (Second Language), we require grade 5 or above.
Whilst there is no requirement to have studied GCSE Religious Studies, students need an interest in philosophy, ethics and the practical application of religious ideas. An ability to create clear and precise arguments is essential so a good level of English will be highly beneficial. There is no requirement to hold any specific religious belief: atheists, agnostics and firm believers can all benefit from the subject.
What should I study with Religious Studies?
Religious Studies is good in combination with a very broad range of subjects. Its emphasis on belief, ethics and philosophy encourage students to form arguments and evaluate them systematically. This means that it can support a variety of social science and humanities subjects.
What can I do with A-Level Religious Studies?
Many students go on to study Religious Studies as part of their university course or use the subject to support applications to a very broad range of other subjects, such as Philosophy or History.
Questions about the course
Is it possible to study A-Level Religious Studies in one year?
As an A-level Religious Studies retake student, yes.