Religious Studies is an engaging qualification that introduces students to key religious beliefs of two religions and a wide range of ethical issues. As well it develops their skills in independent thinking, empathy and understanding of differing beliefs. Religious Studies is all about finding out what people believe and why.
Religious Studies is a subject that is highly valued by sixth form providers, universities and future employers because of the higher level thinking abilities developed through the course.
What skills will I gain?
Analytical and philosophical thinking underlies all rational discourse and enquiry. This course give students the opportunities to:
- Understand the importance of examining knowledge and beliefs critically.
- Recognise, analyse and evaluate their own and others’ beliefs and knowledge in a variety of contexts.
- Evaluate reasoning of different kinds.
- Make connections and synthesise information and arguments.
- Generate independent arguments and express them clearly.
- Ask and examine questions from a broad standpoint.
The Religious Studies Department delivers RS to students in Year 10 and Y11 for one hour lesson per week. Year 9 students can opt to study the GCSE course. Students study the Eduqas Route A course. The course is structured into three components.
Component 1: Religious, Philosophy and Ethical Studies in the Modern World
Written examination: 2 hours. 50% of the GCSE.
- Theme 1 - Issues of Relationships: Family, marriage, divorce, purpose of a sexual relationship, contraception, same sex relationships, gender equality.
- Theme 2 - Issues of Life and Death: Origins of the world, intelligent design, stewardship, value of human life, abortion, euthanasia, death and the afterlife.
- Theme 3 - Issues of Good and Evil: Beliefs about crime, morality, punishment, death penalty, forgiveness, origins of evil and suffering.
- Theme 4 - Issues of Human Rights: Human rights, equality, personal conviction, censorship, prejudice, discrimination, wealth and poverty.
Component 2: Study of Christianity
Written examination: 1 hour. 25% of the GCSE. Students will study the beliefs, teachings and practices of Christianity.
Component 3: Study of a World Faith
Written examination: 1 hour. 25% of the GCSE. Students will study the beliefs, teachings and practices of one other selected world religion.
Students follow the Eduqas A level Religious Studies. Y12 and Y13 pupils are taught separately as mixed ability groups and with five one hour lessons per week. The specification offers an academic approach to the study of religion and is accessible to students of any religious persuasion or none. It is designed to develop interest in, and enthusiasm for a study of religion and its relation to the wider world. It also encourages students to adopt an enquiring, critical and reflective approach to the study of religion whilst also reflecting on their own values, opinions and attitudes.
The course is structured into three components.
Component 1: A Study of Religion (2 hour written examination. 33.3% of A level)
Option B: Islam
There will be four themes within each option: religious figures and sacred texts; religious concepts and religious life; significant social and historical developments in religious thought; religious practices and religious identity. Learners will be expected to answer one question from Section A out of a choice of two and one question from Section B out of a choice of three in this component.
Component 2: Philosophy of Religion (2 hour written examination. 33.3% of A level)
There will be four themes within this component: arguments for the existence of God; challenges to religious belief; religious experience; religious language. Learners will be expected to answer one question from Section A out of a choice of two and one question from Section B out of a choice of three in this component. Questions can be taken from any area of the specification.
Component 3: Religion and Ethics (2 hour written examination - 33.3% of A level)
There will be four themes within this component: ethical thought; deontological ethics; teleological ethics; determinism; free will. Learners will be expected to answer one question from Section A out of a choice of two and one question from Section B out of a choice of three in this component.
You could take this course with other advanced level courses as a general preparation for a higher education course or as a foundation for studying Theology or Religious Studies at Higher Education. With further training, you could go into a job related to Religious issues such as a Social Worker, Counsellor or Teacher. Religious Studies is a good foundation for entering employment as it helps you develop the skills, understanding and knowledge that many employers across lots of industries are looking for, especially in sectors where people are the main focus.