Religious Studies A Level

Departmental contact

Mrs Collings – collings.k@myton.co.uk

Examining board & Qualification

OCR – A LEVEL

Entry requirements

At least a grade 5 in GCSE RE and a grade 5 in English

Students say

“Very interesting!”

“Be prepared to be challenged! “

“You have to be open minded.”

“It will really test your own thoughts and beliefs and definitely keep you thinking.”

“I’d really recommend it!”

WHY STUDY THIS SUBJECT?

This subject deals with issues and questions which, when you have faced them and challenged the basic principles on which our lives are based, will make you prepared as a person to deal with anything life may throw at you.

This course is for everyone; you do not need a religious background or personal faith, you can be an atheist, agnostic or theist. You must be willing to be open-minded, thoughtful and ready to meet the challenge of an exciting new area of study.

WHAT SKILLS WILL I DEVELOP?

The course is seen by employers and people in higher education to be valuable because you will develop some very important skills:

  • Communicating ideas orally and in written formats.
  • Research and investigation.
  • Open-mindedness and an ability to consider all points of view.
  • The ability to be independent and think for yourself and reach your own conclusions.
  • Analysis and critical evaluation of text and different people’s ideas.

WHAT WILL I STUDY?

Philosophy of religion

  • ancient philosophical influences
  • the nature of the soul, mind and body
  • arguments about the existence or non-existence of God
  • the nature and impact of religious experience
  • the challenge for religious belief of the problem of evil
  • ideas about the nature of God
  • issues in religious language

Religion and ethics

  • normative ethical theories
  • the application of ethical theory to two contemporary issues of importance
  • ethical language and thought
  • debates surrounding the significant idea of conscience
  • sexual ethics and the influence on ethical thought of developments in religious beliefs.

Developments in religious thought

  • religious beliefs, values and teachings, their interconnections and how they vary historically and in the contemporary world
  • sources of religious wisdom and authority
  • practices which shape and express religious identity, and how these vary within a tradition
  • significant social and historical developments in theology and religious thought
  • key themes related

HOW WILL I BE ASSESSED?

There will be no coursework; assessment will be by examination only.
Three 2-hour exams at the end of the two-year course

WHAT ARE MY POST-18 OPTIONS?

The great virtue of Religious Studies is that it teaches not what to think, but how to think. The skills it hones are the ability to analyse, to question orthodoxies and to express things clearly, the ability to formulate questions and follow arguments is the essence of education.

It has always been a good training for the law; but it is equally useful for computer scientists, medicine and humanity subjects. Religious Studies is the ultimate ‘transferable work skill’.

WHAT EXTRA-CURRICULAR OPPORTUNITIES ARE THERE?

There is the opportunity throughout the course to attend Religious Studies conferences, to meet other students and leading scholars. As well as a trip to Rome to explore the history of belief and practices.

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