Religious Studies (Pearson Edexcel)

Religious Studies addresses challenging and topical issues central to philosophy, religion and ethics. You will have the opportunity to explore ethical theories, contemporary moral problems, arguments for and against the existence of God, a study of the Problem of Evil and whether religious language can have any meaning. You will also consider ethical theories such as Utilitarianism, Situation Ethics, Kantian Ethics and how these can be applied in the real world.

In addition, you will have the opportunity to investigate and critique the works of a range of modern and classical philosophers and theologians.

You will gain independent thinking skills, the ability to debate, construct arguments, evaluate evidence, and understand the views of others. It is a subject of great diversity and you will be expected to keep an open mind to consider both the adherent’s and sceptic’s point of view. Useful skills are developed such as questioning sources and considering bias and active participation in debates is encouraged. Religious Studies is well regarded by universities and employers as it provides students with the skills to question, evaluate, analyse and interpret the world around them. Possible career choices include the civil service, law, politics, charities, NGO’s, journalism, business, teaching and social services.

A Level
Paper 1: Philosophy of Religion
Philosophical issues and questions; The nature and influence of religious experience;
Problems of evil and suffering; Philosophical language; Works of scholars; Influences of developments in religious belief.

Paper 2: Religion and Ethics
Significant concepts in issues or debates in religion and ethics; A study of three ethical theories; Application of ethical theories to issues of importance; Ethical language; Deontology, Virtue Ethics and the works of scholars; Medical ethics: beginning and end of life Issues.

Paper 4: Study of Religion – Christianity
Religious beliefs, values and teachings; Sources of wisdom and authority; Practices that shape and express religious identity; Social and historical developments; Works of scholars; Religion and society; Primary texts.

Paper 1: Philosophy of Religion
Paper 2: Religion and Ethics
Paper 4: Study of Religion: Christianity

Assessment: This is a linear course. All three papers are externally assessed written examinations. Each paper lasts 2 hours and contributes 33.3% of the A Level.

Minimum Entry Requirements: 5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including a grade 4 in Religious Studies or grade 4 in English Language if Religious Studies not taken at GCSE.

Updated January 2019