Colleges and universities place great value on this Religious Studies course because it helps develop thinking and analytical skills, the ability to develop and structure an argument, textual analysis and it fosters independent thinking.
The Religious Studies A Level facilitates enquiry into, and develops insightful evaluations of ultimate questions about the purposes and commitments of human life, especially as expressed in philosophy, ethics and the study of the scripture.
The course encourages students to compare the significant ideas presented in works of scholars from selected fields. This will enable students to reflect on and develop their values, opinions and attitudes in the light of their studies.
The Religious Studies A Level course provides the opportunity to study some of the fundamental questions which people have always asked: why are we here, how should we behave, what happens to us when we die, how do religions explain and explore their beliefs about God? Students are encouraged to adopt an enquiring critical and reflective approach to the study of Religious Studies and its different components.
The syllabus covers three areas of study:
Philosophy of Religion
• Philosophical issues and questions
• The nature and influence of religious experience
• The problems of evil and suffering
• Philosophical language; works of scholars
• Influences of developments in religious belief.
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.
The New Testament
• Social, historical and religious context of the New Testament
• Texts and interpretation of the person of Jesus
• Interpreting the text and issues of relationship, purpose and authorship
• Ways of interpreting the scripture
• Texts and interpretation: the kingdom of God, conflict, the death and resurrection of Jesus
• Scientific and historical-critical challenges, ethical living and the works of scholars.
Assessment: Three two-hour examination papers.
A combination of classroom study, self study and enrichment activities.
GCSE RE at grade 6 or above.
A Level Religious Studies is saturated with academic rigour. This means that it is regarded as a ‘hard’ academic subject by Oxbridge, Russell Group Universities and others. St Gregory’s students who have studied A Level Religious Studies have gone on to study degrees in a range of subjects including Law, Teaching, Journalism, Nursing, Theology, Business, Social Anthropology, English, Psychology and more. A Level Religious Studies also develops a host of transferable skills making it a suitable course for those who join apprenticeship schemes after sixth form.