A Level Religious Studies is an exciting and engaging qualification which offers an academic approach to the study of Religion. The aims of the course are to encourage interest in, and intelligent understanding of the questions that commonly interest philosophers, and to train you to think knowledgeably and logically about them. The course is equally suitable for those who have a religious commitment as it is for those who have none. A fair and rational consideration and evaluation of a range of perspectives is expected. Religious Studies allows students to: Develop their interest in, and enthusiasm for, a rigorous study of Religion and its relation to the wider world. Treat the subject as an academic discipline by developing knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to a specialist study of Religion. Adopt an enquiring, critical and reflective approach to the study of Religion. Reflect on and develop their own values, opinions and attitudes in the light of their learning. Study of Christianity This topic allows students the opportunity to analyse scripture, historical accounts and scholarly opinion. There will be four themes within this component: religious figures and sacred texts; religious concepts and religious life; significant social and historical developments in religious thought; religious practices and religious identity. The unit includes a focus on the life of Jesus, the early church, the Bible as a source of wisdom, religious concepts and the Christian community. This unit is largely delivered by an independent project, which is reviewed and discussed in class periodically. Philosophy of Religion In essence, Philosophy of Religion is concerned with thinking about the 'big' questions in life, such as: who am I? (what is the nature of humanity?); where am I? (what is the meaning and nature of the world around me?) and what happens when I die? Philosophy of Religion approaches religious issues from a logical and rational perspective and examines some of the greatest thinkers and ideas that have influenced the modern world. In the first year (AS), you will focus on a variety of central questions relating to religious experience and belief. Is it possible to prove (or disprove) the existence of God by logical reasoning? You will look specifically at the Ontological, Cosmological and Teleological arguments in this topic. What is the nature evil and can suffering and the problem of evil disprove the existence of God? Can religion be explained (or explained away) in terms of psychological experiences and neuroses? How convincing is the argument for atheism and how has the debate about the existence and nature of God been affected by post-modernism? The second year will build on the knowledge of the first year with a focus on wider philosophical issues, including religious experience and the nature of religious language. The course will look at the philosophical dimensions of mysticism and miracles. Religion and Ethics In the first year, ethical terminology will be explored and then applied to various ethical theories. Students will explore the concept of morality within society and critique various ethical theories; considering whether the theories are effective. The study of ethical theories will be applied to modern ethical scenarios such as capital punishment and abortion to develop student analysis further. Theories such as Divine Command theory and Virtue theory will be explored, with the larger topics focussing on Natural Law, Situation Ethics and Utilitarianism. In the second year, the concept of free will and determinism shall be considered, which connects to religious concepts and requires students to reflect on the religious connections. Meta-ethics shall also be analysed, which will develop student ability to consider the origins of morality and the language behind the theory.
Grade 6 or above in GCSE English Literature.
This course can be studied as part of the Valley Park Curriculum offer where students within the Valley Invicta Academy trust may avail of courses on offer in our partner schools across the trust.