Religious Studies A Level

History, Philosophy and Theology

History, Philosophy and Theology
History, Philosophy and Theology

What will you be working towards?

Code Rs01
Qualification Type GCE A/AS Level or Equivalent
Qualification Level Level 3
Course type Full Time


Philosophy of religion is a critical reflection on our fundamental beliefs. It is an ‘ideas’ subject, and all you need to begin Philosophy is a fascination with ideas, or with ‘the big questions’ such as ‘Does God exist?’ and ‘What is evil?’

Ethics and religion form part of the branch of study dealing with what is the proper course of action for people. It attempts to answer the question, "What do I do?" It is the study of right and wrong in human endeavours. At a more fundamental level, it is the method by which we categorize our values and pursue them. Do we pursue our own happiness, or do we sacrifice ourselves to a greater cause?

The study of religion covers fundamental teachings and beliefs of Christianity.


How will I learn?

Different theories are explored in detail and you will be expected to participate in class discussions, group work and presentations. You will be encouraged to critically examine different theories and formulate your own opinion based on sound reasoning and evidence. You will need to read widely to be successful at the higher grades.

The examinations are taken at the end of year 13

What will I learn?

The Religious Studies course builds on topics you have studied in religious studies and introduces new topics not studied before. Over the two years you will study ethics, philosophy, Christianity, and the dialogues that happen between all 3.

In ethics you will study different theories about what is the right thing to do and applying these to a wide range of interesting and challenging moral problems including theft, lying, issues of life and death for both humans and animals.

Philosophy of religion examines a number of arguments for the existence of God; the problem of evil and suffering; and religious experience.

The study of Christianity explores sources of wisdom and authority; the nature of God; the afterlife; and how Christian teaching impacts of moral principles and a person’s identity.

How will it be delivered?

In the first year of A Level there are two components:

Component 1: Philosophy of religion and ethics and religion comprises two sections:

Philosophical arguments for the existence of God, evil and suffering and religious experience. Ethical theories, issues surrounding human life and death and issues of animal life and death.

Component 2: Study of religion comprises the study of sources of wisdom and authority, God, life after death, key moral principles and religious identity.

In the second year of A Level students will continue with their 2 components:

Component 1: Philosophy of religion: religious language, miracles and self and life after death.

Ethics and religion: meta-ethics, free will and moral responsibility, conscience, Bentham and Kant.

Component 2:

Section A: Study of religion comprising religion, gender and sexuality, religion and science, religion and secularization, religion and religious pluralism.

Section B: the dialogue between philosophy of religion and religion which is about how religion is influenced by, and has an influence on philosophy of religion in relation to the issues studied.

Section C: The dialogues between ethical studies and religion which is about how religion is influenced by and has an influence on ethical studies in relation to the issues studied.

First year internal A Level assessment: 2 written exams

Paper 1: Philosophy of religion and ethics: 2 hours

Four compulsory two-part questions.

120 marks 67% of internal exam

Paper 2: Study of religion: 1 hour

Two compulsory two-part questions.

60 marks 33% of internal exam


A Level: 2 x 3 hour written exams

Paper 1: Philosophy of religion and ethics

Four compulsory two-part questions.

100 marks 50% of A-level

Paper 2: Study of religion and dialogues

Two compulsory two-part questions for Section A

One question from a choice of two for Section B

One question from a choice of two for Section C

100 marks 50% of A-level

Entry requirements

At least 5 Grade 4 and above at GCSE including English and Mathematics. Ideally a Grade 5 in Religious Studies.

Your next steps...

Religious Studies is a broad subject which complements many subjects that require critical evaluation, sound reasoning and the ability to argue to a conclusion. You could continue your studies at university to study philosophy, theology, classics, psychology, social sciences, modern languages, history, geography or government and politics.

In employment the skills learnt in this subject put you in good stead to become teachers, social workers, police officers or gained employment in Information Technology, public services and many other varied occupations. The academic and personal skills acquired through a study of religion develops well rounded, open-minded critical thinkers who are well equipped for life in the twenty-first century.