Jenny McArdleTeacher of Religious Studies
Why should I study this subject?
Religious Studies is an exciting and challenging subject. The focus of the course is philosophy and ethics, examining and evaluating how scholars have argued for and against the existence of God/ultimate reality and the study of ethical theories. The content of the course encourages students to reflect on and develop their own values, opinions and attitudes in light of their own learning. If you have an interest in religious ideas, cultural issues and historical events, this course will appeal to you.
What will I study?
Philosophy of Religion -arguments about the existence or non-existence of God, gods or ultimate reality. Challenges to religious belief such as the problems of evil and suffering.
Ethics – Theories of ethics and moral behaviour, application of theory to ethical issues and ethical language.
Christianity – religious figures, concepts, practices and life.
Philosophy of Religion – Comparisons between the ideas of different scholars and developments in the way these ideas are applied to issues of religion and belief.
Ethics – Ethical language and thoughts, ethical theories, free will and determinism.
Christianity – Religious figures and sacred texts, religious concepts and life, significant social and historical developments in religious thought and Christian practices.
What are the entry requirements?
Level 4 in English Language with a minimum average GCSE point score of 4.
What skills do I need?
Although the A-Level course builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills that you may have developed through the study of GCSE Religious Studies, the course does not assume or require that you have previously studied the subject.
Good analytical skills
Independent thought and a questioning mind
Evaluation skills – weighing up the strengths and weaknesses of ideas and concepts
The ability and willingness to read relevant articles, course materials and further research.
How will I be taught?
Religious Studies lessons contain a range of learning activities to support your progress.
These include discussions of scholars’ ideas and key concepts, group and individual research, and reading tasks. Time in lessons is also given to learning how to write A-Level standard essays.
How will I be assessed?
Religious Studies is assessed by three exams.
What will the course prepare me for?
Religious Studies will give you access to a range of career and higher educational opportunities. The course will provide you with the opportunity to develop a range of transferable skills which include collecting, synthesising and interpreting information from a variety of sources. These skills are in great demand and can help you take advantage of many employment opportunities. The evaluation skills developed over the A-Level will help students moving into a variety of careers.
How much private study should I expect to do?
As an approximate guideline students will be required to carry out 4 hours of independent study each week.
What materials will I need to purchase?
What is the exam board?
This subject is for you if…
you enjoy learning new philosophical theories to explain topics such as arguments for the existence of God, and you are comfortable writing essay type answers to exam questions.
This subject is not for you if…
you do not like learning new philosophical theories and/or you believe it will be exactly the same as studying the subject at GCSE.