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religious studies a level

Religious Studies A Level

Studying Religious Studies A Level is best understood when we acknowledge the term religious studies stands as an umbrella term for the study of philosophy, religion, ethics and dialogues. 

The course aims to allow you to dive deep into real discussions about philosophy, ethics and religion. Through the study of schools of thought, you will contemplate the morality of mankind's actions, challenge misconceptions and fundamentally question what is right and wrong.

You will be equipped with a range of knowledge and skills, which will help to make sense of contemporary events. You will analytically question everything, evaluating every argument presented to you – indeed you will have an answer for everything!

Religious studies is a subject suited to all learners – notably, it is a common misconception to assume a personal faith is required. Instead, all that is required is a passion for the subject, a desire to develop insights into areas of philosophical, ethical and religious knowledge and an ability to question presented views.

What you will study

Religious Studies A Level (AQA) consists of two components, divided each into two parts.

Component 1: Philosophy of Religion and Ethics

Part A – Philosophy of Religion

  • Arguments for the Existence of God
  • Evil and Suffering
  • Religious Experience
  • Verifying Religious Experiences
  • Miracles
  • Self, Death and Afterlife

Part B – Ethics and Religion

  • Normative Ethical Theories (Situation Ethics; Natural Law and Virtue Ethics)
  • Application of Normative Ethical Theories to Human Life and Non-Human Life issues
  • Bentham and Kant
  • Meta Ethics
  • Conscience
  • Free Will

Component 2: Study of Religion and Dialogues (Christianity)

Part A – Christianity

  • Good Moral Conduct and Key Principles
  • Expressions of Religious Identity
  • Sources of Wisdom and Authority
  • God
  • Self, Death and Afterlife
  • Migration and Religious Pluralism
  • Challenge of Secularisation
  • Religion, Gender and Sexuality
  • Religion and Science

Part B – Dialogues

  • Dialogue Between Christianity and Philosophy
  • Dialogue Between Christianity and Ethics

How the Course is assessed

The course is assessed through two examination papers:

  • Paper 1: Philosophy of Religion and Ethics - 50%
  • Paper 2: Study of Religion and Dialogues - 50%

Entry requirements

  • Five subjects at grade 4 or above, including English and maths
  • No previous study of GCSE Religious Studies is required
  • A grade 5 in GCSE English Language is desirable

Why study A Level Religious Studies at Windsor Sixth Form?

  • Outstanding support - The Religious Studies Department will support you along every step of your A Level journey; specifically as we dedicate time to teach you how to revise the subject; be organised and excel personally.
  • Extra resources - The Religious Studies Remote Learning platform offers a variety of revision resources, including Revision Burst Videos created by our dedicated team, which will support your study of the subject outside of timetabled lesson time.
  • Recommended students - We highly recommend you speak to students who are currently studying Religious Studies, as our students speak highly of the subject, its delivery and the support offered.

Other courses that A Level Religious Studies go well with

Due to Religious studies’ cross-curricular links, it blends with a number of subjects including ancient history, English language, English literature, history, geography, law, psychology and sociology.

What can you do after the course

Religious studies is a recognised A Level by all universities, notably the Russell Group. Furthermore, as it covers a range of topics including the study of law and medical ethics, it favourably supports transition into a range of degrees from law to medicine.

Reflecting on the extensive skill set developed during the study of the subject, Religious studies is a subject that opens many doors to future careers including the armed forces, counsellor, doctor, journalist, judge, lawyer, nurse, police, politician, psychiatrists, teacher and therapist.

Where do our students progress to after the course?

The majority of students progress to university.

Student success stories

  • In 2021 89% of students studying religious studies progressed to university.
  • Students went on to study at a variety of universities including: Aston University, University of Birmingham, Birmingham City University, Chester University, University of Chichester, University of Law, Newman University and Worcester University.
  • Students went on to study a variety of degrees including: Criminology, English Literature and Language, Geography, Law, Midwifery, Primary Education, Psychology and Social Work.