A Level Religious Studies

Religious Studies at A Level is an exciting, enriching and academically rigourous course, which inspires students to pursue a wide range of courses at degree level, including Theology, Philosophy and the Social Sciences. The course will allow you to develop your understanding of the origins of religious thought, as well as to consider the challenges faced by religion in an increasingly secular society. You will perfect your skills of analysis, evaluation and argument, and will arrive at your own conclusions on a variety of religious and ethical issues.

 “A religion that takes no account of practical affairs and does not help to solve them is no religion.” Mahatma Gandhi

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Entry requirements

Automatic entry onto Level 3 courses includes students achieving 5 x A*-C or equivalent at GCSE alongside a grade 5 or above in both English and Mathematics. Students with either English and/or Mathematics at grade 4 or below will have individual meetings to determine the most suitable pathway within sixth form. 

Course description

There are three components to the A Level Religious Studies course, allowing you to study religion from three different academic perspectives.

Component 1: A Study of Christianity, including the birth and resurrection of Jesus (consistency and credibility), the Bible as a source of wisdom and authority, the concepts of the Trinity and Atonement, challenges to Christianity from secularisation and science, Christian practices and festivals, and Liberation Theology.

Component 2: Philosophy of Religion, including the cosmological, teleological and ontological arguments for the existence of God, the problem of evil and suffering, psychological challenges to religion, religious experience and religious language.

Component 3: Religion and Ethics, including Virtue Theory, Natural Law, Situation Ethics and Utilitarianism, as well as the application of these ethical theories to issues such as animal experimentation, the use of nuclear weapons, homosexual and polyamorous relationships, immigration, capital punishment, abortion and euthanasia.

All three components are taught in Year 12, and revisited in further depth in Year 13. Please see the course specification for further content information: http://www.eduqas.co.uk/qualifications/religious-studies/as-a-level/eduqas-a-level-religious-studies-spec-from-2016.pdf?language_id=1&dotcache=no&dotcache=refresh

Exam board

  • Eduqas

Course code

  • 601/8700/1

Exam board website

Link to question papers

Assessments

Eduqas A Level Religious Studies is a linear course, with students sitting three exams at the end of Year 13, one for each component of study. Each exam lasts 2 hours and is worth 33⅓% of the A Level. In each exam, students are expected to answer one question from Section A out of a choice of two and one question from Section B out of a choice of three. Each question comprises two parts; part (a) tests students’ knowledge and understanding of religion and belief and part (b) tests students’ skills of analysis and evaluation, with regards to aspects of and approaches to religion and belief.

Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to answer essays questions on a regular basis to enable them to grow in confidence and to develop the necessary skills required to answer essay questions effectively. Students will complete timed questions in class and at home, and will also sit mock exams in Years 12 and 13.

Ways to help my child succeed

Please encourage your daughter/son to take an active interest in the world around them, particularly in the role that that religion plays at a local, national and international level. This might be through watching the news, reading newspapers or by discussing religious and ethical issues at home. Encourage your daughter/son to justify any viewpoints they may have, and to ensure they have considered a variety of viewpoints before coming to their own conclusions.

Please also encourage your daughter/son to read around the subject; the best students will pursue their own line of enquiry, utilising journals and books from relevant sections of their local library, or university library, in order to add further breadth and depth to their essays.

Please also encourage your daughter/son to read around the subject – this will prove especially beneficial at A2. The best students will pursue their own line of enquiry, utilising journals and books from relevant sections of their local library, or university library, in order to add further breadth and depth to their essays.

Please also support them in completing timed questions at home – the more of these students do the more confident and well prepared they’ll feel when they come to sit the real exams.

 Useful websites

 

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