Religious Studies A Level Exam Information

A Level

Course Content

Students follow the AQA Religious Studies A Level course. In doing so, we examine Philosophy of Religion, Ethics, Christianity and the dialogues between these topics.

The Philosophy of Religion unit includes arguments for the existence of God, the problem of evil and suffering for faith, the meaning of religious language, miracles, religious experience and concepts of the self , death and the afterlife. In your Ethics lessons you will look at a wide variety of ethical theories and relate them to the many different contentious issues from both human and non- human areas of controversy. Human issues include embryo research, abortion, voluntary euthanasia, capital punishment. Non-human issues include use of animals for food, animals in science, blood sports, animals for organ transplants. You will also investigate the idea of free will and moral responsibility as well as quesioning the meaning of ‘rightness’ and ‘wrongness’ in meta-ethics.

The study of Christianity builds on GCSE learning, although students with no GCSE in RS are also welcome on this course. This unit explores sources of wisdom and authority, the nature of paradoxes of “God”, life after death, key moral principles as well as expressions of religious identity and beliefs. Finally, you will look at the dialogue between philosophy and religion and ethical studies and religion; making connections with your prior learning in order to grapple with issues and ‘truths’ at a much deeper and challenging level.

This is a rigorous A Level. It will enrich your understanding of complex and nuanced thinking in preparation for any Religious Studies, Philosophy or Theology degree. The academic discipline will enhance an enquiring, critical and reflective approach to your leanring. The critical thinking and evaluative skills gained will help you in any chosen career.

Course Structure

This is a linear course which leads to two examinations. Paper 1: Philosophy of Religion and Ethics (3 hours) and Paper 2: Study of religion and dialogues. (3 hours). Both constitute 50% towards the final grade.

Reading and Resources

Independent reading is an essential part of the Religious Studies A Level course. Students are given reading recommendations throughout the course as well as being directed towards a host of multi-media possibilities to expand their learning including Podcasts, documentaries, place to visit etc. Some such suggestions can be found on the RS extension site. We subscribe to Dialogue magazine and the RS Review and encourage our students to explore Philosophy Bites. We also provide further links to news articles and debates via Google Classroom.

Exam Board: AQA RS 7062 Specification