An introduction to Religious Studies A-level

A brief overview from our A-level teachers.

What does it involve?

Students choosing to study the Religious Studies A-level course will cover three components: Philosophy of Religion, Religion and Ethics, and Developments in Christian Thought.

The first component introduces studentsto key philosophical ideas and allows them to consider questions such as ‘do we have a soul?’, ‘are religious experiences credible?’ and ‘can we trust our senses?’

The second component is characterised by the study of ethical language and thought, with exploration of key concepts and the works of influential thinkers. Ethical theory will also be applied to issues of importance; namely euthanasia, business ethics, and sexual ethics.

The third component provides an opportunity for the systematic study of Christianity. Students will consider the ways in which Christian traditions have developed over time, alongside religious responses to significant contemporary social issues.

How is it assessed?

At the end of the course, students are assessed by three written examination papers (one for each component). These papers are of equal weighting.

Which skills or qualifications do I need?

GCSE Religious Studies is useful but is by no means a pre-requisite to studying the A-level. A strong interest in the Humanities and a good level of English will equip students with the skills required for this course.

University or employment prospects?

Many universities offer Religious Studies and Theology courses, often combined with Philosophy or Ethics.

Religious Studies provides students with excellent verbal and written communication skills. It also helps to develop the crucial skills of critical thinking and analysis. This naturally opens up many career paths in media, law, journalism, politics or business. Other career possibilities include community development work, youth work, welfare or social work.