A Level | Religious Studies

A Level in Religious Studies

Exam Board:  OCR

Will the course suit me?

Yes, if you are inquisitive about the meaning of life – if you find yourself pondering the timeless questions and wondering about man’s quest for the truth – if you like a good debate which exercises your mind – if you like bouncing ideas off people and engaging with the deeper issues – if you want to probe the nature of spirituality and to explore the foundations of philosophical and religious thinking – if you have a curiosity about Theology – or if you simply want to find out more about the spiritual dimension of existence.

Yes, if you can discuss reflectively, evaluate texts, write lucidly, develop an argument – or if you want to learn how to do these things better.

Course Description:

A Level:  Assessment – 3 examinations based on the modules below

Module 1:

Philosophy of Religion – ancient philosophical influences, arguments about the existence or non-existence of God, the nature and impact of religious experience, the challenge for religious beliefs and the problem of evil, the nature of soul, mind and body, the possibility of life after death, ideas about the nature of God, issues in religious language. (2 hours written paper, 33.3% of the total A Level)

Module 2:

Religion and Ethics – Normative ethical theories, the application of ethical theory to two contemporary issues of importance, ethical language and thought, debates surrounding the significant ideas of conscience and free will, the influence on ethical thought of developments in religious beliefs and the philosophy of religion.  (2 hours written paper, 33.3% of the total A Level)

Module 3:

Developments in Religious thought: Religious beliefs, values and teachings, their interconnections and how they vary historically and in the contemporary world, sources of religious wisdom and authority, practices which shape and express religious identity, and how these vary within tradition, significant social and historical developments in the theology and religious thought. (2 hours written paper, 33.3% of the total A Level)

Benefits of the course

You develop the ability to think analytically, to probe and to reflect.

You gain major insights into the great philosophical and theological thinkers.

Religious Studies ‘A’ Level combines well with English, ancient History, History, Politics, Psychology, Art, Theatre Studies and Music.

Outside the Classroom:

Study days – Philosophy/Ethics Conferences – Visiting lecturers.

Future Opportunities:

Highly respected as an academic discipline in all universities, a background in Philosophy and Theology opens all sorts of doors from teaching (at all levels) to the law, from politics to journalism, from diplomacy to human resources and management in a commercial environment – in fact, anywhere where the ability to think clearly, to make informed judgments and to show initiative and foresight is valued: not to mention, of course, a vocation to ministry.


Head of Department: Stephen Taynton


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