Religious Studies at Colmers School and Sixth Form College
During your A Level Religious Studies course, you will explore Philosophy of Religion, Religion and Ethics and Developments in Religious Thought. Each of these fascinating, thought-provoking topics are broken down into several smaller engaging modules, such as the Problem of Evil. This subject will be assessed entirely by three 2 hour examinations taken at the end of Year 13, there is no coursework or controlled assessment element.
Exam Board: OCR
Over the course of two years, pupils will examine:
Philosophy of Religion: Philosophical Language and Thought, the Existence of God, God and the World.
Religion and Ethics: Normative Ethical Theories (including Natural, Situation Ethics, Kantian Ethics and Utilitarianism) and Applied Ethics (including Euthanasia and Business Ethics.
Developments in Religious Thought: Insight, Foundations and Living.
Is this for you?
Religious Studies is a fascinating subject which has relevance to our own lives through its exploration of what people believe and where these beliefs originate from, how we live our lives, and what effect we can have on those around us. It is ideal for deep thinking students who enjoy actively partaking in debates and discussions and for those who enjoy considering something from different points of view. Religious Studies enables students to develop their Literacy skills, deepen their understanding of how to structure rational arguments and justify opinions. Religious Studies often challenges mind-sets and, importantly, is suitable for candidates from any religious background (or none at all).
Religious Studies A Level builds upon the knowledge, understanding and skills that students may have developed through the study of GCSE Religious Studies. It does not, however, assume or require any previous study of the subject, so you do not need to have taken GCSE Religious Studies to study this subject at Sixth Form.
All units of work will be formally assessed by a series of written examinations at the end of Year 13. Students will sit three, two hour long papers which are each worth 120 marks.
Studying Religious Studies is not confined to students who one day would like to teach the subject, or join the clergy! Young people who have studied Religious Studies can pursue careers in research, development work, welfare (e.g. social care or counselling), Government policy making, retail, catering, commercial/public sector management and journalism, among various other things. A Level Religious Studies will also provide a good foundation for students who wish to take a Theology degree at university. In addition, Religious Studies provides an opportunity for students to develop many transferrable skills, such as the ability to view something from a different perspective than the one they may usually have taken.
The following famous people have studied Religious Studies or Philosophy at some point in their lives:
- Jake Gyllenhall (actor), studied Eastern Religions/Philosophy
- David Cameron (former Prime Minister), studied Philosophy
- Steve Martin (actor), studied Philosophy
- Harrison Ford (actor), studied Philosophy
- Ricky Gervais (comedian and actor), studied Philosophy
What do other students study with this subject?
Being a Humanities subject, Religious Studies bears similarities with Geography, History and Psychology. English also goes well with Religious Studies due to its written and analytical nature. Many students choose to take a combination of these subjects as there are many similarities between them and several transferrable skills.
You will be given the chance to become involved in an extra-curricular Sixth Form Programme which will involve you visiting another school's Sixth Form which is very different to your own. This will help to provide an insight into how culturally diverse the city of Birmingham is and help to develop your self-confidence when meeting different people from different backgrounds.
Colmers has a Dynamic Learning e book subscription which explores all A Level units.
- Davies, Brian – An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion (Oxford University Press, 2003)
- Pattison, George – A Short Course in the Philosophy of Religion (SCM Press, 2001)
- Vardy, Peter – The Puzzle of God (Fount, 1999)
- Bowie, Robert – Ethical Studies (Second Edition) (Nelson Thornes Limited, 2004)
- Gensler, Harry J – Ethics: A Contemporary Introduction (Routledge, 2011)
- Jenkins, Joe – Ethics and Religion (Heinemann, 1999)
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Colmers School and Sixth Form College directly.