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Religious Studies AS and A Level at Tapton School

Course description

Philosophy and Ethics (Religious Studies):

Philosophy and Ethics is an academic discipline which promotes an enquiring, critical and sympathetic approach to the study of ethical and philosophical issues from a religious and non religious point of view. The course is both challenging and demanding, enabling students to develop analytical, critical and interpretation skills at a high level. The emphasis is on developing individual reasoned argument rather than formulaic uniform response. The course leads to a qualification in Religious Studies but must not be confused with Religious Studies options involving a more detailed study of religious belief and practice. The course is appropriate for students of any religious persuasion or none.

Course content

This is essentially a Philosophy and Ethics course leading to a qualification in Religious Studies.  the two year course is made up of three modules.  the modules chosen build on knowledge gained at GCSE Level, both Full and Short courses, but is not dependant on previous experience.

  • Philosophy of religion

At AS Level:

Ancient Greek influences on philosophy of religion, specifically looking at Plato and Aristotle.

The nature of the soul mind and body

Arguements for the existence of non-existence of God.

Issues in religious language

The nature and impact of religious experience.

At A Level:

The problem of evil and suffering and its challenges to belief.

Ideas about the nature and attributes of God.

Issues in religious language.

  • Religion and Ethics

At AS Level:

Normative ethical theories such as Kantian ethics, natural law and situation ethics.

The application of ethical theory to euthanasia and business ethics.

Ethical language and thought.

At A Level:

Debates surrounding conscience and free will.

Sexual ethics and the influence of ethical thought on developments in religious belief.

  • Developments in religious thought

At AS Level:

Interconnections between beliefs, values and teachings both historically and in the contemporay world.

Sources of religious wisdom and authority.

Practices shaping religious identity.

At A Level:

Developments in theory and religious thought.

The relationship between religion and society.

Entry requirements

5 in English Language.

While some GCSE Religious Studies topics will be revisited, the strong emphasis on the contribution of scholars means that it is not necessary to have studied Religious Studies at GCSE level. If you have studied it, a 5 is required.  An open and enquiring mind is essential.

Continuation to A Level is dependant on successful completion of the AS examination to a grade D.

Assessment


Assessment is entirely by written examination. 

At AS Level there is one 1 hour 15 minute paper per unit, each comprising 33.3% of the final mark.  Students are required to answer two one part essay questions from a choice of three.

At A Level there is one 2 hour paper per unit each comprising 33.3% of the total marks.  Students are required to answer three, one part exam questions from a choice of four.

Future opportunities

A Level Religious Studies and in particular, the Philosophy and Ethics options followed at Tapton, is a skills based subject. The emphasis on problem solving, the rigorous examination of evidence and development of sustained well supported arguments required to succeed in this subject makes it a highly respected academic discipline that combines well with both arts and science A Levels. Furthermore, it is highly regarded by admissions tutors. While it is a perfect choice for students hoping to apply to related degrees in Philosophy, Theology or Religious Studies, it is also particularly useful for students considering careers in medicine, social work, personnel management, education, public relations, the police force, journalism and the legal profession.

Religious Studies is not considered to be a soft option; rather it features on the Russell Universities higher tier of preferred subjects at A Level

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 20 November 2017

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 year for AS Level, 2 years for A Level

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