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Religious Studies AS/A Level at Brockenhurst College

Course description

You should choose Religious Studies if you have an interest in discussing and learning about religious responses to some of life’s philosophical questions such as ‘Is there a God?’ ‘What happens after we die?’ and ‘If there is a God, why do people suffer?’

These questions and more will be addressed from the perspective of both Western and Eastern philosophies.

You do not have to be religious to study for this qualification: it is equally suitable for students from all religious traditions and none.

The topics covered will be challenging and sensitive and you will need to be aware of and understand different positions on the issues. It will be important for you to listen to points of view which you may not share and approach them with both a critical and respectful attitude.

The type of student who succeeds in Religious Studies is interested in taking on new academic challenges and expanding their vocabulary. A successful Religious Studies student will enjoy reading, extending their knowledge and engaging in abstract thinking. He/she will also enjoy exploring different opinions and ideas. A successful student is an excellent attendee, who works consistently hard both in lessons and independently.

Course content

The A level is split into 4 Units.

In Unit 1 ‘Foundations’ you will study Philosophy of Religion and Hinduism.

  • In AS Philosophy of Religion you will examine whether there is evidence for God’s existence in the world (the Design and Cosmological arguments), miracles and evil and suffering.
  • The Hinduism topic offers a fascinating insight into the cultural, philosophical and historical themes associated with the Hindu Religion.

In Unit 2  'Investigations' The AS unit focuses on the debate about equality, examining whether homosexual practices are compatible with Christian approaches to ethics.

On the A2

  • you will learn about modern Hindu teachers such as Gandhi and philosophical concepts such as samsara (reincarnation) and moksha (release).
  • You will also study two Hindu texts- The Katha Upanishad and selected passages from the Bhagavad Gita.
  • The Philosophy of Religion A2 centres on discussion of classical philosophical debates such as the existence (or non-existence) of God, life after death and religious language.

On the A2 you will also study an Anthology of philosophical extracts.

Entry requirements

The basic requirement is 5 GCSEs grades A to C, including English Language. Provided you are able to write clearly and have shown the ability to understand and express a range of ideas. 

It does not matter which subjects you have studied at GCSE; Religious Studies GCSE is not essential, but if you have studied it a C grade is required.


All 4 modules are examined and each one is worth 25% of the overall A level mark.

Financial information

Costs: You will be expected to purchase 2 text books at a total cost of approximately £20.

Future opportunities

Previously, our students have gone on to study at some of the top universities including most recently, Oxford and Southampton.

Students who take Religious Studies often go on to undertake further studies at university. The ability to communicate effectively and evaluate arguments is highly regarded by both employers and Higher Education institutions. Religious Studies students go on to pursue diverse career options such as teaching, the civil service, medicine and law.

Further information

Religious Studies complements the study of other humanity based subjects.  However, it can also provide a contrast to both arts and science based subjects.

Being exam based, Religious Studies works well with other courses that have coursework requirements as this helps to balance workload throughout the year.

Religious Studies students will have the opportunity to participate in Cross Curricular Studies trips. This year we hope to offer trips to Hindu places of worship.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Brockenhurst College directly.

Last updated date: 18 February 2016

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