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Religious Studies OCR A Level 'Fees payable' at Hethersett Old Hall School

Course description

This subject not only offers the opportunity to explore fascinating topics, it also develops a range of skills that will stand you in excellent stead, whatever your next step may be. It will develop yourskills in the handling of materials, showing evidence of appropriate reading and careful documentation of a wide range of sources, using those sources imaginatively and organising andpresenting information, ideas and descriptions clearly and logically.
The course will also develop your understanding and ability to interpret, analyse, compare and evaluate material and to make comparisons and connections. Finally, it demands the ability to sustain arguments at a critical level.
Avoiding polemic and bias in reaching an informed decision, students must be able to present anddefend their opinion with evidence and reasoned argument. All of these skills are widely looked forby university admissions tutors and by employers.

Course content

What will I study?

The course is broken down into three sections:

  • Philosophy of religion
  • Religion and ethics
  • Developments in religious thought

The first year of A Level:

Philosophy of religion

  • Ancient philosophical influences (Plato and Aristotle)
  • The nature of the soul, mind and body
  • Arguments about the existence or the non-existence of God
  • The nature and impact of religious experience
  • The challenge for religious belief of the problem of evil

Religion and ethics

  • Normative ethical theories (natural law, situation ethics, Kantian ethics, utilitarianism)
  • Applied ethics (euthanasia, business ethics)

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 a tradition

The second year of A Level:

Philosophy of religion:

  • Ideas about the nature of God
  • Issues in religious language

Religion and ethics:

  • Ethical language and thought
  • Debates surrounding the significant idea of conscience
  • Sexual ethics and the influence on ethical thought of developments in religious beliefs

Developments in religious thought:

  • Significant social and historical developments in theology and religious thought
  • Key themes related to the relationship between religion and society

Entry requirements

There is no requirement to have taken religious studies for GCSE although you do have to be capable of coping with the demands of an academic subject at this level. Religious belief is not a requirement either (and you will not be pressurised to become religious). You do need to be open-minded and prepared to have your preconceptions challenged!
Skills you will have learned during your GCSE courses will be used at A Level and there is a much greater emphasis on class discussion and debate.


There are three examinations at the end of the course, one for each of the three sections (all weighted equally), that combine to give you an A Level in this subject.
A Level exams are 2 hours in length.

Financial information

ATTENTION: Please ensure that you understand that course fees will be payable before submitting your application.  

Future opportunities

Religious studies sits very well with other A Levels and can enhance your university applications in humanities, arts, sciences and social sciences and in subjects as diverse as medicine, law, PPE as well as theology, philosophy and other related subjects.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Hethersett Old Hall School directly.

Last updated date: 06 October 2016
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Key information


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    • Welcome to Hethersett Old Hall School Sixth Form, the part of the school that prepares girls aged 16-18 for their public examinations at  A Level and their future lives at university and beyond.

      The Sixth Form represents an important period of transition: from a broad GCSE curriculum to the narrower A Level one, from school to university and from childhood to adulthood. Our aim is to make these transitions as smooth as possible by equipping girls with the relevant study and life skills to navigate through the changes they will face in a rapidly-changing society.

      In academic terms, our small, single-sex classes play a huge part in this. The staff-pupil relationship is enhanced by a university-style tutor-student relationship and rapport is noticeably strong as a result. Your daughter will be challenged to excel and able to progress at a pace that suits her natural learning style.

      At the start of Year 13, the UCAS university application process begins in earnest. Sixth Form tutors are knowledgeable and experienced in the university application process and will explore career options with your daughter on a one to one basis. Tutors’ detailed knowledge of their tutees means that girls receive meaningful advice on developing a strong personal statement for UCAS applications. Former pupils have been offered places on a diverse range of courses at top universities including medicine at Oxford and scholarships to the London School of Fashion; the main benefit, however, is that every sixth former will be guided in choosing the right courses for her interests and ability.

      In preparation for university and adulthood, your daughter will be able to enjoy a greater sense of independence and responsibility afforded in part by separate Sixth Form facilities. These include a spacious common room and kitchen, a study room, careers library and separate boarding areas. Sixth formers are expected to lead by example and play a role in wider school life, be that mentoring younger pupils or organising charity and house events. In return, our Sixth Form enrichment programme enables them to experience activities ranging from very practical car mechanics workshops to more creative synchronised swimming sessions in the school pool!

      Pupils in our sixth form grow in confidence and maturity over the two years; they leave us with life-long friends and all the necessary qualifications and skills to succeed in life. The happy faces on results day speak volumes about the quality of the sixth form experience at our school.