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Religous Studies AS & A2 Level at The Westgate School

Course description

At AS Level:

Unit 1: Buddhism: This unit will focus on an introduction to the religion of Buddhism. It will cover the key beliefs and practices. It explores the diversity within the religion by looking at the different schools and their varied approaches towards their ultimate goal of enlightenment. Some examples of this are meditation, chanting and mandalas.

Unit 2: Philosophy: This unit is designed to challenge the most fundamental aspects of religion and faith. Does God exist and can we actually prove this? We look at a range of philosophers from the ancient Greeks such as Plato, Aristotle and Socrates, to modern scholars such as Richard Swinburne and Richard Dawkins.

Unit 3: Ethics: This is a look into how people make moral decisions. We look at modern theories of Utilitarianism and Situation Ethics and older more traditional ideas such as Natural Law. Through rigorous debate, we attempt to apply these theories to modern ethical dilemmas such as euthanasia, stem cell research and adultery.

 At A Level:

Unit 1: Buddhism: At this level the unit examines the depths of what it means to be Buddhist. There is an extension of the beliefs and an assessment of how these concepts aid a Buddhist in their lives. The unit covers the history of Buddhism from the Buddha himself, right up to how it has spread into modern day British society. We visit the Buddhist centre in Slough and immerse ourselves in the culture, teachings and practices.

Unit 2: Philosophy: At this level the philosophy unit once again goes deeper into the ideas of the metaphysical. We assess the validity of religious belief including religious experiences and mysticism. We debate theories of philosophers such as William James and Immanuel Kant to attempt to once and for all answer the question; is it reasonable to believe in the existence of God?

Unit 3: Ethics: At this level we assess the nature of ethical decision making and attempt to discover if we are at all free to make decisions for ourselves. We will evaluate if the language we have to explain morality is actually useful and if we should listen to our own conscience or submit to the morals of a divine creator (God).

Entry requirements

GCSE RMS- Grade B;

To continue to A2 – Grade D at AS Religious Studies


AS Exam:

Unit 1-3: 3 Examined Essay Paper with a choice of two out of four questions(1hour 15mins each)

A Level Exam:

Units 1-3: 3 Examined Essay Papers combining AS and A2 knowledge, understanding and evaluation. (2 hours each) 

Future opportunities

The study of Religious Studies is useful for any field requiring written or verbal communication skills. It is also great for building up logical thinking patterns and problem solving. It is particularly useful for careers in law, civil service, journalism, personnel management, public relations, social work, police force, media and many more. 

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Westgate School directly.

Last updated date: 23 September 2016

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