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Religious Studies at St Mary's Catholic School

Course description

Awarding Body: Edexcel.

The AS/A2 in Religious Studies focuses on two main disciplines: 'Ethics' and 'Philosophy of Religion'.

Approximately two thirds of the teaching time is spent studying Ethics, and the remaining third covers Philosophy of Religion.

Course content

The Ethics course covers a broad range of topics, firstly looking to gain an understanding of key ethical theories such as situation ethics and utilitarianism - this encourages students to think about where ethics come from. is there a duty to be moral? Is there a link between religion and morality?

The course continues by using these ethical theories to inform studies in 'applied' ethics. This means putting the theories into practice. Topics studied in this part of the course include war and peace and sexual ethics.

The Philosophy of Religion course covers some of the key questions in Philosophy, such as Does God Exist? If God exists, why is there evil? Is it possible to describe God? Is religion a good thing? The course involves an academic study of a wide range of ideas and thinkers from the Greek Philosophers, like Plato and Aristotle, through the Church Fathers, such as Augustine and Aquinas, through to post-enlightenment philosophers, including Hume and Kant.

Entry requirements

B in Religious Education at GCSE.


At the end of both year 12 and year 13 there are two written examinations.

For AS (year 12) the exams are:

Unit 1 - Foundations (1 hour 45 mins) - Answering 3 questions, at least 1 on both Ethics and Philosophy of Religion.

Unit 2 - Investigations (1 hour 15 mins) - Answering questions on a specific topic within Applied Ethics (e.g.Medical Ethics or Environmental Ethics).

For A2 (year 13) the exams are:

Unit 3 - Developments (1 hour 45 mins) - Answering 3 questions, at least 1 on both Ethics and Philosophy of Religion.

Unit 4 - Implications (1 hour 15 mins) - Involves writing an essay on a topic from Ethics.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Mary's Catholic School directly.

Last updated date: 29 March 2016
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