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Philosophy A Level AQA at Grey Court School

Course description

Ever since humankind started to think, religion has been a fundamental part of our development. As people look into the vastness of space or witness the miracle of birth, they contemplate the meaning of life and their own mortality. It has always been this way. In the 21st century, religion still addresses the same eternal human questions about life and death, values and relationships, right and wrong.


Religious Studies is an inclusive subject, designed for people of any faith... and people who have no faith. It is not necessary to have taken Religious Studies at GCSE, although students who have a GCSE will find that the A Level builds on their knowledge, understanding and skills. All that is required is a desire to find out more about religion and its role in society.


The philosophical nature of the course examines the theory behind thinking on the subject, rather than the more practical element studied in Years 10 and 11. Students who enjoyed the allusions to the reasons – both religious and philosophical – behind accepted attitudes will find much to engage them in this course.

Course content

Unit 1: Philosophy of Religion

You will study:

  • ancient philosophical influences
  • the nature of the soul, mind and body
  • arguments about the existence or non-existence of God
  • the nature and impact of religious experience
  • the challenge for religious belief of the problem of evil
  • ideas about the nature of God
  • issues in religious language


Unit 2: Religious Ethics

You will study:

  • normative ethical theories
  • the application of ethical theory to two contemporary issues of importance
  • ethical language and thought
  • debates surrounding the significant idea of conscience
  • sexual ethics and the influence on ethical thought of developments in religious beliefs.


Unit 3: Content of Developments in Christian thought

You will study:

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

Entry requirements

Grade 5 in English and four other GCSEs at grades 9-4.


You do not have to have studied RS at GCSE.


Unit 1 - 2hr written exam

Unit 2 - 2hr written exam

Unit 3 – 2hr written exam


Future opportunities

This course could lead onto a degree in Religious Studies, Philosophy, Theology, History, Sociology and Psychology. It is also a desirable qualification for many professions, especially those that require critical thinking. Careers could include Teaching, Politics, Social Work, Policing and Medicine.


Enrichment opportunities: The department is actively involved in providing enrichment activities for our students, either through visits, subject specific workshops or the delivery of personal, learning and thinking skills through various workshops during Enrichment days. There will be opportunities to attend keynote conferences from leading speakers. We will look to forge strong links with local universities. Students will be able to attend regular sessions after school if they have any issues. We will also look to develop trips in order to explore different aspects of the course.


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: 05 July 2018
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 Years
  • Course code: RS: P&E A Level

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