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Religious Studies (Philosophy) A Level at Southern Consortium Sixth Form

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 religion... and people who do not follow any religion. It is not necessary to have taken Religious Studies at GCSE, although students who have a GCSE will find that the AS/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.

Course content

Paper 1:

Section A: Philosophy of Religion

  • Arguments for the existence of God.
  • Evil and suffering.
  • Religious experience.
  • Religious language.
  • Miracles.
  • Self and life after death.

Section B: Ethical theories.

  • Issues of human life and death.
  • Issues of animal life and death.
  • Introduction to meta ethics.
  • Free will and moral responsibility.
  • Conscience.
  • Bentham and Kant.

Paper 2:

Section A: 

  • Sources of wisdom and authority.
  • God/gods/ultimate reality.
  • Self, death and the afterlife.
  • Good conduct and key moral principles.
  • Expression of religious identity.
  • Religion, gender and sexuality.
  • Religion and science.
  • Religion and secularisation.
  • Religion and religious pluralism

Section B: The dialogue between philosophy of religion and religion.

  • How religion is influenced by and has an influence on philosophy of religion in relation to the issues studied.

Section C: The dialogue between ethical studies and religion.

  • How religion is influenced by and has an influence on ethical studies in relation to the issues studied.

Entry requirements

Students must meet the Consortium minimum entry criteria for A Level courses, that is, a GCSE grade 5 and above in English and Maths, as well as a minimum of GSCE grade C’s and B’s (point score of 41.5).


100% exam
2x 3 hour exams

Future opportunities

The skills that you will learn in Religious Studies will be useful to you in any number of careers; teaching, youth work, journalism, civil service or government to name a few. If you’re thinking of a career in law or medicine then a Religious Studies A Level is looked upon favourably for undergraduate courses too.

Religious Studies is one of the fastest growing subjects. This is partly because it is compatible with, and has a similar skills base to, subjects such as English, History, Sociology, Philosophy and Government and Politics. It is also a good partner course for not only the subjects mentioned, but also for Archaeology, Classical Civilisation and History of Art.

Further information

  • You would find it useful to start reading newspapers, watching the news and researching some of the key ethical stories that are prominent at the moment. Make some notes on them, how do people respond? What influences their responses?
  • A great book to introduce Philosophy is called Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder, a little bit about it is below:

“In "Sophie's World" you will find an interesting novel, intertwined almost seamlessly with the History of Philosophy. This former philosophy teacher, born in 1952 in Oslo (Norway), reached success with this book, which has managed to attract even those not commonly interested in Philosophy and also, somehow, to become part of the bibliography of many philosophy courses.
The plot of the book is rather simple. It centres on Sophie Amundsen, a fourteen year old girl approaching her fifteenth birthday, who one day begins to receive letters from someone she doesn't know. In those letters, her unknown correspondent begins to tell her about the History of Philosophy, the subject he studies. Sophie's goes on receiving those letters throughout the novel, and they become an essential part of the plot, which is a mystery with unexpected turnarounds.”

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Southern Consortium Sixth Form directly.

Last updated date: 30 November 2017
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Key information


  • More information
    • At the Jo Richardson School, our motto “Success for All” underpins everything that we do at the school and puts the students’ achievements at the centre of our vision.  We have a commitment to the highest academic standards combined with a wide range of curricular and extra-curricular activities aimed at enhancing the opportunities offered to all our students.

      Working with our colleagues as part of the Southern Consortium, sixth form subject staff are well qualified to teach A level and vocational courses and excel in bringing out the best in all the students they work with. They are dedicated to working hard and providing a high level of professional teaching. There are staff responsible for the mentoring and care of students through a tutor group system and a range of opportunities for one-to-one guidance and support.

      We want our students to feel happy, secure and enjoy coming to school. We are committed to forming positive relationships with parents and keeping them informed of students’ targets and progress.  Alongside our extensive range of A level courses we also offer practical, work-related courses. There are opportunities for community service, young enterprise, sport, music, drama, university visits, careers advice and plenty of social events. We provide a programme of academic events for students to improve their study skills, chances of getting to university and self-confidence.

      Consortium Transport

      The Consortium provides a friendly and efficient bus service, which is free to students, that moves students at lesson changes between Consortium school sites.