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Religious Studies A-Level at Burnham Grammar School

Course description

What is Religious Studies A-level about?

In essence, Religious Studies is concerned with thinking about the „big‟, important questions in life such as: who am I (what is the nature/purpose of humanity?); how do I know what is real? (how do we gain knowledge?); how should I live? (what is right and wrong?); and what happens when I die? Religion, Philosophy and Ethics have been taught for millennia and have a strong academic background; there is no denying how their study clearly links in importance and relevance to current affairs, politics and worldwide debate.

At Burnham Grammar School students will explore these issues through the study of Philosophy of Religion and Ethics at AS and A-level, rather than through the study of specific religions or scriptures. It is very different to GCSE. The aim of the course is to get students thinking and critically analyzing key arguments regarding God's existence (or non-existence), morality and application of ethical theory to various issues. There is no standard answer for the concepts and questions addressed in the subject, and we hope each student will think, reason and appreciate the breadth of opinion whilst considering and developing their own.

Course content

Burnham Grammar School follow the AQA specification, which involves two units at AS-level (taken at the end of year 12) and two at A2 Level (in year 13).

Entry requirements

You must achieve at least 368 GCSE capped points (i.e. your best 8 subjects) for entry to the Sixth form. You must also achieve a C grade in English Language GCSE and Mathematics GCSE alongside meeting the entry criteria for each individual subject. Option 4 is conditional upon achieving 400+ GCSE capped points. 

GCSE points: A*= 58, A= 52, B= 46, C= 40, D= 34

Subject Specific

B in RS GCSE full or short course. B in GCSE English Language.

Future opportunities

What jobs can I go into with A-level Religious Studies?

The simple answer: anything. The study of Philosophy and Ethics clearly allows you to improve your ability to reason, analyse, evaluate, write essays, present information, think outside the box, argue convincingly and understand the reasoning behind people‟s opinions and arguments. Ultimately, you‟d be hard pushed to find a job which doesn‟t include most, if not all, of those as valuable, transferable skills.

Career Opportunities and Skills 

Philosophy and Ethics is one of the fastest growing academic subjects in the UK. This is largely down to the range of transferable skills it develops and employs, and also due to the increasing interest in current affairs, morality, „thinking outside the box‟ and consequential decisionmaking.

Increasingly, universities and employers who used to emphasize the need for students to learn a fixed body of knowledge, are now looking for students who are flexible, can think on their feet, present ideas clearly and assimilate a large amount of information, pick out vital information and evaluate critical points. Philosophy and Ethics teaches just that. Due to this, your A-level in Religious Studies can provide you with a positive advantage for some courses and career paths such as:

Medicine - Nearly every medical school requires students to discuss a medical ethical dilemma during interview. Students who take A-level RS study the morality of abortion and euthanasia in detail. Law, Politics and International Relations, Philosophy, Theology, Ethics, Economics, Journalism, Business Studies, Social Sciences, English Literature and more…

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Burnham Grammar School directly.

Last updated date: 28 April 2015

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