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Religious Studies: Philosophy and Ethics AS Level at Gloucestershire College

Course description

A Level Religious Studies focuses on the philosophy of religion and religious ethics.

From the influence of the Greek philosophers on Christian thinking to the later Christian theologians such as St Thomas Aquinas and St Augustine of Hippo, the course material covers a broad range of topics.

You will begin by evaluating arguments for the existence of God and challenges to these by philosophers and scientists. As well as assess controversial issues such as abortion, genetic engineering and same sex marriage by applying the ethical theories of Bentham, Kant and Roman Catholic Natural Law.

The course then progresses on to examining the validity of religious language and experiences, and the ethical issues raised by the changing environment and role of multi-national corporations. The theories of an extensive range of philosophers will be used to evaluate these issues.

A Level Religious Studies can be a very challenging subject area and all students will be expected to actively participate in presentations and debates.

Entry requirements

Our new entry criteria are based around the average GCSE scores required to study grouped subjects.

The subjects are divided into three groups each requiring a different minimum average GCSE score.

The average GCSE score will have to be generated from a minimum of SEVEN academic GCSEs  - with at least 5 grade Cs including maths and English within this SEVEN

This subject requires

  • an average GCSE points score of 4.8 points
  • B or above in English Language or English Literature.


Changes to A Level Courses in 2015 and 2016

The government has implemented a number of changes to AS and A Level courses starting in September 2015, which affect all schools and colleges in England.

The main changes will be:

  • AS qualifications will still be available as a high quality, stand-alone qualification
  • All assessment in A Levels will be at the end of two years of study
  • There will also be more emphasis on exams and less on coursework, with most subjects being assessed entirely on exams.

We will continue to enter all students into exams at the end of their first year, as we believe it will give students, parents and tutors useful feedback on their progress in the first year; help students to decide which higher education course to apply for; and give universities an indication of their expected grades.

It will also give them the ability to transfer to other courses or move onto employment with recognised qualifications, if they choose to.

Future opportunities

Successful completion of a two-year A Level course can lead to university, higher education or employment.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Gloucestershire College directly.

Last updated date: 05 April 2016
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Key information


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    • Our vibrant Cheltenham Campus is situated on Princess Elizabeth Way, near Cheltenham town centre, and is easily accessible by car, bike and regular bus  services.

      Our Facilities include

      • Campus shop
      • Dining room
      • Food Central restaurant and garden
      • GC Gym, exercise studio and outdoor games court
      • Library with online access and resources
      • ‘Meadow Bank’ outdoor space
      • Nursery
      • Starbucks counter
      • Student parking