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AS/A2 Religous Studies at Durham High School For Girls

Course description

Philosophy and Ethics ‘We are discussing no small matter here, but how we ought to live.’ (Socrates in Plato’s Republic) Philosophy of Religion and Religious Ethics are no small matter. Poets, musicians, philosophers and saints have, throughout the centuries, sought to communicate the reality of God to the world but today we live in a rational age and their voices are muted. Still the eternal questions remain to challenge us. Is there a God? Who is God? What are the arguments for God's existence? Why is there evil in the world? Can miracles really happen? What happens when a person dies? Philosophy seeks to provide an answer to these questions. Ethics poses the key questions of today. Is the life of a baby worth more than a pensioner? Do humans have rights and if they do might animals have rights too? Is abortion ever acceptable? Is euthanasia the first step down the slippery slope to legalised state murder? In Philosophy you will study: • some aspects of the thinking of the Greek Philosophers Plato and Aristotle; • the origins of the Judaeo-Christian concept of God; • the traditional arguments for the existence of God . • religious language – exploring questions such as, is it meaningful to say anything about God using human language? • religious experience, miracles and ways in which people believe God reveals himself • the nature of God – the variety of philosophical views and the problems that arise from them • issues of life and death – what happens at death? In Ethics you will study: • a variety of ethical theories about morality, such as Natural Moral Law, the Categorical Imperative and Utilitarianism; • how religion and morality are linked and how far morality may be seen to be dependent on God; • you will apply your understanding of the theories studied to issues such as the right to a child, abortion, euthanasia, genetic engineering and war and peace. • ethical language and what different scholars mean when they use terms such as ‘good’, ‘bad’, ‘right’ and wrong’. • ideas such as free-will and determinism, the nature and role of conscience. • you will apply the different ethical theories you have studied to environmental and business ethics and to sexual ethics.

Entry requirements

You need an interest in some of the issues raised skills or background above, a willingness to think and to have your ideas knowledge? challenged and to be prepared to work hard. The analytical skills gained in RS GCSE will help, however AS/A2 Philosophy and Ethics is open to all.

Financial information

Please see our school website for fees information.

Future opportunities

This subject can make a significant contribution to any Opportunities university course or career that requires you to think clearly and rigorously. Students of this course go into law, politics, the civil service, medicine, education and journalism because they are able to think clearly and analytically. They will know how to write well and to present their ideas logically. Medical students find the Ethics part of the course an excellent preparation for some of the issues they have to deal with. Universities are often very impressed with candidates who have done Religious Studies because it shows they have the ability to think. You could take this course with other advanced level courses as a general preparation for a higher education course or as a foundation for studying Theology or Religious Studies at Higher education. With further training, you could go into a job related to Religious issues such as a Social Worker, Priest, Counsellor or Teacher. As with the other humanities, Religion is a good foundation for entering employment as it helps you develop the skills, understanding and knowledge that many employers across lots of industries are looking for, especially in sectors where people are the main focus. You could take this course to complement other advanced level courses or to prepare for the A2 part of an Advanced GCE in Religious Studies, which could lead you onto higher education to study Theology or Religious Studies. With further training, you could go into a job related to Religious issues and Theology such as a Social Worker or Counsellor. You could also go straight into a job as the AS GCE is a recognised qualification that will help you develop the skills, understanding and knowledge that many employers across lots of industries are looking for, especially in sectors where people are the main focus.

Further information

To find out more about this qualification, contact us, ask your Connexions Personal Adviser or school/college careers staff.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Durham High School For Girls directly.

Last updated date: 18 May 2015

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