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Religious Studies at Carshalton High School for Girls

Course description

A Level Religious Studies is recognised as an academic subject by all the leading universities. You do not need to have studied Religious Studies or Philosophy at GCSE in order to qualify for this course; all that is required is a genuine interest in this subject and a willingness to work hard.

Course content

AS Level and A Level

Unit 1: Philosophy of Religion

  • Ancient philosophical influences (Who were Plato, Aristotle and the ancient Greeks?)
  • Arguments about the existence or non-existence of God (is God real?)
  • The nature and impact of religious experience (Are miracles real?)
  • The challenge for religious belief of the problem of evil (Does suffering prove God is not real?)
  • The nature of the soul, mind and body (Do we have a soul?)
  • The possibility of life after death (What happens when we die?)
  • Ideas about the nature of God (What is God like?)
  • Issues in religious language (Can we use language to describe God?)

Unit 2: Religion and ethics

  • Normative ethical theories (How do we decide what is right?)
  • The application of ethical theory to two contemporary issues of importance (How do these theories apply to real life?)
  • Ethical language and thought (Do the words ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ always mean the same thing?)
  • Debates surrounding the significant ideas of conscience and free will (How do our freewill and conscience influence morality?)
  • The influence on ethical thought of developments in religious beliefs and the philosophy of religion (Does right and wrong come from God?)

Unit 3: Development in religious thought: Christianity

  • Christian religious beliefs, values and teachings, their interconnections and how they vary historically and in the contemporary world (What do Christians believe?)
  • Sources of Christian religious wisdom and authority (Where do Christians get their beliefs from?)
  • Christian practices which shape and express religious identity, and how these vary within the tradition (How do individual Christians identify themselves and why are there differences?)
  • Significant social and historical developments in theology and religious thought (How has Christianity developed and what has changed it over time?)
  • Key themes related to the relationship between religion and society (How should Christians respond to secular society/different religions?)

Entry requirements

The minimum requirements to do this A level are 5 A* - C grades in 5 different subjects including a B grade in English Language and C in English Literature and one other Humanities subject.


There is no coursework at AS Level or A Level. Students complete timed essays every few weeks which prepare them for three exams:

AS Level students

3 exams (one on Unit 1, one on Unit 2 and one on Unit 3), each lasting for one hour (= 3 hours of total exams). Summer 2017.

A Level students

3 exams (one on Unit 1, one on Unit 2 and one on Unit 3), each lasting for two hours (= 6 hours of total exams). Summer 2018

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 06 September 2016
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