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Religious Studies/Philosophy and Ethics A level (Edexcel) at Allerton Grange School

Course description

This AS and A level course involves studying three different components –

  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Religion and Ethics
  • Study of Islam.

Course content

The Philosophy Component will explore some of the major philosophical issues relating to religion. Students will look at the works of some of the world’s greatest thinkers, philosophers such as Aristotle, Aquinas and Hume, to help them consider questions such as whether belief in God is justified, whether life has both meaning and purpose and whether death is the end of human existence. 

Students will improve their ability to think critically and to analyse and evaluate information by engaging with arguments and debates on religious and non-religious views of life. They will focus on controversial issues, such as the nature of evil and suffering, giving their opinions on why a loving God would allow humans to be hurt and die in horrific ways.           

By the end of the course students will have an in depth understanding of why some people believe in God while others reject all notion of a higher being. Perhaps more importantly students will have a greater understanding of their own beliefs, and be able to justify them to any who would criticise.

The Religion and Ethics Component will explore what we mean when we use the terms ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, and why something may be right for one person but wrong for another. Students will examine the different ideas on where our morals actually come from and whether the society we live in has an effect on what we think of as good and bad ways to act. Students will study ethical theories such as Utilitarianism, which states the good thing to do is that which causes most people happiness, and Natural Moral law, which argues that God has set down laws for us to follow. Students will then apply these ethical theories to modern issues such as abortion, the environment and sex.   

By the end of the course students will have a greater understanding of why people can act in ways that they, personally, see as evil without the person in question thinking they’ve done anything wrong. Furthermore, students will have a greater appreciation for their own moral code and how they, themselves, distinguish right from wrong.

The Islam Component will explore the origins of Islam and what it means to be a Muslim, both in the past and in modern times. Students will study the life of Muhammad (pbuh) and why the way he lived is still important to Muslims today, key Muslim beliefs, and the relationships Muslims have with Allah. Students will also research texts from the Quran and investigate how Muslims use the Quran to make moral decision. Once students have developed a deep understanding of Islamic beliefs and practices they will explore how these beliefs and practice differ between Sunni, Shiah and Sufi Muslims, and how they relate to modern day issues such as Muslim attitudes towards Jews and Christians, family, money, sex and divorce.          

By the end of the course students will have a deep understanding of what motivates Muslims, and what they hope to achieve from life. They will be able to recognise and understand the similarities and differences between believers in Islam and believers in other faiths, and have a greater appreciation of the variety and diversity that different religions bring to the world we live in.

Entry requirements

Applications are considered on an individual basis but subject areas have their own entry requirements. As a guide you will normally be expected to have achieved a minimum of the following:

Level 3 courses - a good range of GCSEs from grade 4 - 9 including a grade 4 in English and Maths or the equivalent at BTEC level.

Level 2 courses - 2 grade 3s at GCSE

Specific entry requirements for this course are as follows:

You should have at least a minimum of grade 4 in GCSE Religious Studies.  You will also need a 4 grade in English.



Assessment will be through peer and self-assessment in class which will allow you the opportunity to evaluate and improve your work yourself. You will also be given regular essays to complete to allow you to practice exam technique. Occasionally you will be given the task of completing presentations in order to share your knowledge with other students.

Financial information

There are no costs associated with this course

Future opportunities

A qualification in religious studies could lead to many careers in the public sector such as teaching, counselling, social work, law, care work etc. The ethics side of the course would be extremely useful for those students wishing to undertake a career in Medicine and would complement a study of any science. A career in management, business, journalism and television would benefit from this qualification, to name but a few.

RS will help you to develop the thinking and academic skills that you will need for any form of higher education and links in well to further studies of Sociology, Psychology, Literature, History, Ethics, Theology and Philosophy. A qualification in RS demonstrates that you have a willingness to learn about other beliefs, values and cultures, showing that you are a tolerant person who would be an asset to any workplace. RS will help you to develop your own beliefs and views about ethical, philosophical, social and moral issues affecting the world you live in.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 08 November 2018
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: Two Years

Contact details