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Religious Studies A Level at Pensby High School

Course description

During the first year, at AS Level the following areas will be studied:

Unit 1: Foundations

A. Philosophy of Religion

  • A study of philosophical arguments about the existence of God
  • A study of selected problems in the philosophy of religion

B. Ethics

1. A study of ethical concepts

2. A study of ethical dilemmas

Unit 2. Investigations

Topics to choose from in this study are

  • Medical Ethics
  • The Natural World
  • Equality in the modern World.

Students are encouraged to carry out their individual research.

A2 Studies

During the Second year of study, Students will study two more units, Developments and Implications. In these units, Philosophy and Ethics will be examined at greater depth than in the first year of study. These two units will be assessed by three hours of examinations during in the Summer term.

Course content

Unit 1 – Foundations

The course content for area A, the Philosophy of Religion includes the study of the Design and Cosmological arguments for the existence of God, examination of problems such as evil and Suffering, a study of philosophical debates, such as concept of miracles. In area B, Ethics, ethical concepts will be studied. These include the relationship between religion and morality, Utilitarianism and Situation 
Ethics. Ethical dilemmas such as those concerning War and Peace and Sexual Ethics will be examined in detail.

Unit 2 – Investigations

This unit has an enquiry based approach to Teaching and Learning and students will select the topic of their choice from several different areas of study.

Units 3 and 4 – Developments and Implications

These units of study build on and develop further the concepts and ideas introduced in the first year of study.

The skills you will acquire

The study of Philosophy and Ethics helps develop critical thinking, skills in analysis and evaluation, handling abstract concepts, social awareness and inter-personal skills. All these are transferable skills that are extremely relevant in the modern world and valued by universities and employers alike.

Entry requirements

Students who have studied GCSE Religious Studies, (either full or short course) should have a grade of at least a C, preferably a B and grade C or above in English Language.


Final Assessment

The AS in Religious Studies is assessed in the Summer term by

  • One external examination - 1 hour 45 minutes (unit 1 work)
  • One external examination – 1 hour 15 minutes. (Unit 2 work)

Ongoing Assessment

However. There will be ongoing assessment – that does not count towards your final grade, but informs us about your progress. This will take the form of:

  • Assessment tests at the end of each topic you have studied
  • Exam style essays

Future opportunities

  • After completing this course, you can of course go on to study Philosophy or Religious Studies at University. Many local Universities offer very good courses. On the other hand, this particular course will provide a sound backdrop if you wish to study for a higher qualification at degree level in History, Psychology, Sociology, Law or English.
  • Currently, the Police Service views a qualification in Religious Studies as an asset.
  • Other careers in which qualification in Religious Studies is beneficial include; the Legal profession, the Probation Service, Journalism, Nursing and Medicine, the Civil Service and Teaching.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 24 September 2015
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