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Religious Studies - A Level at Canon Slade CofE School

Course description

What does the course aim to do?

Provides an authentic insight – this course provides students with the exciting opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of world religions, and explore philosophy of religion and religion and ethics.

A curriculum for today – We aim to inspire students to engage with major issues relevant to learners in the 21st century, and to acquire knowledge and a critical understanding of these.

A relevant choice – The Russell Group of top universities has made it clear that Religious Studies A level provides ‘suitable preparation for University generally’.

Skills for the future – We want to share our enthusiasm and are keen to enable students to acquire skills that will be prepare them for higher education or the world of work.

How will I study?

You will study by engaging in:

• Active lessons

• Lectures and conferences.

• Discussion.

• Reading and note-taking.

• Essay writing.

Course content

You will acquire knowledge and understanding in the areas of philosophy of religion and religious ethics. These will include the contributions of significant philosophers and religious thinkers. You will develop your language skills and learn to address major philosophical and ethical questions.

The A-Level course will cover:

Philosophy of religion

  • philosophical issues and questions raised by religion and belief including at least three contrasting arguments about the existence or non-existence of God, gods or ultimate reality
  • the nature and influence of religious experience
  • challenges to religious belief such as the problems of evil and suffering
  • philosophical language and thought through significant concepts and the works of key thinkers, illustrated in issues or debates in the philosophy of religion
  • how views of religious language have changed over time; the challenges posed by the verification/falsification debate and language games theory over whether religious language should be viewed cognitively or non-cognitively; and a consideration of at least two different views about religious teachings being understood symbolically and analogically
  • a comparison of the significant ideas presented in works of at least two key scholars selected from the field of the philosophy of religion and developments in the way these ideas are applied to issues in religion and belief
  • how the philosophy of religion has, over time, influenced and been influenced by developments in religious beliefs and practices and ethics

Religion and ethics

  • ethical language and thought through significant concepts and the works of key thinkers, illustrated in issues or debates in religion and ethics.
  • three normative ethical theories such as deontological, teleological or character based ethics (at least two of which must be religious approaches)
  •  the application of ethical theory to two personal, societal or global issues of importance, including religious ethical perspectives 
  • how ethical language in the modern era has changed over time; including a study of meta-ethical theories and significant ideas in religious and moral thought such as free will, conscience or authority
  • a comparison of the significant ideas presented in the works of at least two key scholars selected from the field of religion and ethics, and developments in the way these ideas are applied to significant issues in religion and belief
  • how the study of ethics has, over time, influenced and been influenced by developments in religious beliefs and practices, the philosophy of religion

Development in Religious Thoughts

We will study Christianity.

  • religious beliefs, values and teachings o sources of wisdom and authority
  • practices that shape and express religious identity
  • significant social and historical developments in theology or religious thought
  • a comparison of the significant ideas presented in works of at least two key scholars selected from the field of Christianity and belief
  • two themes related to the relationship between Christianity and society how developments in beliefs and practices have, over time, influenced and been influenced by developments in philosophical and ethical studies of Christianity

Entry requirements

Grade 5 in English and Mathematics plus 3 A*-C grades at GCSE with a points score of 5.5+ (which equals roughly 4xB/6 and 4xC/5), from the top 8 GCSEs taken in the first sitting.

Assessment

This is a two year linear course that ends with 3 exams at the end of your second year of study:

Unit 1 – Philosophy of Religion

2 Hour Written Paper Representing 33.3% of total A level

Unit 2 – Religious Ethics

2 Hour Written Paper Representing 33.3% of total A level

Unit 3 – Development in Religious Thought

2 Hour Written Paper Representing 33.3% of total A level

Future opportunities

RS at A level is a popular subject. It can lead to study at degree level in Theology, Philosophy, Religious Studies or Biblical Studies. However, A-level religious studies is an academically valued subject that lends itself to many other degrees and occupations. It is of value to anyone considering a vocation in the medical and other caring professions, public services, law and education. RS is an A level which often complements other A level combinations and enhances any application for further study.  

 

Further information

Am I suited to this subject?

You will need to have:

• A genuine interest in religious discussion about the nature of God and religious faith.

• A genuine interest in social and ethical issues and the quest to distinguish right from wrong.

• Confidence with written language and a willingness to engage in open discussion.

• An enquiring and critical mind capable of grappling with matters of deep consequence.

• Self-discipline and personal motivation to read and study independently.

What will I need to do myself?

You will need to:

• Review notes from lessons.

• Read extensively.

• Prepare materials for essays.

• Write essays at home and in lessons.

• Pay attention to religious and ethical issues that are discussed in the media.

Why should I come to Canon Slade to study Religious Studies?

The RS department at Canon Slade School has an established reputation for helping students to achieve A level grades higher than those predicted. The highly qualified teaching staff are experienced in preparing students for undergraduate courses in Religious Studies, Theology and Philosophy as well as related subjects at Britain’s top universities including Oxford and Cambridge.  

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

For more information about this course contact us directly on 01204 333343

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: 02 November 2016
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