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Religious Studies A Level (Philosophy and Ethics) at Congleton High School

Course description

The A Level Religious Studies course includes the study of Philosophy and ethics. Philosophy is one of those subjects that will either give you a headache or a real buzz, whilst Ethics focuses on the decisions and dilemmas we are all faced with.

Religious Studies offers you an interesting and intellectually challenging A Level that will help develop your understanding of spiritual, moral, social and cultural issues. It will also develop a variety of skills, including those of discussion and debate. The valuable skills of logical argument and critical evaluation are also developed and can be transferred to other areas of study.

As with any subject in the area of Humanities, students acquire a great range of skills, such as analysis, interpretation, critical thinking and the ability to produce extended evaluative pieces of writing. These are skills that will prepare students well for a range of courses in higher education and, beyond that, in employment generally.

Course content

There are three units each examined in a 1 hour 15 exam and each worth 33% of the A Level qualification:
1. An introduction to the study of Religion – A study of Christianity broken down into four themes; religious figures and sacred texts, Religious concepts, Religious life and religious practices.
2. An introduction to the Philosophy of Religion – A study of cosmological arguments for the existence of God; teleological arguments for the existence of God; the non-existence of God - the problem of evil; and religious experience.
3. An introduction to Religion and ethics –A study of ethical language and thought; Aquinas' Natural Law; Fletcher's Situation Ethics; and Utilitarianism.

To complete your studies to full A Level in Year 13, the above three components are examined again with in greater breadth and depth.

Year 13 A Level

There are three units, each examined in a 2 hour exam and each worth 33% of the A Level qualification:
1. Christianity – A study of Christianity broken down into four themes; religious figures and sacred texts; religious concepts and religious life; significant social and historical developments in religious thought; religious practices and religious identity.
2. The Philosophy of Religion - There will be four themes within this component: arguments for the existence of God; challenges to religious belief; religious experience; religious language.
Component 3, Religion and Ethics – There will be four themes within this component: ethical language and thought; deontological ethics; teleological ethics; freewill and determinism.

Entry requirements

It is recommended that applicants will have achieved at least a grade B in RE and/or English will be suitable to follow this course.


Studying Religious Studies will involve a variety of methods including class discussions, group work, individual research, and presentations. Assessment will be continual with formal assessments in the shape of essays and examinations.

Future opportunities

Religious Studies is a subject that can be taken further should you make a move into higher education. It can be studied as a subject in its own right, but is also often offered as a joint honours course alongside History, Law, International Relations and other humanities subjects.

How about careers? The ability to evaluate evidence and then produce a coherent and sustained argument is a core skill in many professions. Politics also allows access to many different careers including: politics, social and pastoral care, journalism, law, publishing, education, community and social work.

Further information

This course can be taken in conjunction with other vocational or academic courses at Congleton High School Sixth Form or The Congleton College.
Religious Studies combines well with many subjects, but particularly complements History, Law, Sociology and psychology. However Religious Studies is an interest in its own right and can be studied with any combination of subjects at A Level.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 13 October 2016
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