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Religious Studies A level at The Becket School

Course description

Philosophy and Ethics allows you to reflect on some of the most important questions people are faced with.

Ethics aims to understand the meaning of life and the nature of knowledge and goodness. When faced with choices about sex, relationships, money and lifestyles, we try to understand how we make ethical decisions about others and ourselves.

Philosophy encourages a critical understanding of the origin of the universe, our place within it and it raises questions about evil and suffering in the world.

Course content

AS Level

The Advanced Subsidiary (AS) consists of 2 units. These units explore the foundations of Ethics and the New Testament


This includes:


  • A study of philosophical arguments about the existence of God.
  • Design Argument – Key ideas strengths and weaknesses.
  • Cosmological Argument – key ideas strengths and weaknesses.
  • Problems of evil and suffering, solutions to these problems.
  • Philosophical debate about miracles – reference to Hume.


This unit consists of an investigation in the study of Ethics. The topics that can be used are medical ethics, natural world and equality in the modern world. This unit is worth 50% of the AS course.

At A2 the units consist of:


This unit looks at Ethical concepts and problems in Ethics, New Testament Theology and Christology.

For the Ethics this includes:

  • Critiques of relationships between religion and morality.
  • Deontology, natural moral law, virtue ethics.
  • The meaning and definition of terms with reference to is/ought and debates about ‘good’, emotivism, relativism, and subjectivism.
  • Justice, Law and punishment.

Philosophy – Developments

  • Religious experience – key concepts, strengths and weaknesses.
  • Ontological argument – key concepts, strengths and weaknesses.
  • Arguments against the existence of God.
  • Beliefs about life after death, reincarnation, immortality of the soul.
  • A study of religious language.


  • Students will study an anthology published by Edexcel, where they will consider, examine and discuss:
  • Consequences of holding certain opinions, views or beliefs.
  • How particular beliefs or values affect other people.

Entry requirements

No previous knowledge or study of religious studies or theology is necessary in order to take the subject at A Level.


Units for AS Level:

Unit 1: Foundation – Ethics and New Testament. Written examination.  Answer three questions. 1hr 45mins.

Unit 2: Investigation. Written Examination. 1hr 15mins.

Units for A2 Level:

Unit 3 & 4: Developments and Implications. Written examination. 3hrs.

Future opportunities

A Level Religious Studies has a good track record of success.  It is a very respected academic subject, complementing other A Level subjects.   It is useful to students wishing to study at university law, social work, business or a degree in Theology itself. Any employer requiring A Levels or a graduate would look favourably upon anyone qualifying with Religious Studies.

Further information

Outside Activities

During the two years there are opportunities for various visits to local religious communities, the A Level conference in London and fact finding missions to the local university.

Pastoral Support

Students are closely supported and monitored, especially with coursework and bring in specialist help as and when required.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Becket School directly.

Last updated date: 11 October 2016

Key information