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Religious Studies A Level at King Edward VI Handsworth School for Girls

Course description

Why should I study Religious Studies?

Whether you have a personal faith or not, religion is all around us and affects many aspects of people’s lives. The in-depth study of the beliefs and practices of a major World Religion will enable you to understand the beliefs of others, which is essential in today’s pluralistic society. You will also have the opportunity to reflect on your own beliefs, to consider whether they rest on solid foundations. The study of Ethics will equip you with the skills to analyse and think critically about current ethical dilemmas, which is an excellent foundation for those wishing to pursue a career in Medicine. The study of philosophical questions will challenge and extend your thinking, and Religious Studies is worth pursuing for its own intrinsic value as well as being highly valued by many Universities and employers.

Course content

What will I learn about?

  1. Religious figures and sacred texts
  2. Religious concepts and religious life
  3. Social and historical developments in religious thought
  4. Christian practices that shape religious identity
  5. Arguments for the existence of God
  6. Challenges to religious belief
  7. Religious experience
  8. Religious language
  9. Ethical language and thought
  10. Deontological Ethics
  11. Teleological Ethics
  12. Freewill and Determinism

How will I be taught?

We use a wide range of teaching and learning techniques, which may be familiar from GCSE or General RS. We have a wide range of video and ICT resources, including a well-resourced Moodle site. Lessons may involve reading, note-taking and discussion; video stimulus, debates and arguments, presentations, ICT activities and role-plays and other creative tasks. Students have also attended lectures such as the 2015 Cadbury lecture on the Cosmological Argument, given by Dr. William Lane Craig.

Entry requirements

You do not need to be ‘religious’ or have a qualification in RS at GCSE, but we welcome students with an interest who enjoy thinking deeply about philosophical questions. If you love a good argument, but want to learn to argue better and critique the views of others, this course would suit you. You must also be prepared to investigate and think critically about one religious tradition.


Examination Board: WJEC/Eduqas

Paper 1:

  • Study of a Major World Religion (Christianity)
  • Themes 1-4
  • 2 hours
  • Year 13
  • 100 marks
  • 33.3% of A level

Paper 2:

  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Themes 5-8
  • 2 hours
  • Year 13
  • 100 marks
  • 33.3% of A level

Paper 3

  • Religion and Ethics
  • Themes 9-12
  • 2 hours
  • Year 13
  • 100 marks
  • 33.3% of A level

Future opportunities

A Religious Studies qualification is highly regarded by many academic institutions, and is an excellent preparation for Medicine and other professions such as Law, Teaching, Journalism and Social Work.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact King Edward VI Handsworth School for Girls directly.

Last updated date: 31 October 2017
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