Harris Academies
All Academies in our Federation aim to transform the lives of the students they serve by bringing about rapid improvement in examination results, personal development and aspiration.

Religious Studies

Exam Board: AQA

Introduction

Students will develop their knowledge and understanding of the following:

  • the meaning and significance of the specified content
  • the influence of these beliefs and teachings on individuals, communities and societies
  • the cause and significance of similarities and differences in beliefs and teachings
  • the approach of philosophy to the study of religion and belief

They will develop the ability to analyse and evaluate issues arising from the topics studied, and the views and arguments of the scholars prescribed for study. Students should also be able to use specialist language and terminology appropriately. Questions may be set that span more than one topic

The course consists of two equally weighted units:

Component 1: Philosophy of religion and ethics

Section A: Philosophy of religion • Arguments for the existence of God. • Evil and suffering. • Religious experience. • Religious language. • Miracles. • Self and life after death.

Section B: Ethics and religion • Ethical theories. • Issues of human life and death. • Issues of animal life and death. • Introduction to meta ethics. • Free will and moral responsibility. • Conscience. • Bentham and Kant.

Component 2: Study of religion and dialogues

Section A: Study of religion – the following topics are covered: • Sources of wisdom and authority. • God/gods/ultimate reality. • Self, death and the afterlife. • Good conduct and key moral principles. • Expression of religious identity. • Religion, gender and sexuality. • Religion and science. • Religion and secularisation. • Religion and religious pluralism.

Section B: The dialogue between philosophy of religion and religion. How religion is influenced by, and has an influence on philosophy of religion in relation to the issues studied. Section C: The dialogue between ethical studies and religion. How religion is influenced by, and has an influence on ethical studies in relation to the issues studied.

Assessment

Component 1 - Written exam: 3 hours • 100 marks • 50% of A-level

Section A: Philosophy of religion – two compulsory two-part questions, each worth 10 marks and 15 marks  

Section B: Ethics and religion – two compulsory two-part questions, each worth 10 marks and 15 marks In both sections, questions may span more than one topic. In each two-part question, the first part tests AO1 and the second part tests AO2.

Component 2 - Study of religion and dialogues

Section A: Study of religion – two compulsory two-part questions, each worth 10 marks and 15 marks relating to the religion chosen. Questions may be set that span more than one topic. In each two-part question, the first part tests AO1 and the second part tests AO2.

Section B: The dialogue between philosophy of religion and religion – one unstructured synoptic question from a choice of two (25 marks). Section C: The dialogue between ethical studies and religion – one unstructured synoptic question from a choice of two (25 marks).

Career Progression

This course encourages candidates to develop the critical and evaluative skills which will enable them to go onto Higher Education to study a wide range of courses, including Religious Studies, Theology, Philosophy, Law, Sociology and Social Sciences. With this A-Level, you could pursue a career in Social work, teaching or Law.