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What Will I Study?

Component 01: Philosophy of religion

  • Ancient philosophical influences
  • the nature of the soul, mind and body
  • Arguments about the existence or non-existence of God
  • The nature and impact of religious experience
  • The challenge for religious belief of the problem of evil
  • Ideas about the nature of God
  • Issues in religious language.

Component 02: Religion and ethics

  • Normative ethical theories
  • The application of ethical theory to two contemporary issues of importance
  • Ethical language and thought
  • Debates surrounding the significant idea of conscience
  • Sexual ethics and the influence on ethical thought of developments in religious beliefs.

Component 03: Developments in religious thought (Christianity or Buddhism)

  • Religious beliefs, values and teachings, their interconnections and how they vary historically and in the contemporary world
  • Sources of religious wisdom and authority
  • Practices which shape and express religious identity, and how these vary within a tradition
  • Significant social and historical developments in theology and religious thought
  • Key themes related to the relationship between religion and society.


Components 1 (Philosophy of Religion) and 2 (Religion and Ethics) are compulsory.

Component 3 (Developments in Religious Thought) can be studied in relation to either Christianity or Buddhism.

More Info


We use a variety of teaching methods, and expect you to get involved; you will be expected to participate in discussion and problem-solving activities, as well as read, take notes and write essays.

Paper 1: Philosophy of Religion

2 hours. 33.3%

3 essays out of a choice of 4.

Paper 2: Religion and Ethics

2 hours. 33.3%.

3 essays out of a choice of 4.

Paper 3: Developments in Religious Thought (Christainity or Buddhism)

2 hours. 33.3%.

3 essays out of a choice of 4.

Religious Studies is a strong academic subject which is often chosen by those wanting to pursue University study. Philosophy of Religion is a good springboard for the study of Philosophy at University and the vast topic area of Religion which at Higher Education includes: Theology, Ethics, Contemporary Religion, Eastern Religions and Philosophy. Other degree subjects that Religious Studies A Level provides a good grounding for are Sociology, Anthropology and Psychology.

In career terms, Religious Studies is very useful for those considering working with people. Teachers, Nurses, Doctors, Social Workers often study RS as an additional subject because it covers areas of Ethics, and therefore encourages students to empathise, view the world in a more complex way, open their minds and consider other people’s perspectives and points of view.

There will be a small charge for course booklets to cover reprographic costs.

There are no special requirements to take this course and no expectation that you have studied Full Course RE GCSE. However, because the examinations are essay-based, a good standard of written communication is required.

Key Facts

Offered As

A LevelAS

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Awarding Body

Progression and Career Opportunities

More than a quarter of the 23% of graduates in further study continue their education in philosophy. Just over a sixth of philosophy graduates are in further study in law.

Career Opportunities:

  • Teacher
  • Lawyer
  • Charity Worker
  • Counsellor
  • Archivist
  • Newspaper Journalist

Higher Education 63%

Employment/apprenticeships 17%