A Level Religion, Philosophy & Ethics2018-04-06T10:28:09+00:00

A Level Religion, Philosophy & Ethics

Exam Board: OCR – AS H173, A H573

The Course

This A Level enables students to develop a greater understanding and appreciation of religious beliefs and teachings, as well as the disciplines of ethics and philosophy of religion. Students will develop their skills of critical analysis in order to construct balanced, informed arguments and responses to religious, philosophical and ethical ideas.

This A Level course in Religious Studies will encourage students to develop their interest in a rigorous study of religion and belief and relate it to the wider world and to adopt an enquiring, critical and reflective approach to the study of religion whilst reflecting on and developing their own values, opinions and attitudes in the light of their study.

There is an emphasis on enabling students to respond critically and engage with a wealth of philosophical, ethical and religious concepts, equipping them with analytical skills readily transferable to other subjects.

A Level Religious Studies Year 1
The specification includes exciting content exploring a study of Christianity, ethical issues and debates and the study of philosophical issues and questions raised by religion and belief.

Philosophy of Religion (01)
Learners will study:

  • Ancient philosophical influences; Plato and Aristotle, the nature of the soul, mind and body
  • Arguments about the existence or nonexistence of God; teleological, cosmological and ontological arguments
  • The nature and impact of religious experience; mystical and conversion experiences, interpretations
  • The challenge for religious belief of the problem of evil; Augustine, Irenaeus and John Hick

Religion and Ethics (02)
Learners will study:

  • Normative ethical theories; Natural Law, Situation Ethics, Kantian Ethics, Utilitarianism
  • The application of ethical theory to two contemporary issues of importance; euthanasia, business ethics

Development in Christian Thought (03)
Learners will study:

  • Augustine’s teaching on human nature; pre and post Fall, original sin, God’s grace
  • Death and the afterlife; teaching on heaven, hell, purgatory, election
  • Knowledge of God’s existence; natural and revealed knowledge
  • The person of Jesus Christ; son of God, teacher of wisdom, liberator
  • Christian moral principles; the Bible, the Church, agape love, Bonhoeffer

A Level Religious Studies Year 2

Philosophy of Religion
Learners will study:

  • Ideas about the nature of God; omniscience, omnipotence, benevolence, eternity, free will
  • Issues in religious language; via negative, via positive, symbol, logical positivism, language games, falsification

Religion and Ethics
Learners will study:

  • Ethical language and thought; naturalism, intuitionism, emotivism,
  • Debates surrounding the significant idea of conscience; Aquinas, Freud
  • Sexual ethics and the influence on ethical thought of developments in religious beliefs; premarital, extra marital, homosexuality – application fo the theories

Development in Christian Thought
Learners will study:

  • Religious pluralism, theology and society; exclusivism, inclusivism, pluralism
  • Gender, theology and society; development of multi-faith society, inter-faith dialogue, changing views on gender roles, feminist theology
  • The challenge of secularism; the rise of secularism
  • Liberation theology and Marx; Marx on alienation and exploitation, liberation theology

Exams and Assessment

  • Philosophy of Religion – 120 marks, 2 hour written paper, 33.3% of total A Level
  • Religion and Ethics – 120 marks, 2 hour written paper, 33.3% of total A Level
  • Developments in Christian Theology – 120 marks, 2 hour written paper, 33.3% of total A Level

Teachers and Teaching

The course involves a range of teaching types including teacher led lecture style, which prepares for university, debate, research and student presentation. The course is currently taught by the Head of Department.

University Courses and Careers Religious Studies is recognized as an academic subject suitable for entry to a wide range of degree courses and is useful for, a wide range of future careers including law, education, anthropology, media, social work, politics, administration, international relations and journalism.

University Courses and Careers

Religious Studies is recognized as useful for a wide range of courses and is useful for, a wide range of future careers including law, education, anthropology, media, social work, politics, administration, international relations and journalism.