16-18 Courses, 16-18: A Levels

Religious Studies (A Level)

Course Overview

Entry requirements

GCSE Average Points Score: 4.3, Grade 5 English Language GCSE, Grade 4 Maths GCSE, GCSE Written Subject 6 Desirable

Course information

If you are studying at Havering Sixth Form:

The Religious Studies (Ethical Philosophy) A-Level is taken with two other A-Levels, and pairs well with other subjects from the social sciences and humanities. The exam board is OCR and assessment consists of three two-hour exams (with three full-length essays and no shorter questions on each) at the end of the second year.

This qualification is designed 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.

OCR A-Level Religious Studies course aims to engage learners thoroughly and develop an interest in religious studies which extends beyond the classroom and can be applied to the world around them.

The course is split into three components:

  • Philosophy of Religion: ancient philosophical influences (Plato and Aristotle); 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.
  • Religion and Ethics: normative ethical theories (utilitarianism, Kantianism, natural law, and situation ethics); the application of ethical theory to two contemporary issues of importance (business ethics and euthanasia); ethical language and thought (meta-ethics); debates surrounding the significant idea of conscience; sexual ethics and the influence on ethical thought of developments in religious beliefs.
  • Developments in Christian Thought: religious beliefs, values and teachings, their interconnections and how they vary historically and in the contemporary world (Augustine on human nature, death and the afterlife); sources of religious wisdom and authority (knowledge of God' existence, Jesus); practices which shape and express religious identity, and how these vary within a tradition (Christian moral principles, Christian moral action); significant social and historical developments in theology and religious thought (religious pluralism and theology, religious pluralism and society); key themes related to the relationship between religion and society (gender and society, gender and theology, secularism, liberation theology and Marx).

The assessment method is 100% exam.


The skills that you will learn in religious studies will be useful to you in any number of degrees/careers; sociology, philosophy, politics, teaching, youth work or civil service to name just a few.


If you are studying at Attlee A Level Academy:

You will be assessed in two three hour written exams covering each component at the end of the second year of the course.

The course is split into two components:

A) Philosophy of religion and ethics:

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

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

B) Study of religion and dialogues

Focusing on Islam you will study the following topics: Sources of wisdom and authority, God, Self, death and 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.

The dialogue between the philosophy of religion and religion. How religion is influenced by and has an influence on philosophy of religion in relation to the issues studied.

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.

Philosophy of Religion: The existence of god, evil & suffering, Miracles and self, life after death

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 and Bentham and Kant

Study of Religion: Sources of wisdom and authority/Gods/ultimate reality, Self, death and afterlife, gender and sexuality/science/secularisation/pluralism

Select your campus option to apply

What Can This Course Lead To

Progress to university, further study or employment.

The skills that you will learn in religious studies will be useful to you in any number of degrees/careers; Sociology, Philosophy, Politics, Teaching, Youth work or Civil Service to name a few.

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Financial Support

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