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Sixth Form

Religious Studies

Course Title: Religious Studies (Philosophy, Ethics and Religion)



Exam Board: Edexcel



What is it all about?


There are three sections to A level Religious Studies: Philosophy, Ethics and Religion

Philosophy of Religion is about all the different ways philosophers have proved that God exists…and other philosophers have proved God does not exist…over the past 2000 years. We look at Design, Cosmology, Evil and Suffering, Miracles and more.

In the Ethics section, we look at ethical theories such as utilitarianism (the theory that says we should make ethical decisions based on what makes the majority of the people happy), and applied ethics (the places we apply these theories, such as sexual ethics, the environment and war).

We study Judaism as our religion, which builds on the GCSE (but is not necessary if you haven’t done GCSE). Judaism is an old religion, and we look at the theology, philosophy and ethics of this faith.

The three strands of this A level interleave. It is rigorous, challenging and deeply fascinating.


Want to know more?


How will I be assessed?

There are three exam papers, each of 1.45 hours. These have a mixture of shorter answer questions and longer, essay style questions. There is no coursework element to A level Religious Studies


What are the entrance requirements?

You do not need to have done GCSE RE to do A level, but you do need to have a grasp of written English and an enquiring mind.

4 GCSEs at grade 4+ is the minimum requirement


What skills do I need?


Successful students demonstrate an enquiring mind, a love of reading and an interest in critical thinking. Essay writing skills will be learned during the course, but the want to research deeper is something which you must bring with you.


Future prospects?

A level RS is greatly appreciated by universities as students have acquired skills in critical thinking, essay writing, research methods and deep investigation. These skills will be needed in all arts and humanities degrees, and many science-based courses. If you want to take RS further, there are some excellent degree courses around the country, including in Russell Group universities.

If further education is not where you want to go, careers such as the armed forces, the police force and personnel management all highly value the study of religion in their applicants, as it demonstrates a way of looking at the world and the people in it which is needed.


What do our students say?


‘Religious Studies is the hardest subject I studied, but it is the most interesting. We are never bored!’


It is so much more than just religion. It goes really well with my other subjects, there are many places where it crosses over in content and skills.


‘This is messing with my head, Miss’





A class of Y12 students answers questions from Mrs Watson about the Religious Education course, what topics are covered, what a typical lesson looks like and what skills a student needs to take the course.

Coast and Vale Learning Trust

About Coast and Vale Learning Trust

The Coast and Vale Learning Trust in Scarborough aims to improve education in the locality through establishing coherent and collaborative practice across schools and other educational institutions in the area.

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