GCE A Level Religious Studies

Duration:

One/Two years.

Specification:

OCR

Further details are available from their website.

Entry Requirements/Student Suitability:

Students are required to reach the Wadebridge Sixth Form Level 3 entry criteria. In addition, a Grade B or above in Religious Education and English Language is required.

Course Content:

Philosophy of Religion

  • Ancient philosophical influences
  • Existence or non-existence of God
  • Nature and impact of religious experience
  • The problem of evil
  • The nature of soul, mind and body
  • The possibility of life after death
  • Ideas about the nature of God 
  • Ideas in religious language
Religion and Ethics
  • Normative ethical theories - Natural Law, Situation Ethics, Kant, Utilitarianism
  • Application of ethical theory to euthanasia and business ethics
  • Ethical language and thought
  • Conscience and free will
  • Debates around the idea of conscience
  • Sexual ethics and the influence on ethical thought of developments in religious beliefs
Buddhism
  • The Buddha
  • Three marks and samsara
  • Four Noble Truths
  • Meditation
  • Mahayana Buddhism
  • Buddhism and gender
  • Engaged Buddhism
(The bold content is the extra content studied for the A Level qualification)

For further information, please see the exam board website.

Methods of Study:
  • Debates/discussion on up-to-date ethical issues.
  • Relevant videos/documentaries/news articles.
  • Group work on presentations, posters etc.
  • Creative revision techniques and practice exam questions.

Assessment: 

100% examination
3 x 75 minute exams (AS Level)
3 x 2 hour exams (A Level)

Independent Study Time:

A successful RS student will have a keen interest in, and desire to understand, human diversity, different cultures and world views.  They should have an enquiring, critical and reflective approach, and be willing to evaluate different systems for determining what is right and what is wrong!  They should also be keen to debate current ethical issues and reflect on their own values, opinions and attitudes.  

Students are expected to keep up-to-date with developments and laws surrounding the ethical issues studied, e.g. by studying the news and relevant documentaries.  They will also need to develop their knowledge of Buddhism, and its relation to the wider world, through independent research from books and the internet.  As well as this, they will need to complete practice exam questions on a regular basis to develop writing and communication skills.  

Progression and the Future:

RS is conducive to a number of higher education courses; such as English, History, Sociology, Philosophy and Politics.  In RS you will develop skills of investigation, analysis, interpretation, evaluation, communication and debate.  These are useful in a number of careers; from teaching or youth work, to journalism or government.  If you are thinking of a career in Law or Medicine, then an RS A-Level is looked upon favourably.  In addition, RS is an obvious benefit to anyone who wishes to work or travel abroad.  

Subject Contacts:

Mrs L Gregory, Curriculum Area Leader

How to Apply:

The Application Process begins in February of each year.  Please contact Sarah Fisher, Sixth Form Administrator, for further information or to request an application form.

Click here for a printable version of this subject specification.

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