Examination body: OCR
‘Who knows what is good for mortals while they live the few days of their futile life, which they pass like a shadow?’ - Solomon (Ecclesiastes 6:12).
Is it always wrong to steal? Is mortality universal? Is there a purpose to our lives? Are we all just a random biological accident? This subject addresses some of the ultimate questions of the meaning of life and purpose of our existence, as well as concepts of right and wrong. We will study ideas from some of the all-time great philosophers including Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Descartes and Bentham.
Religious Studies is a suitable A Level to lead to further study in Philosophy, Divinity, Theology, Biblical Studies and Ethics. It provides a good supporting subject to other arts subjects such as Law, Business Studies, History, Psychology, Geography, English and Politics.
Religious Studies can be useful for careers in education, law, social work, politics, youth work, the police, counselling, journalism or the media, as well as the more obvious religious careers, such as clergy. The ethical components of the course also are useful for those pursuing science subjects with a view to a medical or veterinary career.
There are no requirements over and above those laid down for Sixth Form entry. However, an interest in philosophy and ethics is advantageous. A willingness and ability to write extended answers is also required as issues are analysed in depth and in detail in exam questions.
Delivery and assessment
The A Level is a synoptic two year course assessed by three examinations at the end of Year 13. Each exam is two hours and worth 33.3% of the total A Level. The new specification includes a section on developments in religious thoughts as well as philosophy of religion and ethical systems. This is to give a more even balance between the three elements of Religion Philosophy and Ethics.There is no coursework.