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Philosophy, Ethics & Religious Studies

Subject Area: Humanities
Level: TWO-YEAR A Level
Exam Board: OCR
Syllabus No:

What do I need to study this course?

This subject it does not require any previous study of the subject. It is suitable for students with an open and enquiring mind, who enjoy engaging with challenging concepts and ideas and who enjoy or who are willing to develop extended reading and writing skills. Students wishing to register for the subject must have a minimum qualification of a grade 4 in English Language at GCSE.


What will I study?

The A level consists of three specific strands; Philosophy of Religion, Ethics and the development of Christian thought. Over the two years you will study a wide range of different topics that address issues that affect modern society.

Philosophy – In year one you will look into the possible arguments for/against the existence of God; the ‘problem of suffering’ and evil, religious experience and miracles, as well as considering the challenge to religious belief from science and sociology. In year two you will also study the nature of God issues in religious language.

Ethics – In year one a number of secular and religious theories of morality will be studied; how they may be applied to issues in medicine and other areas of contemporary importance. In year two issues in sexual relationships will be explored, as well as considering questions such as what do we mean by having free will or a conscience.

Development in Christian thought – Key questions surrounding the nature of God, who is Jesus? What is human nature like? What happens when we die? In you second year you will consider debates about interpreting the bible as well as religious belief in a contemporary multi-faith/secular society as well as issues such as gender and Liberation Theology will be considered.


What next?

Religious Studies is highly regarded as an entry qualification for further and higher education courses. The analytical, questioning approach involved in its study, nurtures skills that are prized by  universities and employers; including innovative thinking, clarity of thought and communication skills. It also fosters the writing and research skills that are the bedrock for all degree courses and wider employment opportunities. It is considered as a valuable area of study in a number of different fields; including broadcasting, journalism, publishing and teaching as well areas such as business, law, medicine and social care all of which rely on an ethical or philosophical perspective.