Religious StudiesA Level Religious Studies focuses on Philosophy of Religion and Ethics. It also involves detailed reference to the Judeo-Christian tradition as well as to other religions, notably Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism.
What is Religious Studies?
RS is a wide-ranging, academic discipline and one of the fastest growing subjects in UK schools. An understanding of issues central to Religious Studies is of great value in making sense of today’s world, indeed of human life as a whole. The subject will appeal to students who enjoy the analysis and discussion of many of life’s fundamental questions, or who want to understand the convictions of others, as well as examining their own beliefs and values.
What is Religious Studies at DLD?
The AQA A-level Religious Studies syllabus is studied over two years. Students may also choose to study for an AS qualification in one year. The course is taught class discussion, study of textual extracts and relevant video materials. Homework tasks include writing essays, evaluating textbook chapters and revising for class tests.
How is it assessed?
|AS Religious Studies||Weighting||Format|
Philosophy of Religion 1
|25%||1 hour 45 minutes exam|
|Christianity and Ethics 1||25%||1 hour 45 minutes exam|
|A-level Religious Studies||Weighting||Format|
Philosophy of Religion 2
|25%||3 hour exam|
|Christianity and Ethics 2||25%||3 hour exam|
Exam Board: AQA
What do I need?
You need to have a genuine interest in this subject. You should also have the ability to discuss and reflect upon a wide variety of ideas and opinions in a thoughtful and broad-minded way. Given this, you are likely to enjoy the course and gain much benefit from it.
Good subject combinations
Due to its wide-ranging nature, Religious Studies has connections with many other A level courses. For example, the following topics that we study illustrate these links:
English Literature: considering varying interpretations of the Genesis creation story; the nature of William Wordsworth’s mysticism; virtue and vice in Dante’s Divine Comedy
Psychology: the religious thinking of Freud and Jung; psychological understandings of religious experience, morality and evil; near-death and paranormal experience
Sociology: the religious thought of Marx; secularisation; fundamentalism
Politics: Liberal and conservative religious perspectives; utilitarianism; utopianism; human rights
History: history of philosophy; history of ideas; the Enlightenment; Nazism and Communism
Science: Big Bang and evolutionary theories; medical ethics; Social Darwinism; Quantum theory; nanotechnology; futurism: environmentalism; global issues, e.g. threats to civilization
Geography: environmentalism; global issues, e.g. threats to civilization.
The academic nature of Religious Studies and its emphasis on essay writing and critical thinking skills mean that is provides an ideal preparation for future study at university. An A level qualification in Religious Studies is highly regarded by universities when considering student applications. Issues relating to religion are of increasing significance and relevance in today’s society, and a grounding in religious ideas, as well as the skills developed in Religious Studies, would be of great value in many professions, including the media, the arts, psychology and law.
Q. Do I need to be religious to take this subject?
A. No. You may belong to any religion or none.
Q: Are some of the same topics covered in both the first and second years?
A: Yes, but in more depth in the second year.
Entry Requirements for international students
To study A Levels, your current or pending exam results should be equivalent to or higher than GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) in at least 5 subjects and a minimum level of English equivalent to IELTS 5.0.
At the start of each academic year of study students following an A-Level course without a pass at grade C in GCSE or IGCSE English Language or with an Academic English score below 6.5 overall must join an Academic English training course for the duration of the academic year which will be timetabled alongside A-Level lessons.
If your level of English is not sufficient to meet the entry criteria for the A-Level programme you will normally be offered a place on the Abbey DLD Colleges One Year Pre-sessional (Pre A-Level) in order to bring your English skills up to the required level.
Religious Studies is an intellectually stimulating and satisfying subject which challenges your beliefs and values by addressing life’s most important questions. I enjoy the stimulating, ethical and philosophical debates considering many of the most important issues in the contemporary world, from both religious and secular points of view. RS has introduced me to many new ideas and broadened my intellectual horizons in an enjoyable way.
Elmo Spethmann – current DLD student