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Religion, Philosophy & Ethics

Religious beliefs and practices continue to play an essential part in today's world. A clear understanding of them can help us to better comprehend the world around us, its possible futures as much as its past.
What is Religion, Philosophy and Ethics?

Religion, Philosophy and Ethics is a wide-ranging, academic discipline and one of the fastest growing subjects in UK schools. An understanding of issues central to this subject 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 Religion, Philosophy and Ethics at DLD?

The course focuses on Christianity, Islam and Ethical Issues. It involves detailed reference to the Judeo-Christian tradition, as well as contemporary issues and secular perspectives. The course is taught primarily through class discussion, study of textual extracts and relevant online and DVD materials. Homework tasks include writing essays, evaluating textbook chapters and revising for class tests. It naturally complements subjects such as English, History and Art and is an increasingly popular option at GCSE nationwide.

What You Will Study

The AQA GCSE course consists of two units, each of which is assessed by an exam of 90 minutes:

Component 1: The study of religions: beliefs, teachings and practices


Key beliefs: the nature of God; beliefs about creation; life after death.
Jesus Christ and salvation; sin; the incarnation, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus; atonement and salvation.
Worship and festivals: liturgical, non-liturgical, informal and private worship; prayer; the sacraments, particularly baptism and Holy Communion; pilgrimage; Christmas and Easter.
The role of the Church in the local and worldwide community: food banks and street pastors; mission and evangelism; work for reconciliation; responses to persecution; the work of CAFOD.


Key Beliefs: the articles of faith of Sunni and Shi’a Islam; the nature of God; angels; predestination and freedom; life after death.
Authority: prophets; the Quran and other holy books; the imamate in Shi’a Islam.
Worship: five pillars of Sunni Islam and the ten obligatory acts of Shi’a Islam; the shahadah; prayer.
Duties and festivals: fasting, charity, hajj and jihad.

Component 2: Thematic studies

Religious, philosophical and ethical studies themes
Relationships and families: sex, marriage, divorce, the family and gender equality.
Religion, peace and conflict: violence, terrorism, just war theory, pacifism and weapons of mass destruction.
Religion, crime and punishment: reasons for crime, the aims of punishment, corporal punishment, capital punishment, forgiveness.
Religion, human rights and social justice: racial and religious prejudice and discrimination, human rights, social justice, wealth and poverty.

What do I need?

Most importantly 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.


Q: Do I need to be religious to take this subject?
A: You may belong to any religion or none.

“Studying GCSE Religion, Philosophy & Ethics at DLD was an enriching experience and definitely the right decision for me as I enjoyed the challenge of studying two major world religions. The diversity of beliefs in the class also provided stimulating debate on a range of important contemporary issues.”

Serena Bhandari – DLD Graduate

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