Religious Studies (A Level)
What Do I Need To Study This Course?
Grade 6+ in GCSE RS and a grade 6+ in GCSE English (Literature or Language).
Students who did not take GCSE RS will be considered with a grade 6+ in GCSE English (Literature or Language).
What Will I Study?
This A Level is a study of Philosophy, Ethics and Judaism. You will learn about Philosophical issues and questions; the nature and influence of religious experience; problems of evil and suffering and philosophical language. There will be four themes within this component: arguments for the existence of God; challenges to religious belief; religious experience and religious language.
In Ethics you will study significant concepts and issues and debates in religion and ethics; Medical ethics and ethical language. There will be four themes within this component: ethical thought; deontological ethics; teleological ethics; determinism and free will.
Your study of religion will include Jewish religious beliefs, values and teachings; sources of wisdom and authority and practices that shape religious identity.
How Will I Be Assessed?
There are 3 examinations of equal weighting which are all essay based:
Philosophy (33.3%), Ethics (33.3%), Judaism (33.3%)
Degrees linked to Religious Studies A Level:
- Philosophy Degree
- Religious Studies Degree
- Theology Degree
- PPE – Philosophy, Politics & Economics Degree
Jobs where studying Religious Studies could be useful include:
- Primary/ Secondary school teacher
- Human resources
- Police officer
- Youth and Community worker
- Social work
- Public sector work
Suggested Reading List
Reading and Film List
Philosophy of Religion and Ethics
- Peter Vardy, The Puzzle of Ethics (William Collins, 1999)
- Peter Vardy, The Puzzle of God (Harper Collins, 1999)
- Peter Vardy, The Puzzle of Evil (Fount, 1999)
- Tim Bayne, Philosophy of Religion: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2018)
- Brian Clack, An Introduction to Wittgenstein’s Philosophy of Religion (Edinburgh University Press, 1991)
- George Pattison, A Short Course in the Philosophy of Religion (SCM Press, 2009)
- Richard Swinburne, The Existence of God (Clarendon Press, 2004)
- Norman Soloman, Judaism: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2014)
- Dan Cohn-Sherbok, Judaism: History, Belief and Practice (Routledge, 2003)
- Jacob Neusner, Torah Through the Ages: a Short History of Judaism (Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2004)
- Wayne Dostick, Living Judaism: The Complete Guide to Jewish Belief (HarperCollins, 2010)
- Pete Tobias, Liberal Judaism: A Judaism for the Twenty-First Century (Liberal Judaism, 2013)
- Judith Plaskow, Standing Again at Sinai: Judaism from a Feminist Perspective
- (Bravo Ltd, 1991)
3 interesting Ted Talks that will get you thinking like an A Level RS student:
- Ted Talk by Kwame Anthony Appiah — Is Religion Good or Bad? (This is a trick question)
- Ted Talk by Damon Horowitz – We Need a Moral Operating System
- Ted Talk by Tom Honey – Why Would God Create A Tsunami?
- Watch The Matrix (film). Note down your thoughts on the themes of truth, perception and reality.
- Watch Lost (TV series). What moral and ethical points does this raise?
- God on Trial ( film). What responses are given to the Holocaust ?