A Level Religious Studies


What Will I Study?

How Will I be Assessed?

What Next?

Why Study A Level Religious Studies?

Suggested Reading

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A Level

Examination Board



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%)

What Next?

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)

Ted Talks

3 interesting Ted Talks that will get you thinking like an A Level RS student:

Films/ TV

  • 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 ?


Why Study A Level Religious Studies?