A Level inReligious Studies

Religious Studies is a fascinating subject that covers some of humanity's oldest questions. Within this A level we explore issues concerning morality and philosophy, as well as the development of religious beliefs through history, and the impact of religious issues on contemporary society. We begin our studies by examining differing ethical approaches to modern issues such as embryo research, capital punishment and the use of animals in scientific research .

We will examine philosophical responses to the arguments for the existence of God, and to the problem of suffering, analysing how the arguments work and critiquing the evidence they draw upon. We will consider the philosophical debate concerning whether or not freewill exists, or whether our behaviour is causally determined. We will explore the development of Christian beliefs in the afterlife, and the influence of scientific understanding on Christian beliefs.

We will explore how Christian views around gender and sexuality have developed and how the religion is responding to social changes. Students examine the arguments, critically analyse the evidence, and reach informed conclusions about these fascinating philosophical issues and religious debates.

Course Content

Year 12:
In your first year, you will develop a firm understanding of ethical systems and key responses to key debates in the Philosophy of Religion.

Philosophy of Religion:

  • Arguments for the existence of God
  • Evil and suffering.
  • Religious experience.
  • Religious language.
  • Miracles.
  • Self and life after death.

Ethics and Religion

  • Ethical theories.
  • Issues of human life and death.
  • Issues of animal life and death.
  • Conscience - psychological and religious views.
  • Free will and moral responsibility.
  • Bentham and Kant.

Year 13:
In your second year you will look at topics concerning religion and the modern world, before exploring the relationship between religion and philosophy.
Study of Christianity

  • Religion, gender and sexuality.
  • Religion and science.
  • Religion and secularisation.
  • Views on the concept and characteristics of God.
  • Good conduct and key moral principles.
  • Expression of religious identity.

The dialogue between philosophy of religion and Christianity:
How religion is influenced by, and has an influence on philosophy, in relations to the issues studied across the A level course.

The dialogue between ethical studies and Christianity:
How religion is influenced by, and has an influence on ethical studies in relation to the issues studied across the A level course.

Features/Benefits

Students who follow the A level course develop vital academic skills, including skills relating to critical analysis, critical thinking, textual analysis, and develop an ability to comprehend complex concepts and information. Students learn to be able to construct strong logical arguments, supporting their ideas with evidence and examples. Students learn to engage with complex philosophical issues, and are able to evaluate the views of key thinkers and philosophers.

Entry Requirements

Minimum Entry Requirements:
All Loughborough College Sixth Form courses have minimum entry requirements of at least five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, including English Language and Maths.

Subject Specific Entry Requirements:
GCSE English Language at grade 5.

Please contact the International Admissions Office for further advice. international@loucoll.ac.uk

Assessment Methods

Two x 3 hour exams

Progression Opportunities

Students who wish to take the subject further can apply for degree courses in Theology, Philosophy or Religious Studies. Many students go on to study subjects like Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology, Politics, English Literature or PPE at university. Students of Religious Studies have continued on to successful careers in many fields, including law, education, business, social work, medicine, administration and the media.

Course FAQs

Is there any coursework involved in this qualification?

There is no coursework in this subject. Your final grade is based on your performance in the two exams that are sat at the end of the second year.

Do I need a GCSE in RS to take A level Religious Studies.

No. You need to be interested in philosophical issues and debates, but you do not need to have prior experience of studying religions. In fact A level Religious Studies is very different to GCSE religious studies in its approach.

What work will I be expected to complete?

You will be set an essay each week that will help us to monitor and support your progress. You will also be expected to complete some pieces of reading as well as keep up with your own personal study.

Do I have to be religious to study A level Religious Studies?

No. Religious Studies is a subject taken by students of differing faiths and none. You do not have to be religious to study this subject. Religious Studies is about the academic exploration of religious, philosophical and ethical issues that have dominated thinking for centuries and continue to be relevant to the modern world. We draw on the ideas from philosophers, theologians, and religious doctrine. We examine the relationship between concepts and teachings and reflect on their compatibility.

6th Form FAQs

DO YOU OFFER THE EXTENDED PROJECT QUALIFICATION (EPQ)?

  • Yes, but only to Year 2 students who have demonstrated in Year 1 that they have the academic ability to cope with this extra research project.

HOW MANY A LEVEL SUBJECTS DO I NEED TO TAKE?

  • You will need to choose three subjects minimum with a maximum of 4. See page 5 for more details on subject choices.

I’M INTERESTED IN A LEVELS BUT I’M NOT SURE WHICH ONES

  • That’s okay! We know that deciding on A Levels can be a long process and that you can change your mind—a lot.

    When you initially apply, we’ll ask you for your options, but you’re not tied down to these subjects. We’ll confirm your final choices at a later date.


DO I HAVE TO STUDY THE SUBJECT I WANT TO STUDY AT UNIVERSITY AS AN A LEVEL?

  • Not always; it depends on your chosen university course. Subjects like Medicine and Architecture have very specific entry requirements, whereas you can study Psychology or Law at university without having studied them at A Level. Check university entry requirements to see if they are asking for specific subjects.

ARE A LEVELS THE ONLY ROUTE INTO UNIVERSITY?

  • No. We also offer Level 3 BTEC Extended Diplomas, which are the equivalent to three A Levels and many universities accept them as an alternative.

CAN I STUDY 3 A LEVELS AND BE A PART OF THE ACADEMY OF SPORT PROGRAMME?

CAN I STUDY A DIPLOMA IN SPORT AND ONE A LEVEL?

  • Yes, but it is only recommended for high-performing students due to the demands that both courses will place on timetable and ability. We will need to ensure that your combination is suitable for future progression and doesn’t clash on the timetable.

Disclaimer

Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information contained on this website is correct, the College accepts no liability for any errors or omissions. Please note that details are subject to change without notice with regard to the provision of courses, course times and dates and the fees and charges levied.

Key Facts

Dates:

  • September 2023

Mode of Attendance:

  • Full or Part Time

Level:

3

Course Duration:

18 - 24 Months

Programme Costs:

  • The fees for this course are currently being confirmed.

Please contact the International Team for more information.

College Course Code:

  • 23/24A1QRS

OUR STUDENTS SAY

Studying at Loughborough College is a fantastic opportunity to develop yourself personally and professionally; it's an ideal launchpad to build a future career.

Mansoor Pirbhai

Mombasa, Kenya