Religious Studies, Philosophy & Applied Ethics (short course)

Exam Board: OCR

Syllabus Number: J125

Please note that this short course is the equivalent to approximately 0.5 GCSE.

Philosophy and Applied Ethics is a living subject which asks big questions and evaluates ethical issues as they evolve within a global context. The course encourages students to explore and evaluate their own beliefs whilst studying Christianity and Islam.

Students begin this course in the Upper Fourth (Year 9) as part of the core curriculum. Students take lessons (off timetable) during the Lower Fifth (Year 10) in order to study the required units of work. These sessions offer enrichment for more able students and involve a more tutorial teaching approach, extensive debate and individual research. Exams are taken at the end of Lower Fifth. There is a mock exam in January.

What will I be studying?

Section A

Learners are required to study the beliefs and teachings of: 

  • Christianity.
  • Islam.

Section B

Learners study the theme ‘Relationships and families’ within the Christian faith. Topics include: Relationships and families, religious teachings about the nature and purpose of families in the 21st century, sex, marriage, cohabitation and divorce. Issues related to the nature and purpose of families; roles of men and women; equality; gender prejudice and discrimination.

Section C 

Dialogue between religious and non religious beliefs and attitudes in Christianity. Topics include: Dialogue within and between religions and nonreligious beliefs; how those with religious and nonreligious beliefs respond to critiques of their beliefs including the study of a range of attitudes towards those with different religious views – inclusivist, exclusivist and pluralist approaches.

Is there anything else I need to know about this subject course?

Students are encouraged to follow current affairs and news, listening out for items with non-religious or cultural relevance in order to enrich and reinforce concepts being studied in lessons. Visitors representing different non-religious and non-religious communities will be invited to deliver presentations in lessons.

Examination method

Written exam 100%.