Religious Studies (Philosophy & Ethics)

What will you do on this course?

The questions that philosophy investigates are the most profound questions that we can ask. Can we prove that God does or does not exist? Is there a meaning to life? Is there life after death? Which is the real me – my mind or my body? What do we mean by good and evil?

On this course we discuss how different philosophers have answered these questions, from Plato and Aristotle to Wittgenstein and Dawkins, and many more along the way. In order to develop  a critical approach to ethical issues we will analyse a range of philosophical and theological approaches to controversial issues such as gender equality and euthanasia, business ethics and moral decision-making. We also look at the development of religion today, and how the role of belief and ideas shape the fabric of the society we live in.

How will you be assessed?

Three two-hour written examinations at the end of the Upper Sixth:

  • Paper 1: “Philosophy of religion”, includes ancient philosophical influences, the soul, the problem of evil and argument for the existence of God.
  • Paper 2: “Religion and ethics”, includes conscience, sexual ethics and normative ethics.
  • Paper 3: “Developments in Religious Thought”, includes historical development of theology, religious pluralism and Christianity in the contemporary world.

What could this course lead to?

Religious Studies (Philosophy and Ethics) helps you develop your ability to think critically, to write and to debate. The subject teaches transferable skills that are helpful in all future careers, such as challenging preconceptions and seeing issues from a range of perspectives. This A Level can lead to a study of either philosophy or theology at university, as well as being a good support to almost any other subject being studied. Studying philosophy also leads to self- understanding. It equips you to think independently and COME to new solutions to the questions we face in the world today.

What syllabus do you follow?

OCR H573