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An award winning sixth-form college in the heart of Central London offering a wide range of GCSE and A-Level courses

The quality of the curriculum, teaching and learners' achievements is excellent

T (+44) 20 7409 7273
Albemarle Independent College, 18 Dunraven Street, Mayfair, London W1K 7FE


A-Level Course Outline

Religious Studies

What is Religious Studies?

Religious Studies at A Level aims to equip the students with an ability to investigate some fundamental questions about human life and belief, such as

We also look at a chosen religion, Christianity, and investigate its views on God, self, death and the afterlife and sources of wisdom and authority.

Students gain critical and evaluative skills sought by higher education and employers - particularly in law, education, social work, politics, medicine, administration and the media. Religious studies is a thought provoking subject and our contemporary themes will help you inspire engaging classroom discussion.

The course is composed of three components all examined in June by means of essay questions. There is no coursework. Several lessons are dedicated exclusively to exam practice and the students are guided through past papers in order to develop a useful method for answering exam questions. These test the critical and evaluative ability of students, as well as their knowledge and understanding of the topics.

The study of the subject is divided between Study of Religion, Philosophy of Religion and Religion and Ethics. The Study of Religion component deals with and consists of four themes with Christianity: religious figures and sacred texts; religious concepts; religious life; and religious practices.

The Philosophy of Religion module deals with arguments for the existence of God; challenges to religious belief - the problem of evil and suffering; and concepts surrounding religious experience. It examines various attempts to demonstrate the existence of God and challenges to it such as the problem of evil and evolution and goes on to consider the nature of religious experience.

The Religion and Ethics module looks at ethical language; Aquinas' Natural Law; Fletcher's Situation Ethics and Utilitarianism. The module has a theoretical and a practical aspect: key moral principles are considered and then applied to practical issues such as abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, animal experimentation and nuclear weapons as a deterrent.

Courses based on this specification should encourage students to:

Is Religious Studies for me?

This course will suit anyone with an interest in philosophy, ethics and religion. This is not the same as 'faith': atheists who enjoy arguing about metaphysics are just as welcome as curious believers. We treat Religious Studies as a philosophical subject. Christianity is the default religion for the course, but the majority of issues are applicable to any religion or none. The subject provides a good intellectual challenge for students of humanities and is a sound balancing factor in a wholly scientific curriculum. The study of Ethics is especially useful for students of Medicine, as a foundation for Medical Ethics.

AS Specification

Religious Studies

Structure of the course

This course will be taught for 6x 1hour lessons per week. Homework is set for every other lesson and deadlines must be adhered to. Furthermore, it is essential that the set texts are read and comprehensive notes are taken from them, so as to aid revision.

Suggested Reading

WJEC/Eduqas Religious Studies for A Level Year 1 & AS - Philosophy of Religion and Religion and Ethics
Richard Gray and Karl Lawson
Illuminate Publishing
ISBN10 190868299X