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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
Albemarle Independent Private College in Central London


AS Course Outline

What is Religious Studies?

Religious Studies

Religious Studies at AS level aims to equip the students with an ability to investigate some fundamental questions about human life and beliefs. This course is designed for a wide range of students who want to explore these areas, whilst also engaging with individual, moral, ethical, social, cultural and contemporary issues.

Religious Studies allows students to express their personal responses to fundamental questions and encourages them to explore these topics and build informed, well-articulated arguments for and against these issues.

Religious Studies will help develop your key skills in communication, working with others, problem solving and improving your own learning. It will also give you skills in making decisions about moral problems, and help you to become sure about your own beliefs and explain them clearly to others. It is not about making you religious, it is about enabling you to think for yourself about religious and moral issues. You do not need a ‘faith’ to enjoy this course - atheists are just as welcome as curious believers.

Is Religious Studies for me?

Religious Studies

This course will suit anyone with an interest in philosophy, ethics and religion. It prepares you for employment and Higher Education, developing in-depth knowledge as well as broad skills of critical thinking and reasoning. Students are encouraged to reflect on and develop their own values, beliefs and attitudes. It equips students with the essential tools and qualities to enable them to function both effectively and efficiently as responsible, broad-minded citizens in an increasingly pluralistic society and global community.

The subject provides a good intellectual challenge for students of humanities and those studying the sciences. The study of Ethics is especially useful for students of Medicine, as a foundation for Medical Ethics. Students gain critical and evaluative skills sought by higher education and employers; these skills are vitally important in all careers especially professions such as law, enforcement, education, social work, politics, administration and the media, in fact any profession that brings you into contact with other people.


Component 1: An Introduction to the Study of Religion - Hinduism
In the Study of Religion topic we look at a chosen religion, Hinduism, and investigate its views on God, self, death and the afterlife, sources of wisdom and authority, festivals and worship.

Component 2: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion
This module deals with arguments for the existence of God; challenges to religious belief 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.

Component 3: Introduction to Religion and Ethics
This module has a theoretical and a practical aspect: key moral principles (such as Utilitarianism and Natural Law) are considered and then applied to practical issues such as abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, animal experimentation and nuclear weapons as a deterrent.

What skills do I need for AS Religious Studies?

Whilst a GCSE in the subject is desirable, it isn't essential. Religious Studies is very accessible provided you have an interest in world religions. A strong grade in an essay-based GCSE, for example English, is a big plus. Alongside these skills, you need to have a keen interest in the subject, including a desire to broaden your knowledge and understanding of religion, philosophy and ethics, and to develop your skills in critical thinking and analysis.

Structure of the course
This course will be taught for 5 x 50 minute lessons per week. The study of the subject is divided between Study of Religion, Philosophy of Religion and Religion and Ethics. 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.

Introductory Reading:
DK, The Religions Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained, DK, ISBN: 978-1409324911
Dave Robinson, Judy Groves Introducing Philosophy: A Graphic Guide, Icon; ISBN: 978-1840468533

Religious Studies

Core Textbook:
Richard Gray and Karl Lawson, WJEC/Eduqas Religious Studies for A Level Year 1 & AS Philosophy of Religion and Religion and Ethics, Illuminate Publishing ISBN: 978-1908682994

Further Reading:
Brian Davies. An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion, OUP. ISBN: 0199263477
Julia Driver Ethics: The Fundamentals, Wiley-Blackwell, ISBN: 978-1405111546