Religious Studies has been added to My Courses


Course specifics

Entry Requirements

  • A minimum of 5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above (including English Language). Level 2 vocational qualifications (e.g. BTEC/OCR) must be a merit grade or above and only one will count as one GCSE equivalent.
  • A good standard of essay writing is essential



Exam board: OCR

100%of students who started the course last September feel well supported (Feb. '19 Student Survey)

Religious Studies A-level consists of 3 main areas of study in Philosophy, Ethics and Religious Thought.

Philosophy you will study theories about the creation of the universe and the existence of God. You will also examine the debate over whether God and evil and suffering can co-exist.

Ethics You will study how people come to make decisions on a whole range of issues such as sexual behaviour (pornography, homosexuality), marriage and divorce, war and peace. You will ask big questions: How should I behave? How must I live? Is honesty always really necessary? Is killing a person ever justified? 

Religious Thought you will focus on the key beliefs and practices of Christianity. This will also provide an opportunity to reflect on and explore the place and role of religion in the modern world.



The three main areas of study:

Philosophy of Religion

  • Ancient Greek Philosophy
  • Soul, Mind and Body
  • The Existence of God
  • Experience
  • The Problem of Evil
  • Nature of God
  • Religious Language


  • Four Ethical Theories
  • Ethical Language
  • Conscience
  • Business Ethics, Euthanasia and Sexual Ethics

Religious Thought

  • Beliefs about God, Humans, Life After Death
  • Sources of Belief
  • Morality and Action
  • Religious Pluralism
  • Religion and Society
  • Contemporary Challenges

What is Religious Studies?

Methods of Teaching and Learning

The course is tutored by well-qualified staff who use a range of teaching methods – incorporating both group and individual tasks.  Students will be asked to prepare presentations and to participate in structured discussion and analysis of arguments.  There are frequent written tasks.  Independent guided reading or primary texts will be essential for those aspiring to higher grades.

Methods of Assessment

This is a two year A-level course. At the end of the two years you will sit three 2 hour papers, one for each taught unit, each worth one third of the marks.  Each paper requires students to write 3 essays chosen from 4 questions covering the topic areas studied.   The skills for each paper are the same, it is the content that will vary from one paper to the next.


Resources for this subject include an excellent range of text books and theological literature in the LRC and classroom library. Website and PowerPoint presentations as well as thorough teaching resources and worksheet activities provide much support for students of this course.

Year 12 students studying causality

Year 12 students studying causality


There are opportunities to hear visiting speakers at college on a variety of related topics and to participate in student conferences locally. In April 2019 Stephen Law, author of The Philosophy Gym delivered a highly informative revision conference.

There is also a busy Chaplaincy programme at St Brendan’s which offers students who are interested in religion to explore faith further and to engage in a variety of social justice issues through a certificated CAFOD Young Leaders programme.


RS Students at Bristol Cathedral Conference on Life after Death

RS Students at Bristol Cathedral Conference on Life after Death


Religious Studies is invaluable to anyone as a citizen in our increasingly globalised world. It is an excellent foundation for students going on to any degree course, as well as good training for careers in law, medicine, public service, journalism and media. It develops the ability to analyse and evaluate arguments and other perspectives concerning religion and culture.


No charges are expected, although there are a variety of optional extra-curricular opportunities which will incur costs.