Where is the course delivered?
- Bridgwater campus
Who is the course for?
You don't need divine intervention to see that, for better or for worse, religion plays a major part in national and international affairs. A-Level Religious Studies is therefore relevant to us all – believers, agnostics and atheists. This course encourages you to engage critically with contemporary moral and ethical issues, as well as exploring the nature of religion and its relation to the modern world.
What does the course involve?
Religious Studies is not about being religious, it is about increasing your self-awareness and enhancing your critical faculties. We will examine some of life’s big questions - Is there a meaning to life? What happens when we die? What is morality? Does God exist? The course is divided into two components assessed over two years:
- Component 1: A study of Christianity and the philosophy of religion, including an exploration of differing Christian beliefs about God, the afterlife, and sources of wisdom and authority. In addition, students will explore arguments for the existence of God, the problem of evil and suffering, and the nature of religious experience.
- Component 2: A study of Christianity and ethics, including an exploration of key moral principles and Christian religious identity. In addition, students will explore a variety of ethical theories, including natural moral law and virtue ethics, and consider the effectiveness of applying these theories to issues such as abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment and animal rights.
- Component 1: Students will continue their study of Christianity and the philosophy of religion, developing their understanding of material covered in the AS year. In addition, students will explore the nature of religious language, evaluate different understandings of ‘miracles’, and examine the dialogue between philosophy and religion.
- Component 2: Students will continue their study of Christianity and ethics, developing their understanding of material covered in the AS year. In addition, students will explore the relationship between Christianity and other faiths as well as Christianity and sexual identity. Students will also explore ethical theories in more depth, considering the meaning of right and wrong and exploring the ideas of philosophers such as Bentham and Kant.
What makes this course special?
Your lecturers are highly experienced and our students have consistently achieved high grades, performing well above national benchmarks.
We aim to stretch and challenge students, developing their wider knowledge and understanding of the role and influence of religion in modern society. There will be opportunities to participate in educational visits to a variety of locations. Furthermore, our students have benefitted from talks by acknowledged experts in the field of religion and ethics such as Professor A.C. Grayling.
Minimum of five GCSEs A* to C or 9 to 5 is recommended for A Level study, including English and another essay style subject at grade B.
Essay style subjects include English Literature, English Language, History, Geography, Religious Studies, Media Studies, Psychology, Sociology and Humanities.
What are the assessment methods?
Assessments will be completed in June of Year 2:
- Component 1: Written examination, lasting 3 hours (50% of the A-Level qualification).
- Component 2: Written examination, lasting 3 hours (50% of the A-Level qualification).
How long is the course?
What are the progression options?
Many well-known figures have studied theology and religious studies at undergraduate level before going on to pursue their chosen career path. These include the man who laid the foundations for the theory of evolution, Charles Darwin, and the actor and comedian Miles Jupp, who is perhaps most famous for his role as Archie the Inventor in the children’s TV series Balamory.
Theology and religious studies graduates are well known as possessing a wide range of qualities which are highly valued by employers. Such qualities include the ability to understand the meaning of complex written documents, in addition to empathy and an ability to understand people and respect others' views.
The assumption that all religious studies graduates go on to work as members of the clergy is an outdated stereotype. Instead, religious studies graduates find employment in a broad variety of professions such as teaching, law, finance, publishing, journalism, social work, and youth work.