Religious Studies

PHILOSOPHY AND ETHICS

Awarding body:  OCR

Advanced Subsidiary GCE in Religious Studies H172                                                        
Advanced GCE in Religious Studies         H572

 Course content and examination requirements:

The Greek philosopher, Socrates, once said “the unexamined life is not worth living.” A level Religious Studies explores selected topics in philosophy and ethics, providing students with the tools they need to critically examine their own lives as well as the world in which they live.  It is one of the fastest growing subjects at A level, teaching students not what to think, but how to think critically.

Entry requirements:

Grade A in Religious Studies at GCSE level is a minimum requirement.

A critical and enquiring mind as well as the ability to manage independent study will be an asset in this subject.

Relevance to further studies and careers:

In studying this subject, students will acquire a range of skills such as analysis, interpretation, critical thinking and the ability to critique an argument as well as formulate an effective response to an argument.  These are skills that will prepare students well for a range of courses in higher education, and employment.

Teaching staff / further information:

Miss M Ryan (Philosophy)

Mrs S Blackman (Ethics)

Year 12 – AS Units

Unit 1  G571 AS Philosophy of Religion

This unit comprises 50% of the AS mark and 25% of the total A level.  It is externally assessed by means of a one hour and thirty minutes written exam.

It explores the foundations of philosophy of religion, including a study of Ancient Greek as well as Judaeo- Christian influences on philosophy of religion.  Students study the traditional arguments for the existence of God and challenges to religious belief.

Unit 2  G572 AS Religious Ethics

This unit comprises 50% of the AS mark and 25% of the total A level.  It is externally assessed by means of a one hour and thirty minutes written exam.

The focus is on an in-depth study of the principal ethical theories, including absolute and relative morality, natural law, Kantian ethics and utilitarianism, and how these can be applied to the issues of abortion, euthanasia, embryology and war.

Year 13 – A2 Units (full GCE)

Unit 3  G581 A2 Philosophy of Religion

This unit comprises 25% of the total A level.  It is externally assessed by means of a one hour and thirty minutes written exam.

Work builds on that done at AS and looks at the topics of religious language, experience and religion; the nature of God; life and death and miracles.

Unit 4  G582 A2 Religious Ethics

This unit comprises 25% of the total A level.  It is externally assessed by means of a one hour and thirty minutes written exam.

Again, this unit complements the work done at AS level and focuses on the topics of meta-ethics, including the ideas of free-will and determinism. Students then study the nature and role of conscience as well as virtue ethics, before exploring how these ideas apply to Business and Environmental ethics.