AS/A-Level Religious Studies (Eduqas)
Religious studies combines philosophy with the study of religion: so you need to be interested in the nature of religious beliefs, and be prepared to be critical of those beliefs. A common theme in much of what we study is the fundamental question of how we should live, which we explore from diverse perspectives. The course is divided into 3 units: a study of Islam; philosophy of religion; and ethics. The philosophy of religion unit examines arguments for and against the existence of God, and also questions of how we understand religious experiences and language. The study of Islam unit examines Muslim beliefs and practices, in addition to questions concerning how Muslims should live in contemporary society. The ethics unit examines a variety of perspectives on questions of right and wrong, including some with a religious and some with a secular basis. We introduce all three units in the first-year AS course, and then develop all three in the second year.
There is no coursework: this qualification is entirely exam-based; and the exams combine descriptive with evaluative questions, all of which require extended answers (“mini-essays”)
Units of assessment
Component 1: A Study of Islam: religious figures and sacred texts; religious concepts and religious life; significant social and historical developments in religious thought; religious practices that shape religious identity
Component 2: Philosophy of Religion: arguments for the existence of God; challenges to religious belief; religious experience; religious language.
Component 3: Religion and Ethics: ethical thought; deontological ethics; teleological ethics; determinism and free will.
Careers in this subject
Like most other humanities subjects, religious studies provides a basis for a variety of careers and is a way of keeping your options open. Possible careers include those in teaching; the civil service; work in the not-for-profit sector; journalism and related careers eg public relations; local government; consultancy; business; and law
Rick Brown and Nick Tidey have a combined total of more than 40 years of teaching experience, and a combined total of more than 20 years’ experience of teaching Religious Studies