Key Stage 3
In Religious Studies in Key Stage 3, you will consider some of the ultimate questions asked by mankind, such as ‘How did the universe get here?’ and ‘Is there life after death?’. The beliefs and practices of the six major world religions will be looked at to give an overview of the most important teachings of these widespread religions. In addition, a number of broader religious and moral themes will be considered, such as the use of signs and symbols, how we know right from wrong, and what we can learn from significant religious figures from history.
One of the main aims of the course is to develop your thinking skills, inspire curiosity about the world around you, and to encourage respect and tolerance for views that are different from your own.
Key Stage 4
The Religious Studies GCSE course provides you with an understanding of religious beliefs and practices and many of the interesting issues faced by society today. It will provide you with an opportunity to develop your own views and to consider the views of others.
The course will enable you to look in more depth at the beliefs and practices of two of the major world religions, in particular the reasons behind these beliefs. It also encourages discussion of the significance of religious beliefs and their relevance and application to life in the modern world.
Alongside study of the religions, you will also look at four moral and philosophical issues, including:
- Religion and Life – an examination of the origin of life, the value of life, the moral issues of abortion and euthanasia, and views on life after death.
- Religion, Peace and Conflict – an examination of the issues surrounding war, terrorism and the use of nuclear weapons, as well as views on peace and forgiveness.
- Religion, Crime and Punishment – an examination of why people commit crimes and how and why we punish criminals, along with issues like the death penalty.
- Religion, Human Rights and Social Justice – an examination of human rights and responsibilities, as well as issues surrounding the way that we treat other people, such as discrimination and helping the poor.
Key Stage 5
The Religious Studies A Level course provides you with the opportunity to explore the Philosophy of Religion and Religion and Ethics and gain a deeper understanding of a single world religion. The aim of the course is to inspire you to engage in topical issues and acquire knowledge and a critical understanding of major themes that are relevant in the 21st century.
You will have the opportunity to study much more in-depth beliefs, teachings and practices of a religion and how this has shaped its social and historical development, as well as created religious identity. You will also look at a broad study of philosophical themes, ranging from arguments for the existence of God to the use of religious language. You will study ethical themes ranging from theories of what makes an action right or wrong, to applied ethical issues like euthanasia and business ethics.
Religious Studies provides excellent training for a variety of careers, such as law, teaching, counselling, business, journalism, politics, medicine, and the arts. The subject encourages students to become well-informed and independent thinkers prepared to learn about and engage with the world around them. The Russell Group of top universities has made it clear that Religious Studies A level provides ‘suitable preparation for University generally’. Courses in Religious Studies also provide excellent preparation simply for living life in a pluralistic, multi-cultural society.