Religious Studies A level
Qualification: GCE A Level in Religious Studies
Exam board & Specification Code: OCR; H573; Specification
Course Entry Requirements: 4 in English Language GCSE
Please make sure that you have understood the overall entry requirements to study at BHASVIC. These are available here and outline the GCSE grades you need to take up one of the Study Programmes at the college.
Length and size of qualification: 2 year single course, equivalent to 1 A level
Timetable hours: 4.5 hours per week
Assessment method: 3 written exams
BHASVIC Department: Philosophy, Politics & Law
What will I study?
There are three elements to Religious Studies. The first is a study of religion. At BHASVIC we choose to study Buddhism, partly because some feeder schools look at Buddhism at GCSE and also because it has been the most popular option when students have been asked each year. We will look at the foundations of Buddhist beliefs, history, different Buddhist groups and engagement with Buddhism in the wider world. This raises questions on identity, afterlife, our place in the world and how to live a good life. Secondly, we will look at philosophy of religion which looks at philosophical questions about God, the world, afterlife, evil and other areas. We will question the nature of God, whether God's existence can be proved and other philosophical questions about identity and existence. Finally, ethics looks at both religious and non-religious ways to work out what is moral and then applies these to different areas of life.
Is this course right for me?
If you are interested in debating and have an open mind then this course is right for you. We will study many different religious and non-religious approaches to ethics and aspects of our relationship with the world and evaluate these enabling you to come to your own conclusions about these areas. We delve into a much wider range of ethical and religious issues in religious studies than in the subject of philosophy but this means that there is a lot of content. It builds on the themes in Religious Studies GCSE but goes much deeper into these, focusing more on philosophy of religion and ethical theories rather than just a religious application.
Studying Religious Studies increases and develops your critical thinking and challenges the way you look at your life. These qualities are valued by employers in approaching problems with new ways of thinking and creativity. It also shows you have thought and learnt about other cultures, values and belief systems to your own and reflected on these. Beyond this, the Religious Studies course develops your interpersonal skills and communication through the nature of philosophical discussions we will have. Religious Studies leads to many different university courses and career prospects. Many of these are in the service sector where the above skills become very useful when working with others. Such roles include teaching, social care, medicine, nursing, policing, aid work and more.