Religious Studies

Examination Board: AQA

Exact Course Title:  GCSE in Religious Studies A

Why should I choose to study Religious Studies?

Choosing Religious Studies at GCSE will help you to fully understand the world around you. Religious Studies is a course that allows you to develop your own ideas in response to the ultimate questions raised by human experience, including questions about the meaning and purpose of life.

What will I learn?

Unit 1 – Thematic Studies

This involves the study of the relevance of religion to the ethical issues of crime and punishment, war and peace, relationships and families, and the beginning and ending of life.

Unit 2 – The Study of Religions: Beliefs, Teachings and Practices

This involves an exploration of some of the main world religions; Christianity, Buddhism and Islam. Students will explore the key beliefs held in these faiths, the origin of such key beliefs and how they are expressed through worship. They will also consider the impact religious teachings have on individuals, communities and societies.

In the examination students must illustrate their answers with real examples of religious acts and appropriate reference to religious scripture

What will be expected of me?

You will be expected to have an open mind, a willingness to develop and question your own point of view. A desire to contribute to class discussions is an asset. In class there is a requirement to write essays and use key terminology. You will have an awareness of other people’s points of view and how they may be different to your own.  You do not need to be a religious believer.

What skills will I develop?

Through this course you will learn the skills needed to research, understand, discuss and argue a wide range of issues and religious beliefs. By exploring ethical issues and a variety of arguments you will be able to contribute positively to debates and discussions about the world around us and about ‘big questions’ that have always captivated humanity.

How will I be assessed?

There will be two examinations at the end of the course.  Both exams are 1hr 45mins and each worth 50% of your final GCSE grade. There is no coursework for this subject.

Where will this qualification lead me? 

GCSE Religious Studies would prepare students well for a range of professions including the legal profession, teaching, social services, counselling and human resources. Studying Religious Studies would also be of use to a wide range of A level courses such as Sociology, Psychology, History, English Literature, Geography, Law and Economics.