Religious Studies

Course Full Title: A Level Religious Studies

Exam Board: OCR

Specification Code: H573


Why study RE?


“Many people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so.” – Bertrand Russell

Religious Studies focuses on philosophical and scientific issues pertinent to a religious world view. In this course we will be asking challenging philosophical questions such as ‘What is the nature and value of human life’. In fact, studying this course will enable pupils to engage with the most radical questions it is possible to ask, such as: ‘Why is there anything at all?’ As well as Ethical Questions such as ‘can we really say anything is good?’ and ‘Is moral judgement just a matter of opinion?

Many students who study Philosophy do go on to degrees in Philosophy at university however, it also leads well into many other areas of study. Common pathways are Law, Journalism, Politics, Medicine and Broadcasting.



What will I study over the two years?


Religious Studies will be taught over a two-year period leading to three final exams,

each two hours in length:

  • Paper one: Philosophy of Religion 33.3%
  • Paper two: Religion and Ethics 33.3%
  • Paper three: Developments in Religious thought 33.3%


What makes a good RE student?


A good RE student needs to be open minded and good at critical thinking. You will need to be able to listen to other’s ideas and form your own opinions that you are able to support. You will need to be able to debate ethical, philosophical and theological issues like whether or not abortion can be justified and whether or not God can be good if the world contains evil and suffering. You will also have some awareness of the issues going on in the world that are affected by religion so keeping up with current events is also important.


Where could RE take me?


The skills learnt on the course include critical thinking as well as developing literacy skills important in many different fields. Many skills learnt in RE are applicable to career in law, journalism, foreign relations, teaching, politics and medicine. Others have gone on to university to study politics, philosophy, psychology and sociology all of which are well complimented by their knowledge of RE.

The Russell Group of top universities has made it clear that RS A level provides ‘suitable preparation for University generally’, and both Oxford and Cambridge University include Religious Studies in the top level list of ‘generally suitable Arts A levels’


What are the entrance requirements?


  • Grade 5 or above in English Language
  • 5 or more grades 5-9; including equivalents across at least 5 subjects
  • Maths Grade 4 or above
  • Average GCSE GRADE of at least (average of ALL GCSE full courses taken)


If you have any questions about our Religious Studies A Level please chat with your RE teacher or email Miss Philip sphilip@oriel.w-sussex.sch.uk We would be very happy to answer any questions