Religious Studies: Philosophy & Ethics


Religious Studies

Religious Studies offers students the opportunity to question the philosophical and ethical ideas that are present within the British religious tradition. These are important as, even if we are not from this tradition, or any tradition at all, they inform and shape the society and the values that we live by. Everyday life, from newspaper articles to social media, from arts and literature to celebrity culture reflects these dilemmas of thought. These problems have been the source for some of the most influential and persistent of human questions; how should we live? What are we here for? Are we free? Is there a purpose to it all?

Course Outline

Unit 1 – Philosophy of Religion – This unit asks the following questions:
• How do we make sense of reality?
• What do religious believers think about the nature of God?
• Can the existence of God be proven?
• Does religious experience provide a basis for belief in God or a greater power?
• Does the existence of evil invite the conclusion that God does not exist?
• Is the mind the same thing as the body?
• Is there life after death?
• How should we understand religious language?

Unit 2 – Religion and Ethics – This unit asks the following questions:
• What is the best approach to moral decision making? Should we aim to promote the greatest happiness of the greatest number? Should we aim for the most loving outcome? Should we focus on doing our duty? Should we follow the moral law of God within human nature? Is conscience a useful guide for moral decision making?
• Is euthanasia ever morally justified?
• How should businesses operate?
• How should we approach issues in sexual ethics?
• Is ethical language meaningful or meaningless?

Unit 3 – Developments in Christian Thought – This unit asks the following questions:
• Is there a distinctive human nature?
• What do Christians believe about the afterlife?
• What do Christians believe about salvation?
• Is faith sufficient reason for belief in God’s existence?
• Who was Jesus?
• How do Christians make moral decisions?
• How have Christian communities responded to other faiths?
• What do Christians think about the roles of men and women in the family and society?
• How have Christian feminists understood God?


No Coursework
Examination (100%) – Three 2 hour exam papers.
Examining Board – OCR.

Special Entry Requirements

Students must have grade 4 (C) or above in Religious Studies if they have taken it at GCSE. In addition, standard A level entry requirements apply.

Prohibited Options


Career and Progression Opportunities

Religious Studies is of use to those students wanting to carry on into higher education – particularly to those thinking of careers in Media, Law, Politics, Social work, Teaching and Community Work.

This information is correct for September 2019 entry.

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