Religious Studies

Religious Studies

Why choose Religious Studies?

Who is God? What is the right way to live? Get to grips with what people believe and what makes them act as they do.

Religious Studies is an attractive option if you are interested in studying the fundamental questions which all human beings ask: “What is the point of being alive?”, “Who or what is God and does God exist?”, “Why do we suffer?”, “What is the right way to live?” and “Is there anything beyond death?” The subject gets to grips with people’s real lives, what they believe and what makes them act as they do. It is also about society and culture such as that in India, and also teaches you how to analyse philosophical and ethical theories. Religious Studies will appeal to you if you are enthusiastic and thoughtful enough to want to understand the deeply held convictions of others and to examine your own prejudices, assumptions and beliefs.

Our Approach

We look at philosophical, ethical and religious beliefs and practices in an objective, open-minded and exploratory way, encouraging debate and also enabling you to step imaginatively into the shoes of religious believers. We also encourage you to step back in order to critique and evaluate religion, its main ideas and characteristic ways of life.
To help you to do this we use a great variety of resources and activities, including film, on-line and visual material, discussions and group work. Visits to religious buildings and events are also an important part of the course. We aim to help you to enjoy the subject and hope that by the end of the course you will have become a real Religious Studies scholar! 


"I would recommend studying Religious Studies at Hills Road as I believe it encourages you to open your mind to different views and beliefs around the world, whilst creating your own at the same time; an essential part of life. The lessons are interesting, full of variety, and inspire you to take your own initiative and thus study the topics further in your own time if wanted."

Why you should take A level Religious Studies

  • If it’s a subject you don’t know much about but you’re really interested to understand more about religious beliefs and the people and cultures who live by them as well as philosophical and ethical theories and how these may be applied in real life.
  • If you have done it already at school and feel enthusiastic to continue.
  • If you’re going to chose other related subjects for A level such as Sociology, Philosophy, History, Psychology, Classical Civilisation.
  • If you want a refreshing change and some challenge, debate and all round stimulation!

What kind of work will you do?

This is certainly an ‘essay’ subject and so you will have learned how to write clearly planned and argued essays. We will help you to do this efficiently. You’ll also be doing your own research and reading as well as joining in with all our various activities in lessons – discussions, group work, watching films, note-taking, questioning speakers, and so on. There’ll also be visits to temples and churches, lectures, open days and many other opportunities.

Do you need to be Religious?

No, just curious and excited by ideas.

Can a committed Christian study Buddhism?

Yes. The approach of this course is academic, that’s to say it’s not about converting anybody from one faith to another but is designed to help you learn about the beliefs and practices of different religious communities. The aim is to increase your understanding of other people’s world views, their hopes and dreams, what they really value. And it should make you think more carefully about your own beliefs too!

Entry Requirements

GCSE grade 6 or B English (Language or Literature)

Awarding Body


Units of Study

Year 13

Religious Studies

The Eduqas linear A level in Religious Studies consists of three externally examined papers. Students are required to study three papers with the course lasting for two years. There are no retakes possible and there is no course work element. The new-style AS level will not be offered. The first exam in this new specification will be in 2018.

Philosophy of Religion

  • Philosophical issues and questions: Arguments for the existence of God
  • Challenges to religious belief – The problem of evil and suffering
  • Challenges to religious belief – Religious belief as a product of the human mind
  • The nature and influence of religious experience
  • The nature of religious language
Religion and Ethics
  • Ethical thought and theories
  • Deontological Ethics – Natural Law (applied to abortion and voluntary euthanasia) and Proportionalism (applied to immigration and capital punishment)
  • Teleological Ethics – Situation Ethics (applied to homosexuality and polyamorous relationships) and Utilitarianism (applied to animal experimentation for medical research and the use of nuclear weapons as a deterrent).
  • Determinism and free will.
Study of One World Religion - Buddhism
  • Religious concepts, beliefs and values
  • Significant social and historical developments in religious thought
  • Sources of wisdom and authority: sacred texts and religious figures
  • Practices that shape and express religious identity
How are these papers assessed?
Each paper is examined by written examination of 2 hours and each paper counts for a third of the qualification.