Religion, Philosophy & Ethics A Level

Course Overview

Does God exist? Why is there suffering? How should we live our lives? Who was Buddha? Why do people meditate? Religion, Philosophy and Ethics A Level explores the variety of answers to questions from the great thinkers of Buddhism, Philosophy and Ethics.
You will find this course interesting if you are curious about - and keen to engage with - the beliefs and practices of diverse cultures and societies. 


Throughout the course you will cover three components: 

  1. Buddhism: This first component includes the study of key figures, texts and practices including the Buddha Shakyamuni, the Dalai Lama, meditation and mindfulness. You will also study central concepts and teachings, such as karma and rebirth, accompanied by the study of historical and social developments such as Science and Religion as well as Gender and Buddhism.
  2. Philosophy of Religion: Philosophy of Religion covers arguments for and against the existence of God, the challenges to religious belief from Psychology and Atheism, the study of Religious Experience and Miracles and the Study of Religious Language
  3. Religion and Ethics: You will study ethical theories such as Natural Law and Utilitarianism. As you develop and deepen your understanding of these theories you will apply them to moral issues such as immigration, euthanasia, nuclear deterrence, the debate about freewill versus determinism.

Our Religion, Philosophy and Ethics course gives you the opportunity to develop your skills in critical thinking, written and verbal communication that are highly valued by employers. Universities hold this A Level in high regard as the skills developed facilitate entry to a variety of degree courses. You’ll find the knowledge and skills learnt on this course useful in many careers including Law, Education, Public Services, Health Care and Social Work. 

Year 1 Modules

  • Key figures and texts in Buddhism
  • Central concepts and teachings in Buddhism
  • Key practices in Buddhism
  • Cosmological, teleological and ontological arguments
  • Challenges and responses to religious belief
  • Types and characteristics of religious experiences
  • Ethical thought
  • Deontological ethics
  • Teleological ethics

Year 2 Modules

  • Key figures and texts in Buddhism
  • Central concepts and teachings in Buddhism
  • Key practices in Buddhism
  • Challenges and responses to religious belief
  • Miracles
  • Religious language
  • Ethical thought
  • Deontological ethics
  • Freewill and libertarianism versus predestination and determinism

Key Info

Minimum Entry Requirements

  • Five GCSEs at Grade 5 including GCSE English Language
  • Grade 5 in GCSE Religious Studies if taken

Assessment

  • 100% Exam
  • Exam Board: EDUQAS

Exam Results 2022: 65% A* - B
 

47

Total students

15

Average class size

 

 

 

 

 

Why choose this course? 

You will enjoy this course if you like reading texts, reflecting on fundamental ideas and writing essays about views that are often different from your own. You will find it interesting if you are curious about and keen to engage with the beliefs and practices of diverse cultures and societies.

There are trips to academic conferences to extend understanding of topics in the Philosophy and Ethics components. Where possible there have been visits to Buddhist centres or monasteries. Students have attended university seminars for A Level students on related topics such as the ethics of the pandemic and on Buddhist mediation practices.

Skills you'll gain

The Religion, Philosophy and Ethics course gives you the opportunity to develop your skills in critical thinking and in written and verbal communication.

You will spend your time analysing the variety of answers to questions from the great thinkers of Buddhism, Philosophy and Ethics and developing your essay writing skills.

You will be able to demonstrate your understanding of the topics and your ability to analyse and evaluate course content including abstract ideas.

After Long Road

The analytical and evaluative skills gained through the study of this Religion, Philosophy and Ethics A Level are valued by employers and useful in careers such as Law, Education, Public Services, Health Care and Social Work.

Universities regard Religion, Philosophy and Ethics A Level positively as the skills developed facilitate entry to a variety of degree courses as well as to those associated directly with the subject.

Recent students have gone on to study:

  • Theology and religious studies at Oxford
  • Law at the University of Sussex
  • Philosophy and Literature at Warwick

I enjoy thinking deeply about life’s important questions and I have become very interested in Buddhism which was new to me when I started the course. It helps in RPE if you are open-minded and enjoy writing essays!