At A-Level, the department follows the OCR syllabus in Religious Studies. The specification is an intellectually demanding and academic course and compliments both Science and Arts based Advanced subject choices.
The course accommodates the needs of students who have not completed a GCSE in Religious Studies, whilst allowing others the opportunity to build upon the knowledge, understanding and skills already gained in the GCSE Religious Studies course.
It comprises three papers which are studied in both the Lower and Upper Sixth.
Each examination paper is two hours and requires pupils to answer three essay questions from a choice of four. Each essay question is marked out of 40.
- Paper 1: Philosophy of Religion – topics include arguments about the existence or non-existence of God, the nature and impact of religious experience and the challenge for religious belief of the problem of evil.
- Paper 2: Religion and ethics – topics include normative ethical theories, the application of ethical theory to euthanasia and business ethics and the influence of ethical and religious thought on sexual ethics.
- Paper 3: Developments in Religious thought – topics include beliefs about death and the after-life, Christian moral principles and action, gender and society and the challenge of secularism.
A range of extension and enrichment activities are offered to help students develop their analytical skills, while the department has an extensive library of books and articles for wider reading. There is also the opportunity to attend various philosophical and ethical conferences relating to the specification.