Religious Studies - Philosophy & Ethics

This course is an introduction to the exciting world of philosophical enquiry and ethical dilemmas. Philosophy means the ‘love of wisdom’ or ‘truth about life and morals’; it’s a way of thinking and deals with questions about the fundamental nature of the world, the grounds for human knowledge, and the evaluation of human conduct, all of which are critical for our development and have an impact on our daily lives. 

As human beings, we thrive on those complicated questions which do not necessarily have answers and Philosophy and Ethics allows us to contemplate and question the unknown.  

We have specialised staff delivering the course who, through their expertise and experiences, bring different perspectives and insights into the teaching and learning of Philosophy and Ethics.

To get started

The specification builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills that students may have developed through the study of GCSE Religious Studies.  Students will also be expected to display knowledge, understanding and evaluative skills in respect of the specified philosophical and ethical topics.  They are asked essay-style questions in which they are expected to use material from more than one area in the unit, to draw comparisons and to assess the relative significance of different aspects of the unit.  The questions direct students towards the assessment objectives but students are expected to select their own material and structure it into a coherent answer.

Exam and Assessment

Pearson Edexcel Level 3 Advanced GCE in Religious Studies (9RSO)

Candidates study three components and sit a two hour examination for each.

The topics they will study are:

Philosophy of Religion – 9RSO/01

Philosophical issues and questions; The nature and influence of religious experience; Problems of evil and suffering; Philosophical language; Works of scholars; Influences of developments in religious belief.

Religion and Ethics – 9RSO/02

Significant concepts in issues or debates in religion and ethics; A study of three ethical theories; Application of ethical theories to issues of importance; Ethical language; Deontology, Virtue Ethics and the works of scholars; Medical ethics: beginning and end of life issues.

Development in religious/philosophical thought – Study of a religion – 9RSO/4B

Religious beliefs, values and teachings; Sources of wisdom and authority; Practices that shape and express religious identity; Social and historical development; Works of scholars; Religion and society.

What Next?

This subject will equip students with transferable skills which can be applied to any academic subject. It lays a foundation for further study in philosophy, English, history, theology, law or related subjects in higher education.  It also provides a worthwhile course for students in terms of general education and life-long learning.