Religious Studies A Level - Bridgwater & Taunton College

Course Overview

Religious Studies is not about being religious, it is about increasing your self-awareness and enhancing your critical faculties. We will examine some of life’s big questions: Is there a meaning to life? What happens when we die? What is morality? Does God exist? We will also engage critically with contemporary ethical issues, such as abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment and animal rights. Our study of a major world religion focusses on Christianity, with an emphasis on the relationship between Christian belief and a range of issues. These will include subjects as diverse as science, gender, sexuality and immigration.

In the first year you study Christianity and the philosophy of religion, including an exploration of differing Christian beliefs about God, the afterlife, and sources of wisdom and authority. In addition, you explore arguments for the existence of God, the problem of evil and suffering, and the nature of religious experience. The second yeardeepensyour understanding of the material covered in the firstyear and youexplore the nature of religious language, evaluate different understandings of ‘miracles’, and examine the dialogue between philosophy and religion.

Christianity and ethics is also covered in both years, including an exploration of key moral principles and Christian religious identity. Youdelve intoa variety of ethical theories, including natural moral law and virtue ethics, and consider the effectiveness of applying these theories to issues such as abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment and animal rights. In addition, youdiscover the relationship between Christianity and other faiths as well as Christianity and sexual identity. You also investigate ethical theories in more depth, considering the meaning of right and wrong and explore the ideas of philosophers such as Bentham and Kant.

Assessment Methods

You will be assessed through written examinations.

Progression Options

Many well-known figures have studied theology and religious studies at undergraduate level before going on to pursue their chosen career path. These include the man who laid the foundations for the theory of evolution, Charles Darwin, and the actor and comedian Miles Jupp, who is perhaps most famous for his role as Archie the Inventor in the children’s TV series Balamory.

Theology and religious studies graduates are well known as possessing a wide range of qualities which are highly valued by employers. Such qualities include the ability to understand the meaning of complex written documents, in addition to empathy and the ability to understand people and take on board others’ views.

The assumption that all religious studies graduates go on to work as members of the clergy is an outdated stereotype. Instead, religious studies graduates find employment in a broad variety of professions such as teaching, law, finance, publishing, journalism, social work, and youth work.

Course Summary

Course Title Religious Studies A Level
Entry Requirements

You need five GCSEs in the A* to C or 9 to 5 range, including
Maths and English. You do not need to have studied GCSE Religious Studies prior
to entry as a full induction programme is provided to help you develop the
skills you require to succeed.

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Spotlight

I chose to study at the College as it offered me the chance to study the subject I was most interested in and it has an excellent reputation, so I knew I could achieve here.

Callum Sherwood

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