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Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School Horncastle




OCR (H173/H573)


Have you ever questioned why a loving God might allow the suffering of innocent children? Or wondered how we go about establishing what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ in today’s complex society? Are you curious about the way people of faith live their lives?

Religious Studies at AS and A2 level offers students the opportunity to build on and extend their critical, analytical, research, debating and writing skills.  The subject aims to promote an understanding of the self and today’s world as well as an understanding and respect for the view points held by other people.


The first year course consists of three areas of study –

  • Philosophy of Religion: enabling students to explore and evaluate the concept of God’s existence, ideas about the soul and the concept of life after death.
  • Religious Ethics:enabling students to consider such topics as euthanasia and sexuality using a range of ethical theories, both religious and secular.-     
  • Developments in Religious Thought: a detailed study into the fascinating faith tradition that is Hinduism; its history, key teachings, scriptures and practice today.

The second year course further develops study in all three areas, increasing the level of depth and detailed study involved.


The A level comprises three two-hour exams. Students are required to answer three essay questions on each paper from a choice of four.


A GCSE qualification is not a necessary preliminary to the A Level course.  Genuine interest and the ability to express oneself in a clear, logical manner, both orally and on paper, are more important.  No personal religious commitment is presupposed or required by the course. The assessment will not be concerned with judging a candidate’s personal beliefs: arguments about the issues raised will be judged solely on their own merits.  Students will be expected to engage with the issues raised in lessons and make a positive contribution to the work of the group.


Religious Studies is accepted as an entry qualification to Higher Education.  The wide range of skills developed provide a good training for many careers and are useful in a wide variety of contexts including the caring professions, civil service, personnel and public relations work, journalism, social work, the law and advertising, to name just a few.


In order to study A level Religious Studies you should have obtained at least a grade 6 at GCSE in RS or RE (short course).  If you have not been examined in this subject at GCSE you should have obtained a grade 6 or higher in a related discipline: English Language, English Literature, Geography or History.

If you have any questions regarding the A Level Religious Studies course please see Miss Macdonald, Mr Legat or Mrs Tomlinson.