A-Level Religious Studies

By studying A-level religious Studies, you will develop insights into the areas of knowledge, belief and thought that are central to an understanding of the modern world. You will study philosophy, ethics and major religions to help you make sense of contemporary events. A-Level Religious Studies will also allow you to develop detailed knowledge and understanding around key topics within religious studies.

A-Level Religious Studies

A specific arrangement of units is required for certification, made up of two AS-Level units and two A2 level units. You will study four units and the assessment for A-Level Religious Studies is by exam.

Over the course, you will undergo at least 360 guided learning hours over a two-year period. These guided learning hours are levels set by the government on how much time the tutor at your sixth form or college has to be present to give guidance (such as lectures, tutorials etc.) towards your award.

AS-Level Religious Studies

  • OCR AS-Level Religious Studies

For your AS-Level, you will choose two complementary areas to study from the following:

  1. Philosophy of Religion
  2. Religious Ethics
  3. Jewish Scriptures
  4. New Testament
  5. Developments in Christian Theology
  6. Buddhism
  7. Hinduism
  8. Islam
  9. Judaism
  • AQA AS-Level Religious Studies

In units one and two, Introduction to Religious Studies you will focus on a number of the following topics:

  1. Religion and Ethics
  2. Philosophy of Religion
  3. Religion, Philosophy and Science
  4. The History of Christianity or Religion, Art and the Media
  5. Old Testament
  6. New Testament
  7. Religion and Contemporary Society
  8. World Religions 1 (either Buddhism or Hinduism or Sikhism)
  9. World Religions 2 (either Christianity or Judaism or Islam The Way of Submission)
  10. Islam 2 The Life of the Prophet
  • Edexcel AS-Level Religious Studies

The Religious Studies – Foundations unit will allow you to explore the philosophy of religion, ethics, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism and the New Testament and you have the opportunity to study two of these areas in detail. The Religious Studies – Investigation unit will allow you to study a variety of topics, including religion, philosophy of religion, ethics, world religions, Old Testament/Jewish Bible, New Testament, Christianity and the Christian Church.

  • WJEC AS-Level Religious Studies

For your AS-Level, you will focus on two of the following options:

  1. Religion in Contemporary Society
  2. Philosophy of Religion
  3. Religion and Ethics
  4. Biblical Studies (Old Testament or New Testament)
  5. Christianity
  6. Eastern Religions (Buddhism, Hinduism or Sikhism)
  7. Western Religions (Islam or Judaism)

You will be able to consider these alongside medical and environmental issues, religion and TV, religion and community and religion and the individual. You will also explore ethics and utilitarianism.

  • CCEA AS-Level Religious Studies

For your AS-Level Award, you will focus your studies on two of the topics below:

  1. An Introduction to the Gospel of Luke
  2. An Introduction to the Acts of the Apostles
  3. An Introduction to Old Testament Covenant and Prophecy
  4. The Christian Church in the Roman Empire: Beginnings, Expansion and External Pressure
  5. The Origins of the Celtic Church in Ireland and the beginnings of its missionary outreach
  6. Religious Ethics: Foundations, Principles and Practice
  7. An Introduction to Philosophy of Religion
  8. An Introduction to the Study of Islam

A2-Level Religious Studies

The A2 Religious Studies is the equivalent of the second year of study of A-Level Religious Studies. This is not a separate award. The A2 Religious Studies with the AS-Level Religious Studies makes up the A-Level Religious Studies.  The A2-Level Religious Studies will further develop your knowledge from AS-Level Religious Studies.

  • OCR A2 Religious Studies

For your A-Level, you may wish to continue your A2 studies in the same topics as your AS-Level, or you may wish to choose other topics:

  1. Philosophy of Religion
  2. Religious Ethics
  3. Jewish Scriptures
  4. New Testament
  5. Developments in Christian Theology
  6. Buddhism
  7. Hinduism
  8. Islam
  9. Judaism
  • AQA A2 Religious Studies

In Studies in Religion, you will focus on a variety of issues while studying one of the following in detail:

  1. Religion and Ethics
  2. Philosophy of Religion
  3. The History of Christianity The Christian Church in the 20th century or Religion and Art
  4. Old Testament
  5. New Testament
  6. Religion and Contemporary Society
  7. World Religions 1 (either Buddhism or Hinduism or Sikhism)
  8. World Religions 2 (either Christianity or Judaism or Islam)

In religion and Human Experience, you also have the opportunity to focus your study on specific topics:

  1. Life, Death and Beyond or Perceptions of Ultimate Reality or Religious Experience
  2. Religious Fundamentalism or Religion and Contemporary Society or Religion and the Visual Arts
  3. Religious Authority or Ways of Moral Decision-Making or Ways of Reading and Understanding Scripture
  • Edexcel A2 Religious Studies

The Religious Studies – Developments continues to develop your knowledge and understanding from your first AS unit. The Religious Studies – Implications unit will allow you to consider the consequences of views, beliefs or opinions on other people.

  • WJEC A2 Religious Studies

For your first A2 unit, you will focus on and carry out studies into one of the following options:

  1.  Religion in Contemporary Society
  2. Philosophy of Religion
  3. Religion and Ethics
  4. Biblical Studies (Old Testament or New Testament)
  5. Christianity
  6. Eastern Religions (Buddhism, Hinduism or Sikhism)
  7. Western Religions (Islam or Judaism)

In the Religion and Human Experience unit, you will focus on religious authority, religious experience or life, death and life after death.

  • CCEA A2 Religious Studies

For your A2 units, you will study two of the following areas in detail:

  1. The Theology of the Gospel of Luke
  2. A Study of Acts, Galatians and 1 Corinthians
  3. The Covenant Community: Prophecy and Renewal
  4. The Continued Development of the Christian Church in the Roman Empire to AD 325
  5. A Study of the Development and Impact of the Celtic Church in the 5th, 6th and 7th Centuries
  6. Ethics and Society
  7. Religious Belief and Competing Claims
  8. Islam: Law, Tradition and Practice

A-Level Religious Studies Exam Board Information

  • The OCR A-Level Religious Studies specification is available on their website.
  • The AQA A-Level Religious Studies  is available on the AQA website.
  • The specification for the WJEC AS and A-Level Religious Studies is available here.
  • The CCEA AS-Level and A-Level Religious Studies specification is available on their website.
  • The Edexcel AS and A-Level Religious Studies specification is available from their website.

Career Opportunities

Most people study A-Level Religious Studies so that they can study Religious Studies or subjects such as Philosophy or Ethics at university. A-Level Religious Studies can also be valuable for those students who are looking to study a variety of other topics, such as History, Law, Politics, History of Art, Sociology or even English Literature. A number of students may also consider further training to teach Religious Studies.

Whatever your career choice, you are able to demonstrate that you can appreciate different viewpoints and make clear and balanced decisions.

Other Useful Information

  • Edexcel past papers and exemplar materials are available on their website.
  • OCR past papers are available from the OCR website.
  • AQA past papers for A-Level Religious Studies are available on their website.
  • Past papers are available on the CCEA website.
  • WJEC have a variety of past papers available.
  • The rsrevision website has a variety of Religious Studies resources available.