GCE AS/A Level Religious Studies

Programme Description

Whether you consider yourself a religious person or not, or whether you think religion has played a positive or negative role in history, it is an incontrovertible fact that from the beginning of time, humans have engaged in activities that we now call religion, such as worship, prayer, and rituals marking important life passages.

Literacy in religious thinking and practice is a key skill, with the potential to foster respect and tolerance based on knowledge rather than supposition. Whether you come to the subjects with a particular faith perspective or none, there will be much that will engage you intellectually and challenge your assumptions.

The subject will also leave you with many transferrable skills, which will be very useful not only for your future studies but in your everyday life and in how you approach situations and problems with which you are faced.  The subject is widely recognised by universities and can work well with both humanities and social sciences such as History, Politics and English, as well as alongside sciences and mathematical subjects.

Programme Features

  • Religious Studies has been thoroughly modernised to reflect the interests of young people. The course therefore focuses upon moral issues and dilemmas and upon a multicultural approach to World Religions. Christianity is studied as one religious tradition but given equal importance with all six major World Religions.
  • The course is assessed entirely by essay writing. This means that students develop their writing skills fully during the course and finish well-prepared for the writing components of higher degrees.
  • In RS open debate is encouraged fully. Students are expected to participate and to develop their skills in the oral presentation of their views. This is useful for all other areas of study.
  • Students are introduced to at least one religious tradition which will be entirely new to them. Resources in the department for the study of World Religions are excellent.

Progression & Employment

Successful Religious Studies students have gone to a variety of Russel Group Universities to continue their studies through the disciplines of Religion, Global Religions, Theology, Philosophy, Ethics and Islamic Studies.  A number of these students hope to continue to Masters level, while others are hoping to pursue a career in teaching.  Among the recent successful students to have taken this course came to the College from Bryngwyn Comprehensive School and excelled at A level, achieving A grades in both Psychology and Religious Studies. She has progressed to Bath Spa University, to continue her studies of Religion, Philosophy and Ethics.

A2 students achieved 100% A*-C grade

Programme Content

AS Level: An Introduction to Religion and Ethics An Introduction to Philosophy of Religion A Study of Religion: Buddhism   A2/A Level: A Study of Religion: Buddhism Religion and Ethics Philosophy of Religion

Programme Assessment


100 % Exam based across AS and A2.

Two papers in AS and two papers in A2 – extended writing and analytical skills are key to attaining the higher grades.

Programme Entry Requirements

Students 16 - 19 years of age will require a minimum of 6/7 GCSEs at grades A* - C.

Student need Cs in English Language/Literature to cope with reading, analysis of text and extended writing required in A Level RS. 

Entry for mature students without formal qualifications is at the discretion of the Curriculum Area.