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Sixth Form (KS5) Religious Studies
Examination Board: EDUQAS
Religious Studies is a popular, challenging and well respected A Level qualification. The course complements both Arts based and Science A Levels whilst drawing upon the logic within Mathematics. The units studied draw extensively on studies in Psychology, Philosophy, Sociology, Science and Literature. Students develop skills in analysis of text and case studies, argument, debate, research and individual critical thinking.
Students will look at three different areas of study within RS. The theological study of the religion of Islam, Ethics and Philosophy.
The study of Islam includes exploring the religious figures and sacred text as well as an historical look at how Islam developed. Students will also study religious concepts in Islam and the variations within. This will then be applied to the daily lives and practices of followers of Islam. It will also explore the importance of key events and rites of passage in a Muslims life and the source of these actions through scripture. Finally, students will explore the relationship between Islam and society and address some of the challenges of being a Muslim in the western world. This part of the course will also look at the Islamic attitudes towards some of the modern developments in society today.
Philosophy is looking at the different ways that people try and explain complex questions such as a belief in God, life after death or existence. Students will look at several different areas of philosophical thought and assess the usefulness of each. Study will include exploring deductive and inductive arguments for a belief in God. This will be through the study of the ontological argument and the cosmological argument. Students will also look at how the problem of evil and suffering is address by faith and the implications these may have for believers. Students will also address some of the arguments that shows religious belief as a product of the mind and how the work of Freud and Jung supports this. They will also explore the factors for the rise of Atheism and the religious response to these. Finally, students will assess how religious experiences can justify a belief in God and what are the challengers to this view. Throughout, they will explore the use of religious language and learn key terminologies to help them with their discussions.
Ethics is a set of moral principles which guide people when making moral decisions. This means helping them come to a conclusion as to whether or not and action is right or wrong. Students will study several types of ethical theory that people use to make a moral decision. They will begin looking at ethical theory that looks at the consequence of action and the good that it will produce. Utilitarianism and Situation ethics are two such teleological theories that students will need to assess and will also need to apply to the theory to a moral issue. Students will also study deontological theories such as Natural Law theory and use this to look at a moral issue. Free Will and Determinism are critically assessed and student will be asked to make a judgement on whether or not free will truly exists.