Religious Studies (Philosophy and Ethics)

Subject Religious Studies (Philosophy and Ethics)

A Religious Studies GCSE follows the study of the religious philosophy and ethics in relation to issues that affect modern life. Pupils studying this subject will take an enquiring, critical and reflective approach to the study of religion, exploring different beliefs, cultures and fundamental questions, and relating these studies to their own values and the wider world.


Why study Religious Studies?


  • Develops an individuals understanding of the world in which they live and specific issues that affect society.
  • Enables pupils to further develop their critical thinking and skills of analysis and evaluation.
  • Pupils gain a valuable insight into current ethical issues such as genetic research
  • Studying Religious Studies provides a good background understanding for studying Philosophy, Government and Politics and Sociology at A Level.
  • Studying Religious Studies will be useful in a range of careers from broadcast journalist, social worker to theology lecturer


Exam Board and Specification Edexcel Religious Studies
Key areas of content   

Unit 1 requires Pupils to study the relationship between religion and life in the UK. There are 4 sections:

  • Believing in God
  • Matters of Life and Death
  • Marriage and the Family
  • Religion and Community Cohesion

Unit 8 requires pupils to study the relationship between religion and society. There are 4 sections:

  • Rights and responsibilities
  • Environmental and Medical Issues
  • Peace and Conflict
  • Crime and Punishment


Assessment arrangements


  • The Edexcel GCSE in Religious Studies comprises two units which must be taken from different modules – Religion and Life based on a study of Christianity and at least one other religion.
  • Each unit is assessed through a one-and-a-half hour examination, divided into four sections. Pupils choose one of two questions set for each section — four questions in total.
  • There are 84 raw marks in total for each paper. Of the 84 raw marks available, up to 4 raw marks will be awarded for Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPaG).
Textbooks, websites and other relevant material Religion and Life: Christianity and Islam by Gordon Reid and Sarah Tyler (Pearson)] 

Religion and Life by Victor Watton (Hodder Education)