Religious Studies (Philosophy & Ethics)


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. RS has an important role to play in preparing students for adult life. It encourages students to develop their sense of identity and belonging.


RS allows students to develop respect for and sensitivity to others, particularly those with different ideas from their own. It promotes discernment and helps overcome prejudice


Why study Religious Studies?
  • Develops an individual’s 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 Studiesprovides a strong foundation for studying Philosophy of Religion & Ethics at A-Level 
  • Studying Religious Studies will be useful in a range of careers from broadcast journalist, social worker to the medical profession.
Exam Board and Specification AQA Religious Studies A
Key areas of content AQA Religious Studies consists of two components.      


Component 1: The study of religions: beliefs teachings and practices.

  • Pupils will study both Christianity and Islam, with a focus on studying the key beliefs, teachings and practices in depth. These include the nature of God, worship, duties and festivals, as well as the role of religion in the worldwide community.

Component 2: Thematic studies

  • Pupils will study a total of four philosophical and ethical studies themes.
  • Relationships and families- sex, marriage and divorce, families and gender equality.
  • Religion and Life- The origins and value of the universe, relationship between science and religion, environmental ethics, the origin and value of human life, the sanctity of life, abortion, euthanasia and beliefs about death and the afterlife.
  • The existence of God and revelation- Philosophical arguments for the existence of God, the Design argument, the First cause argument, the argument from miracles, evil and suffering, arguments from science, the nature of God.
  • Religion, peace and conflict- religion, violence, terrorism and war, holy war, pacifism, Just War theory, religion and belief in 21st century conflict.
Assessment arrangements
  • Each component is assessed through a 1hr 45minute examination.
  • Each unit is worth 96 marks, plus 5 marks for spelling, punctuation and grammar.
Textbooks, websites and other relevant material Text Books-      
  • Religious Studies, Specification A by Parry, Hayes and Butler (Hodder)
  • Religious Studies, Christianity by Flemming, Smith and Worden (Oxford)

Suggested Reading-

  • The Young Atheist’s Handbook by Shaha Alom
  • The Story of God by Professor Robert Winston

RS, Philosophy and Ethics through Film-

  • Million Dollar Baby
  • Vera Drake
  • Invictus
  • An Inconvenient Truth
  • Dead Man Walking
  • Inception
  • Bruce Almighty
  • The Prince of Egypt
  • Exodus
  • The Passion

To view the full subject curriculum for Key Stage 4 please click here: Key Stage 4 Curriculum 2018-19

Bolingbroke Academy Subject DNA: Humanities

If you have any queries please contact the Lead Teacher of RE, Ms Winter