A Level Religious Studies (Reformed 2016)

What is Religious Studies?

The AS/A level in Religious Studies ensures students have a thorough understanding of diverse philosophical and ethical viewpoints. With a variety of relevant and contemporary themes studied students will find themselves engaged with interesting discussions. Religious Studies will help you develop both academically and personally, by helping you to analyse complex questions and create informed opinions on them.

What sort of student does it suit and what will you get out of the course?

If you have an interest in religion in general, or a specific faith, or if you wish to follow a philosophical or ethical approach to religion, then this course will provide you with the opportunity to study those areas of interest. Religious Studies complements all subjects at A Level. The course is suitable for students who want to go on to study Law, Philosophy and Theology at university. Its ethical content also makes it an ideal accompaniment to the sciences for those interested in a career in Medicine. It provides an interesting contrast with subjects such as Chemistry and Physics, and shows you to be a student of many skills, making you more desirable to employers and universities.

AS Level

MPW approach to AS study

There is an emphasis on analysis and acquisition of knowledge in breadth. Students will be expected to read widely and produce regular homework. Weekly timed assignments are set. Trips to places of worship, and philosophy conferences are planned.

AS Specification Number
Edexcel 8RS0

 

There are three components, the Study of Philosophy and Religion, the Study of Ethics, and the Study of One Religion. There are three 1 hour exams.

Topics studied include:

  • What is God?
  • Life after death
  • Sources of wisdom and authority
  • Evil and suffering
  • Religious identity
  • Moral principles

Paper 1 – Philosophy of Religion

  • 1 hour written exam out of 54 marks worth 33.3%

Paper 2 – Religion and Ethics

  • 1 hour written exam out of 54 marks worth 33.3%

Paper 3 – Study of a Religion

  • 1 hour written exam out of 54 marks worth 33.3%

Reading list

AuthorTitlePublisher
Peter Vardy  The Puzzle of God  Harper Collins (Fount), 1995 
P Cole  Philosophy of Religion  Hodder Stoughton, 2002 
Peter Vardy  The Puzzle of Ethics  Harper Collins (Fount), 1995 

 

A Level

MPW approach to A level study

There is an emphasis on critical evaluation and acquisition of knowledge in depth. Students will be expected to read widely and produce regular homework. Weekly timed assignments are set. Trips to places of worship, and the British Museum are planned.

A Level Specification Number
Edexcel 9RS0

 

There are two components, the Study of Philosophy and Religion and the Study of Ethics, Religion, and Society. This is studied in the context of one religion. There are three 2 hour exams.

Topics studied include:

  • The role of religion
  • The challenge of science to religion
  • Religious Language
  • The nature of religion
  • Free will
  • Meta-ethics
  • Conscience

Paper 1 – Philosophy of Religion

  • 1 hour written exam out of 80 marks worth 33.3%

Paper 2 – Religion and Ethics

  • 1 hour written exam out of 80 marks worth 33.3%

Paper 3 – Study of a Religion

  • 1 hour written exam out of 80 marks worth 33.3%

Reading list

AuthorTitlePublisher
Brian Davies  An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion  OUP, 1997 
D D Raphael  Moral Philosophy  OUP, 1994 

Full specification details

Jonathon

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
Exeter University (Business Management)

I chose MPW because of the academic support provided by the college, which was instrumental in helping me throughout the challenging nature of my one-year A level courses. The weekly Timed Assignments and assistance provided by the Personal Tutor system helped me in areas I had previously struggled. Playing for the college football team was a great release from the challenging academic nature of the year and it helped me build friendships with other students in the college.

Shivali

Grades achieved at MPW
AAA

Progressed to
Leeds University (Dentistry)

The best part about studying at MPW is the friendly, encouraging and supportive classroom environment that MPW provides.  It makes asking for help and reaching your potential easy and enjoyable. The college really helps students to believe in themselves.  The Personal Tutor system is great because it is available for you to use to whatever extent you might need whether that be having weekly meetings or meeting every now and then for a quick catch up to analyse my current progress.  The weekly Timed Assignments have also enabled me to build my confidence in the build up to my exams.  They help you to feel comfortable in an exam environment, as well as enable you to consolidate the material you need to recall in the final exams

Annabel

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AB

Progressed to
Exeter University (International Relations and History)

“Having not achieved the grades I wanted or needed in my A levels at my previous college I decided that retaking would be the best option for me.  I have found the small classes at MPW to be a real asset, and that, coupled with the fantastic teaching, has certainly enabled me to grow academically. Further to this, both the academic support and the university guidance provided by the college have been exceptional.”

Renee

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A

Progressed to
Manchester University (Dentistry)

After failing to get into Dental School last year I lost a lot of confidence and was worried that I might never get into my dream course.  The one-to-one support you get from MPW is so much more efficient compared to the main stream schools and colleges. The individual help you get for applying to University which includes interview support is amazing. No matter if you are a resit or a first time student, no one judges you and as long as you are hardworking and want to be a success.

Jake

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A*A*A

Progressed to
Oxford University (Mathematics)

I joined MPW because I wanted to be part of a close knit community that focuses on helping students attain the grades they are really capable of.  Each student is assigned a Personal Tutor who assists them in all aspects of student life.  I would recommend the individual and personally tailored care given to any student looking to expand their academic horizons.  The encouragement and support has allowed me to aim high and achieve results that I had previously thought weren't possible. 

Cordelia

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
King’s College London (Dentistry)

MPW gave me a second chance in pursuing a career in dentistry. The small class sizes and weekly timed assessments gave me and my tutors a clear indication of my progress.  The rigorous teaching schedules, structured and tailored to my personal needs, was exactly what I needed. MPW placed heavy focus on exam technique as the key to achieving the required higher grades. Being able to talk with my tutors at any time in the day was an invaluable aid. It was also clear how much the teachers took a personal interest in the development of each individual student.

Josephine

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
University of Warwick (Management)

I joined MPW having not fulfilled my academic potential during my AS level exams at my previous school. I decided to retake my AS year at MPW and it was the best decision I ever made. The tutors at MPW have pushed me to achieve my maximum potential and have greatly improved my academic performance. The best part of studying at MPW is the weekly timed assignments as they ensure that you continuously review and revise work as well as helping you to make weekly improvements on exam technique.

Olivia

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
Bristol University (Dentistry)

Throughout my time at MPW I have been provided with constant support.  The college has prepared me for not only my exams but also the university interviews I attended.  It has been an amazing experience from start to finish.  The friendly and welcoming environment created by the staff and students made it an ideal setting for me to concentrate on achieving my targets.

Alex

Grades achieved at MPW
AAA

Progressed to
University of Birmingham (Law)

I came to MPW with very low self-confidence after under-achieving at AS level at my previous school, and have left with greater confidence about my academic ability and with a definite degree of clarity about what I hope to achieve in terms of my career. My experience at my previous school was that those with Oxbridge potential receive the most support and attention. This is not the case at MPW. I have found that it does not matter about that what the student's potential may be, each student receives the same amount of help to achieve their goals.