GCSE Religious Studies is made up of two elements: The study of religion and themes. The study of religion involves an in-depth study of two religious traditions: Christianity and Islam. We then go on to study themes which are made up of philosophical and moral concepts such as abortion and the death penalty. Whilst studying these themes we consider beliefs within Christianity, Islam and the UK.
We follow the AQA exam board specification A. During the course the focus will be on both the practical and ethical application of religious teaching in the modern world. You will have five lessons per fortnight in school with homework and additional reading as directed by your class teacher.
The GCSE qualification consists of two written examination papers at the end of year 11. Each paper lasts 1 hour 45 minutes.
Is it for me?
Religious Studies is all about people, religion, culture, morality (what is right and wrong) and philosophy (asking big questions). As well as learning facts and gaining knowledge about religious beliefs and practices, this course encourages students to develop skills of empathy, critical thinking and debate.
To be successful in this GCSE, you will need to be able to discuss and evaluate key issues, including contemporary moral issues such as the death penalty.
Religious Studies is a literacy based subject. Therefore, students also need to be competent in extended writing and be keen to learn new subject-specific terminology.
Religious Studies GCSE is a valuable qualification for anyone wishing to work in sectors of the employment market where communication skills are important. Jobs in the caring professions such as nursing, nursery work, social work or teaching, require skills of empathy and tolerance that Religious Studies fosters in its students. People who study Religious Studies also go on to careers in politics, the civil service, journalism, the media and the charity sector.
As an academic subject, Religious Studies complements other Humanities subjects such as History, as well as social science subjects like Sociology and Psychology.