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Religious Studies

Head of Department: G Greenbury.
Email: george.greenbury@epsomcollege.org.uk

Trinity College, Cambridge, identifies Religious Studies (RS) A Level as generally suitable preparation for any arts degree, and the University of Oxford reports that one fifth of successful Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) applicants study A Level RS. Consequently, The Telegraph writes, "Religious Studies is regarded as an academic discipline par excellance," and the Russell Group ranks it alongside Economics and History as suitable preparation for university entry.

RS is academically rigorous and intellectually challenging; however, it is also an enjoyable and exciting subject to study, because it encompasses remarkably diverse subject matter. Between the Third Form and the Upper Sixth Form, RS students can expect to study ethics, philosophy, the New Testament, contemporary religious issues, and all six world religions. The aim of the Department is to capture the spirit of the subject, and inspire students to think about themselves and the world around them.

RS is non-confessional, and does not advocate or promote any religion. The approach of the Department is to encourage students to engage with the ethical, philosophical and theological dimensions of different religions, and consider the effects that they have on society, both locally and globally. RS creates an environment in which students can reflect openly on different religions and religious issues, and their social, moral, spiritual and cultural impact.

Courses

Year 7/Third Form

In the Third Form, students are introduced to the three world religions that developed in the eastern hemisphere, in the chronological order in which they originated: Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sikhism. Students also study three religious themes: religious festivals, pilgrimage, and religious food and drink. The religious themes all have synoptic connections with the world religions studied.

Michaelmas Term 1

Michaelmas Term 2

Lent Term 1

Lent Term 2

 Summer Term 1

 Summer Term 2

Introduction to Hinduism

Religious Festivals

Introduction to Buddhism

Pilgrimage

Introduction to Sikhism

Religious Food and Drink

Year 8/Lower Fourth Form

In the Lower Fourth Form, students are introduced to the three world religions that developed in the western hemisphere, in the chronological order in which they originated: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Students also study three religious themes: holy books, religious leaders, and places of worship. The religious themes all have synoptic connections with the world religions studied.

Michaelmas Term 1

Michaelmas Term 2

Lent Term 1

Lent Term 2

Summer Term 1

Summer Term 2

Introduction to Judaism

Holy Books

Introduction to Christianity

Religious Leaders

Introduction to Islam

Places of Worship

Middle Fourth Form

In the Middle Fourth Form, students are introduced to the philosophy of religion. Students study the historical conflict between religion and science, and the different ways in which religions communicate about God and with God.

Michaelmas Term 1

Michaelmas Term 2

Lent Term 1

Lent Term 2

Summer Term 1

Summer Term 2

Religion and Science

Religion and Science

Religion and Science

Communication About and With God

Communication About and With God

Communication About and With God

Upper Fourth Form

In the Upper Fourth Form, students can choose to pursue GCSE RS (AQA GCSE Religious Studies A (8062A)), or to discontinue their RS studies. In the first year of GCSE RS, students study Christianity, specifically its beliefs and teachings, and its practices; students also study two thematic studies: religion, peace, and conflict, and religion, crime, and punishment.

Michaelmas Term 1

Michaelmas Term 2

Lent Term 1

Lent Term 2

Summer Term 1

Summer Term 2

Christianity: Beliefs and Teachings

Christianity: Practices

Christianity: Religion, Peace and Conflict

Christianity: Religion, Peace and Conflict

Christianity: Religion, Crime and Punishment

Christianity: Religion, Crime and Punishment

Fifth Form

In the Fifth Form, students who chose to pursue GCSE RS in the Upper Fourth Form continue their GCSE RS studies (AQA GCSE Religious Studies A (8062A)). In the second year of GCSE RS, students study Judaism, specifically its beliefs and teachings, and its practices; students also study two thematic studies: religion and life, and the existence of God and revelation. Students prepare for their GCSE RS external examinations in the Summer Term.

Michaelmas Term 1

Michaelmas Term 2

Lent Term 1

Lent Term 2

Summer Term 1

Summer Term 2

Judaism: Beliefs and Teachings

Judaism: Practices

Judaism: Religion and Life

Judaism: The Existence of God and Revelation

Revision

Revision

 

AQA GCSE Religious Studies A

8062A · 601/8400/0

Component 1A: The Study of Religions: Beliefs, Teachings and Practices

Component 2A: Thematic Studies

  • Christianity (Upper Fourth Form);
  • Judaism (Fifth Form).
  • Theme B: Religion and Life (Fifth Form);
  • Theme C: The Existence of God and Revelation (Fifth Form);
  • Theme D: Religion, Peace and Conflict (Upper Fourth Form);
  • Theme E Religion, Crime and Punishment (Upper Fourth Form).

Examination: 1 hour 45 minutes (linear).

Questions: 4 x 5-part questions (1, 2, 4, 5, and 12 marks).

Marks: 96 marks (48 marks/religion); 5 SPAG marks; 50% of GCSE.

Examination: 1 hour 45 minutes (linear).

Questions: 4 x 5-part questions (1, 2, 4, 5, and 12 marks).

Marks: 96 marks (24 marks/theme); 5 SPAG marks; 50% of GCSE.

Lower Sixth Form

In the Lower Sixth Form, students can choose to pursue GCE (A Level) RS (Edexcel GCE Religious Studies (9RS0)). In the first year of GCE (A Level) RS, students study philosophy of religion, religion and ethics, and New Testament studies.

 

Michaelmas Term 1

Michaelmas Term 2

Lent Term 1

 

Lent Term 2

Summer Term 1

Summer Term 2

Philosophy of Religion

Philosophical issues and questions

The nature and influence of religious experience

Problems of evil and suffering

Problems of evil and suffering

Philosophical language

Philosophical language

 

 

Religion and Ethics

Significant concepts in issues or debates in religion and ethics

A study of three ethical theories

 

Application of ethical theories to issues of importance

Application of ethical theories to issues of importance

Ethical language

Ethical language

New Testament Studies

Social, historical and religious context of the New Testament

Texts and interpretation of the Person of Jesus

 

Interpreting the text and issues of relationship, purpose and authorship

Interpreting the text and issues of relationship, purpose and authorship

Ways of interpreting the scripture

 

Ways of interpreting the scripture

Upper Sixth Form

In the Upper Sixth Form, students who chose to pursue GCE (A Level) RS in the Lower Sixth Form continue their GCE (A Level) RS studies (Edexcel GCE Religious Studies (9RS0)). In the second year of GCE (A Level) RS, students continue to study philosophy of religion, religion and ethics, and New Testament studies. Students prepare for their GCSE RS external examinations in the Summer Term.

 

Michaelmas Term 1

Michaelmas Term 2

 Lent Term 1

Lent Term 2

 

Summer Term 1

Summer  Term 2

Philosophy of Religion

Works of Scholars

Works of Scholars

Influences of developments in religious belief

Influences of developments in religious belief

Revision

Revision

 

 

Religion and Ethics

Deontology, Virtue Ethics and the works of scholars

Deontology, Virtue Ethics and the works of scholars

Medical ethics: beginning and end of life issues

Medical ethics: beginning and end of life issues

Revision

 

 

Revision

New Testament Studies

Texts and interpretation: the Kingdom of God, conflict, the death and resurrection of Jesus

Texts and interpretation: the Kingdom of God, conflict, the death and resurrection of Jesus

Scientific and historical-critical challenges, ethical living and the work of scholars

Scientific and historical-critical challenges, ethical living and the work of scholars

Revision

Revision

 

Edexcel GCE Religious Studies

9RS0 · 601/8741/4

Paper 1 (9RS0/01): Philosophy of Religion

Paper 12 (9RS0/02):

Religion and Ethics

Paper 3 (9RS0/03):

New Testament Studies

  • Philosophical issues and questions (Lower Sixth Form);
  • The nature and influence of religious experience (Lower Sixth Form);
  • Problems of evil and suffering (Lower Sixth Form);
  • Philosophical language (Upper Sixth Form);
  • Works of Scholars (Upper Sixth Form);
  • Influences of developments in religious belief (Upper Sixth Form).
  • Significant concepts in issues or debates in religion and ethics (Lower Sixth Form);
  • A study of three ethical theories (Lower Sixth Form);
  • Application of ethical theories to issues of importance (Lower Sixth Form);
  • Ethical language (Upper Sixth Form);
  • Deontology, Virtue Ethics and the works of scholars (Upper Sixth Form);
  • Medical ethics: beginning and end of life issues (Upper Sixth Form).
  • Social, historical and religious context of the New Testament (Lower Sixth Form);
  • Texts and interpretation of the Person of Jesus (Lower Sixth Form);
  • Interpreting the text and issues of relationship, purpose and authorship (Lower Sixth Form);
  • Ways of interpreting the scripture (Upper Sixth Form);
  • Texts and interpretation: the Kingdom of God, conflict, the death and resurrection of Jesus (Upper Sixth Form);
  • Scientific and historical-critical challenges, ethical living and the work of scholars (Upper Sixth Form).

Examination: 2 hours (linear).

Questions: 2 x structured questions (Section A); 1 x two-part essay question (Section B); 1 x extended essay question (Section C).

Marks: 80 marks; 33.33% of GCE.

Examination: 2 hours (linear).

Questions: 2 x structured questions (Section A); 1 x two-part essay question (Section B); 1 x extended essay question (Section C).

Marks: 80 marks; 33.33% of GCE.

Examination: 2 hours (linear).

Questions: 2 x structured questions (Section A); 1 x two-part essay question (Section B); 1 x extended essay question (Section C).

Marks: 80 marks; 33.33% of GCE.

 

 

 

 

Department Staff

Head of Department

G Greenbury MA (Cantab), PGCE, MA (Warwick), EdM (Harvard)

 

Department Teaching Staff

Mrs H H Hynd BA (Nottingham), MA (Dunelm), PGCE (King's College London), FRSA 

B G MacDowel MTheol (St Andrews) 

Mrs A Martineau BA (Bristol) 

Revd Fr P Thompson BA (Oxon)

Further Education and Career Prospects

Oxbridge identifies RS A Level as generally suitable preparation for any arts degree, and the Russell Group rank it alongside Economics and History as suitable preparation for university entry. Consequently, RS is recognised as being one of the most appropriate A Levels for university preparation.

The University of Cambridge Careers Service reports that a significant number of Theology and Religious Studies graduates proceed to employment in financial services, employment in legal services, or progress to further study (eg Master's studies, Doctoral studies) in approximately equal numbers. Thereafter, a number of graduates proceed to employment in the arts (eg film, theatre) and charities.