This new linear A Level offers students the opportunity to explore key ideas, concepts, themes and practices within philosophy, ethics and religion. The first strand of the course involves the in-depth study of one religion (either Buddhism or Christianity), covering religious figures, sacred texts, religious life, social and historical developments, and religious identity. The second strand, Philosophy of Religion, involves the study of arguments for the existence of God; challenges to religious belief; and religious experience. The third strand considers whether we really have free will, and covers theories relating to ethical decision making.
The over-arching aim of this course is to help students to become knowledgeable and reflective, critical and creative thinkers - able to approach academic work and intellectual discourse confidently and effectively.
Comments from former students give a good idea of the appeal of Religion, Ethics & Philosophy:
"I've enjoyed examining the whole question of right and wrong - when people say that you shouldn't use genetic engineering how do they know?"
"It's a subject that teaches you to analyse and to argue - it goes brilliantly with my other subjects, Psychology, Sociology and English."
The A Level qualification you will gain, Religious Studies, has a long pedigree and is a highly respected subject so a better question might be: What can't I do with it? Employers and universities know that this subject teaches people to think clearly and to express themselves coherently; the skills that you will develop in analysis and argument are valuable in a range of careers. Former students are accountants, personnel officers, solicitors, criminal psychologists, speech therapists, nurses, teachers and too many more to mention!
For the full exam specification visit www.ocr.org.uk
Philosophy is a subject like no other. If you are looking for something to take you out of your comfort zone and challenge you then this is the subject for you. Philosophy is probably the most perplexing, yet interesting subject I have ever studied.