Bolton School Sixth Form Girls

Religious Studies


The A Level course helps to develop the skills of analysis, logical presentation of argument and critical thinking, whilst allowing you to gain knowledge which may help you to make sense of the world and the competing demands of life in the 21st century. 

What will I study?

There are three elements to the course, Philosophy of Religion, Religion and Ethics and Developments in Christian Thought. Philosophy of Religion considers the question of God’s existence, the nature of the self, the challenge of evil and suffering to belief in God and the age-old question of what, if anything, happens when we die. Ethics involves asking questions about right and wrong and whether it is possible, or even desirable, to develop a system for telling us how we ought to behave in every situation. You will learn about ethical decision making in the real world by focusing on euthanasia, business ethics and issues concerning sex and sexuality in the Twenty-first Century. Developments in Christian Thought focuses on key areas of Christian theology which have shaped Western Philosophy and culture over the past two thousand years and investigates reasons why religion seems to be in decline in the modern world. You will also study some of the ways in which Christianity has responded to the changing roles of men and women and the way in which feminist theology has challenged traditional male-dominated religious world views. Due to the nature of the subject matter and the skills you will develop, RS A Level complements both the Sciences and the Humanities and is an excellent preparation for any degree course or career which values a questioning mind, academic rigour, critical analysis and the ability to construct persuasive arguments. 

How will I be assessed?

AS level                                                                A level

One examination for each module                   One examination for each module

There is no coursework.

Desirable requirements

You should enjoy discussing, reading, thinking and expressing your ideas both orally and in writing and keeping up to date with current ethical issues.  It is essential that you question, make judgements and formulate your own opinions.  It is not necessary to have studied RS at GCSE. 

How will I study?

Lessons consist largely of discussion but you will also have the opportunity to read, research and practise your writing skills.

Where will it lead?

Wherever you want it to!  Religious Studies is welcomed by the top universities as a valuable academic subject.  The skills developed through RS make it a good foundation for a degree in any subject and the knowledge acquired provides a useful background for many occupations.  Medicine, Law, Psychology, Politics, Journalism, Public Relations, the Police and Business Management, are just some of the careers that students with A Level RS have gone on to follow.


“I chose to study Religious Studies because I really enjoy it and it was one of my favourite subjects sat GCSE. At A Level we study philosophy, ethics and Christian thought and I like it because there are some topics from GCSE that you study in more depth and many new topics which are really interesting. Religious Studies lessons are so much fun: I always look forward to them! I also do Mathematics, Physics and History and, even though Religious Studies is a contrast to my other subjects, it means I learn to use a range of different skills. I would recommend to anyone to take it for A Level.”