About AS/A Level Religious Studies
‘Religion’ is often taken to refer just to a set of beliefs, but more accurately it refers to a whole dimension of life. This dimension includes basic assumptions about the our lives, together with different traditional stories, works of art, rituals, philosophies, communities, ethics and buildings. There are a great variety of religious traditions, including some that do not involve God at all, like Buddhism and Daoism. There is a complex relationship between religion and culture – so to study, say, Hinduism, means studying Indian culture too. Religion also has a complex relationship with philosophy in an ongoing debate about our values and the meaning of our lives. So religion is relevant to everyone’s lives, whether or not you think of yourself as ‘religious’. Religious Studies can be fascinating for people of any religious background or none.
AS/A Level is a much more mature study than anything you might do at GCSE or before. You will focus on one or two religions or aspects of religion and explore them in depth. You will be able to ask real critical questions about religion and argue your own case about them, from whatever standpoint you wish to take.
Our qualifications for RS teaching
Religious Studies was the subject in which Robert originally qualified as a secondary teacher in 1992, building on a Cambridge degree that was partly in Theology and Religious Studies and partly in Oriental Studies (including the study of Hinduism and Buddhism through their texts). He also has a long-standing personal interest and practical familiarity with Buddhism. Since 1992 he has taught Religious Studies A Level in two different sixth form colleges (for a total of 9 years) and also by distance learning. He has also written some distance learning resources for RS AS published by Nelson Thornes. His experience includes teaching Philosophy of Religion, Ethics, Biblical Studies, Thematic Studies, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam.
Viryanaya has a BA party in Philosophy and has also taught Religious Studies (ethics and philosophy of religion) in a sixth form college setting. She also has personal experience of Buddhist study and practice.
All the main exam boards offer Religious Studies A Level: OCR, Edexcel, WJEC and AQA. Please see the websites of these exam boards for up-to-date details of their RS A Level specifications. We are happy to work with your choice of exam board, providing we can match the topics to our expertise.