KS4 RE & Ethical Studies


Subject Staff Leader – Mrs B Lee



Name –        Religious Studies A
Board –        AQA
Code –          405002 / 405009


Assessment of Course
Two Units

  • Two exams, Written exams: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • 96 marks (plus 5 marks for spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG))
  • Each 50% of GCSE


Course Content
In this GCSE course we focus on Christianity and Islam.

We discuss and debate a range of ethical issues that are all relevant to society today as well as the key beliefs and teachings and practices of each religion. Students should not choose Religious Studies just to cover the ethical topics as this is only 50% of the course. There is an in depth study to the religious motivations and practices of both Muslim and Christian believers.

All study concentrates on developing skills of analysis and academic enquiry and requires students to be able to write in an extended manner.

Year 1 – Christianity and Islam: Paper 1


Key beliefs: Nature of God/ Life after Death Authority: Holy books and prophet hood Worship: The Five Pillars and prayer Duties: Pilgrimage of Hajj and Jihad Festivals: commemorations and their importance for Muslims in Great Britain today


Key beliefs: Nature of God and heaven and hell Jesus Christ and Salvation: Crucifixion and sin Worship and festivals: Use of the bible and prayer and a comparison of Christian festivals and pilgrimage. The role of the Church in the local and wider community: Food banks, street pastors and looking at a Christian aid group.

Year 2 – Christianity and Islam: Thematic Studies

Relationships and families

Topics include: Contraception/ Sexual relationships before marriage/ Homosexual relationships/ Family planning/ Gender discrimination

Religion and life

Topics include: Abortion/ Euthanasia/ Animal experimentation/ Origins of the universe/ Value of human life

Religion, peace and conflict

Violence/ Weapons of mass destruction/ Pacifism/ Terrorism/ Forgiveness/ Holy War

Religion, crime and punishment

Corporal punishment/ Death penalty/ Forgiveness/ Causes and aims of crime and Punishment

Religious Studies is ideally suited to careers in medicine, law, journalism, politics, philosophy and any career related to dealing with people.

Oxford University says, “We are looking for students who have the ability to think, can formulate ideas, and be questioning — intellectual skills. RS provides these in abundance.”


This subject can be taken at A Level without having studied it at GCSE.






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