Religious Studies

Exam Board

Additional Entry Requirements

Grade 6 in GCSE religious studies (if taken) and grade 6 in GCSE English language.
Grade 6 in any GCSE essay writing subject (e.g. English literature, history, geography) if religious studies not taken.
Grade 5 in GCSE mathematics 
NB. Cannot be taken in combination with philosophy.

Course Content

Why religious studies?
Religious studies at Woodhouse will provide you with an introduction to one of the most fascinating and relevant areas of study today. It’s an opportunity for students to engage with a variety of topical questions about belief, values, meaning, purpose and truth. Students will be able to reflect on and develop their own values, beliefs and attitudes in light of what they have learnt.
RS is seen by the Russell Group as a ‘suitable preparation for university generally’ and Oxbridge include it in their top level list of suitable arts A levels. Theology graduates are found working for almost every type of employer in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, as the subject provides an excellent foundation for a range of careers.
There will be opportunities to listen to external speakers, and students are encouraged to take the initiative and attend lectures, exhibitions and other events in and around London.
Course content
You’ll study three out of four components and focus on philosophy of religion, religion and ethics and Christianity. You’ll engage with philosophical issues and questions such as the nature and influence of religious experience, the problems of evil and suffering, philosophical and ethical language, and the application of ethical theories through the works of scholars.
In the Christianity option, you’ll examine the development of Christian beliefs, values and teachings, and the nature of sources of wisdom and authority for those beliefs. You’ll look at the practices that shape and express the Christian identity, as well as the social and historical developments in the religion over time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please click on the headings below.

What is the difference between RS and Philosophy?

Religious studies focus on philosophy of religion and ethics and considers both secular and religious positions. Philosophy also considers ethics and philosophy of religion but focus more on the logic of arguments. We also study a specific religion in RS, which is Christianity.

Is there a lot of religion in the course?

A third of the course is about religion. We have chosen to study Christianity because it is really interesting to look at how central Christian beliefs have changed over time and because it fits in well with other subjects taught at Woodhouse (English literature and history in particular).

I am not religious, can I still do this course?

Absolutely! If you are interested in big philosophical and ethical debates and the history of ideas, this course is for you!

Do I need to have done RS or RE at GCSE?

No you don’t. The content of the course doesn’t rely on any background knowledge.

What can I do with an A level in RS? What careers can it lead to?

Religious studies teaches you critical thinking, analytic and evaluation skills. A lot of our students move on to study philosophy, theology or law.
Those who choose to read religious studies at university move on to careers in the civil service, journalism teaching or do conversion courses in law.
“There’s a lot more discussion than I expected from an essay based course, but you have to have those discussions first to develop your ideas. Before, if I thought something was wrong I’d jump on it, but now I really think about why that might be and RS has helped my debating skills.
I think ethics it something everyone should have to study, because it teaches you what makes you a good human and gives you an idea of how to think about things that you can apply to your own life.
I like the freedom of Woodhouse, it motivates me. I know that when you have to take that independent step for yourself it shows how much you really want to do something.”
St Thomas More Catholic School

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