Religious Studies

Exam Board

AQA (Specification A Full Course)

Assessed by

Written examinations



We are delighted to offer this recently updated AQA course. It is open to candidates of any religious persuasion or none and it encourages students to:

  • Develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of religions by exploring the beliefs, teachings, practices and ways of life
  • Develop their interest in a study of religion and its relation to the wider world
  • Express their personal responses and informed insights on fundamental questions about identity, meaning, purpose, values and commitments.


Candidates will study the following two components, each of which accounts for 50% of the total Full Course mark. There will be two written papers, each 1 hour 45 minutes which will be taken at the end of Year 11.


Component 1The study of two religions: Christianity and Islam


  1. The beliefs and teachings of religion: beliefs about God, gods or ultimate reality; key moral principles and the meanings and purposes of human life.


  1. Religious practices: the application of beliefs and teachings to the lives of modern believers including the study of places and forms of worship, rituals, prayer, festivals, fasting, rites of passage and pilgrimage.


Component 2 – Thematic Religious, Philosophical and Ethical Studies in the modern world


  1. Theme A – Relationships and Families: Issues of personal and sexual relationships, including commitment, marriage, cohabitation, extended family and remarriage. The unit ends by considering gender equality in society.
  2. Theme B - Religion and Life:

Religious views of the world, including their relationship to scientific views; beliefs about death and an afterlife; explanations of the origins and value of the universe and of human life. Includes topics such as animal experimentation and abortion.

  1. Theme D - Religion, Peace and Conflict:

Violence, war, pacifism, terrorism, just war theory, holy war; the role of religion and belief in 21st century conflict and peace making; the concepts of justice, forgiveness and reconciliation.

  1. Theme E – Religion, Crime and Punishment:

Crime and punishment; causes of crime, aims of punishment, the concepts of forgiveness, retribution, deterrence, reformation; the death penalty, treatment of criminals; good, evil and suffering.