Religious Education

Exam Board: AQA

Exam Board Website: AQA – Assessment and Qualifications Alliance externallink

Religious Education Curriculum Summary
Year 7 This section will be updated shortly.
Year 8
Year 9


Philosophy and Ethics
GCSE General Information

Philosophy and Ethics is about life and the issues pupils will face when they leave College and go into the multi-ethnic, multi-faith society which is the United Kingdom. Never before has an understanding of worldwide political, moral and religious issues been more important. The course involves a great deal of thinking and discussion, making pupils more aware of other people’s beliefs and helping them form their own opinions about the world.  It helps pupils to adopt an enquiring, critical and reflective approach to the study of religion. Philosophy and Ethics enables pupils to have a much greater and deeper understanding of themselves, empowering them with the insight and maturity needed to succeed in a global economy. It also gives pupils the opportunity to explore religious and moral beliefs in a safe but questioning environment, so that they respect other people’s ideas while clarifying their own.

Philosophy and Ethics is not about making pupils ‘religious’.  It is about enabling pupils to think for themselves about issues from a religious and non-religious viewpoint. 

Christianity – and at least one other religion – will be studied in each section.

Philosophy and Ethics (Religious Studies) is recognised as an increasingly important qualification for all careers where working with people is a key element. It is valued in a wide variety of careers from Journalism, Law, Politics, Education, Social work, Medicine, Acting, he Police Force or even the Army.  It is a recognised academic qualification valued as much as other Humanities by the Russell Group Universities. 

What will I need to succeed?

Pupils who do well in and enjoy this subject generally:

  • enjoy discussing their views and opinions;
  • have an interest in learning about the views and opinions of other people from different cultures and backgrounds;
  • need to be able to see both sides of an argument;
  • need to be able to remember key quotes and examples to support their opinions;
  • have an enquiring, inquisitive mind;
  • have an ability to think (and write down your thoughts) logically;
  • have an interest in psychology – i.e. where people get their ideas from;
  • have a love of argument and discussion;
  • show a willingness to listen to other people’s point of view.

Subject Content

Component 1: The study of religions: beliefs, teachings and practicesComponent 2: Thematic studies 

Component 1: The study of religions: beliefs, teachings and practices in Christianity and Islam

  • Students study the beliefs, teachings and practices of Christianity and Islam 
  • Students study the influence of the beliefs, teachings and practices studied on individuals, communities and societies. 

Component 2: Thematic studies

Students should study the following 4 themes for Component 2. Relationships and Families

  • Contraception
  • Sexual relationships before marriage
  • Homosexual relationships

Religion and Life

  • Abortion
  • Euthanasia
  • Animal Experimentation

Peace and conflict 

  • Violence
  • Weapons of mass destruction
  • Pacifism

Crime and punishment 

  • Corporal punishment
  • Death penalty
  • Forgiveness

Expected Assessment Requirements (1-9 Grades)

How it is assessed

Component 1:Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes96 marks (plus 5 marks for spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG)50% of GCSE

Component 2:Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes96 marks (plus 5 marks for spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG)50% of GCSEWhat it can lead to after leaving Swanmore College?

Prominent careers Teaching, Civil Service, National Security, Diplomatic Service, Defence Industry, Human Rights, Law, Politics, Emergency Services: Police, Fire, Ambulance, Coastguard, Human resources.
RS with English Advertising, Publishing, Journalism, Media, Broadcasting, Copywriting.
RS with Science  Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary, Medical laboratories, Research & development.
RS with Maths Banking, Business, Management, Retail.
RS with Geography Pilot, Armed Forces, Aid agencies, Charity worker, Travel & Tourism.
RS with other subjects Hospitality, Youth & Social Work, Councillor, Translators, Self-Employment, Office Administrators.