Religious Education


Would it surprise you to learn that more students now take Religious Studies at A Level than at any other time in the past? Why do you think the subject has become so popular? Maybe it’s because our society has become so multi-cultural that issues of religion are headline news. What people believe and how they behave has become a fascinating area for study. Would you like the same to be said of you? Would you like to learn more about religion and morality from a worldwide perspective? If so, then opt for Religious Studies and join the many thousands of students in the UK who can see the advantages of taking a very colourful subject that will teach you the life skills of critical thinking, evaluation, cultural understanding and empathy.

Islam 1 The Way of Submission (Unit K)
Four topics are identified for study and there will be one question based on each topic. Candidates must answer two questions. Understanding of any one topic may be informed by a study of the others, and, where relevant, candidates may draw on material from more than one topic in their answer to any question set. To study less than the full specification content may disadvantage a candidate’s synoptic grasp of the material for study. Where appropriate, answers should show awareness that there are differing views on the topics and issues studied, either within the religion or within the scholarship on that religion.

Two units: Islam and Religious Experiences
2. Shi’a Islam
• Distinctive beliefs, with particular reference to the role and importance of religious leaders
• Distinctive practices, with particular reference to the celebration and significance of Ashura, including the importance of suffering, martyrdom and the signifi cance of the death of Hussain • The Imamate – including the hidden Imam and Mahdi Issues arising
• The importance and implications of these beliefs and practices today
• To what extent are Sunni and Shi’a Islam both similar and different?
• What is the relationship between the role and importance of Muhammad and the role and importance of the Imam in Shi’a Islam?
4. Women and family life
• Nature, purpose and importance of the family in Islam
• Role and status of women
• Regulations concerning marriage and divorce Issues arising
• What are the implications of these for Islam today?
• How far is the role and status of Muslim women a cultural or religious matter?
• Equality of gender – is this possible and desirable in Islam? Religious Experience
• Definitions and ideas about religious experience
• Influence of religious experience as a source for religious practice and good religious behaviour
• Religious experience as a foundation for particular religions
• Methods of establishing validity

Linear examination at the end of the year.

There are three main ways of ‘using’ religious studies in the world of work:
1. Careers where it is important or useful to have knowledge of what really matters to people: health care, child care, medicine, psychologist, customer services.
2. Careers which make good use of the research, investigatory and report writing techniques learned in studying religion: law, police work (forensic), psychology, public services, management.
3. Careers where you need specific knowledge of religions: teaching, social work, archaeology, museum work, fine art, conservation/natural history, architecture, youth work and ministry.

Key Areas

  • Islam 1 - The Way of Submission (Unit K)
  • Islam 2 - Shi’a Islam
  • Islam 2 - Women and family life

Career Outcomes

  • health care
  • child care
  • medicine
  • psychologist
  • customer services

Find out more

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