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Religious Studies

Members of the Department

A Willoughby (Head of Department) A Connolly M Davison B Mc Elwee P McMaster B Wilson



The Religious Education Department is committed to the promotion of the spiritual and moral development of each student in conjunction with the pursuit of academic excellence. There is a close relationship between Religious Education, the School Ethos and the Pastoral Care Programme. The fostering of the student's self-esteem, the development of self-respect and respect for others as well the promotion of rationality, responsibility and compassion is central to the Department's focus.

Religious Education is a compulsory subject at Key Stage 3 and 4 and is a very popular choice at A-Level. RE enjoys a high profile both within and beyond the classroom, for example assemblies, liturgies, retreats, fundraising activities and community outreach projects.


Key Stage 3

The study of Religious Education from Year 8 - 10 includes Biblical Studies, World Religions (Christianity, Judaism and Islam), Morality, Relationships and Sex Education.


Key Stage 4 (GCSE)

GCSE Religious Studies (CCEA Specification) The GCSE Religious Studies specification encourages students to develop an enquiring, critical and reflective approach. They explore religions and beliefs, reflecting on and responding personally to fundamental questions. Students study 2 Modules:

  • An introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

  • An introduction to Christian Ethics


Key Stage 5 (GCE)

The following information refers to the new specification that started in September 2016


Module 1: Foundations of Ethics (with special reference to issues in Medical Ethics) Students explore the themes and principles that are foundational to religious ethics including: the role of Christian scripture in informing Christian ethics, the deontological approach of natural moral law and the teleological approaches of utilitarianism and situation ethics. Students will apply these ethical approaches to key issues in medical ethics. Students will explore the relationship between science, technology and Christian ethics, considering implications for society, marriage and the family. In their study of life and death issues, students focus on the moral debates surrounding abortion and the ethics of assisted suicide and euthanasia.

Module 2: Philosophy of Religion

Students will consider the challenges to religious belief, such as questions raised by science and atheism; they will the study the arguments for and against the existence of God, the problem of evil and suffering for the believer, the validity of belief in miracles and religious experience and its value in in the life of the believer. Students will also explore the relationship between Philosophy of Religion and other aspects of human experience such as the social and cultural impact of atheism, the experience of evil in the world and the link between religion and moral behaviour.


Module 1: Global Ethics

Students will explore moral theory including virtue ethics and a study of free will, determinism and libertarianism, focusing on topical issues in the world today. Students also learn about global rights focusing on sexual identity and gender-related issues. Students examine the nature and purpose of justice and punishment and the problems presented by contemporary warfare as global ethical issues. Finally students will consider the notion of moral duty and the link between religion and morality.

Module 2: Themes in the Philosophy of Religion

Students will study the concept of the afterlife, the relationship between religion and morality and some twentieth century movements, including Existentialism and Humanism. As part of the Synoptic Assessment Theme - Faith, Freedom and Atheism students will explore Christian and Atheistic Existentialism and the challenges to religious belief.


Career Opportunities


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