Religious Studies

Reasons to study this course

  • You want to study ethics and in particular the Buddhist religion in depth.
  • You want to tackle the greatest philosophical theories and ideas.
  • You aim to become an enlightened thinker, being able to contribute to the ethical debates of the greatest minds.

What you will need to study this course

  • strong academic discipline and ability
  • an enquiring, critical and reflective approach
  • ability to work independently
  • minimum GCSE grade 4 or above in English
  • GCSE Religious Studies (either full or short course) is not essential but would be helpful

What you will study

Year 1 (AS) – Buddhism in depth, philosophy of religion (including the arguments for the existence of God) and religious ethics (including natural law and utilitarianism).

Year 2 (A-Level) – Buddhism in further depth, miracles, religious language, conscience, meta-ethics and free will and determinism.

How you will be assessed

Year 1 (AS) – one two-hour exam and a one-hour exam

Year 2 (A-Level) – two exams, each three hours

Priestley Extra

Annual RS trip to Manchester to explore the Buddhist Temple and personal Q & A with a Buddhist monk. External speakers who share their experiences and bring religion to life.


Students who have studied Religious Studies go on to university and a variety of careers including teaching, social work, public services, caring professions and jobs within the private sector.

Recommended reading

To get started with this course, you can get a flavour with the following reading list;

  • Frye, J, 2017. Religious Studies for A-Level Year 1 and AS
  • Frye, J, et al, 2017. Religious Studies for A-Level Year 2
  • Davies, B. 1983, 1993, 2004. An Introduction to Philosophy of Religion
  • Cole, P. 2008. Philosophy of Religion (Access to Religion)
  • Jordan, A, Lockyer N and Tate, E. 1999. Philosophy of Religion for A-Level
  • Vardy, P and Arliss, J. 2003. The Thinkers Guide to God
  • Vary, P and Vardy, C. 2013. God Matters
  • Thompson, M. 2010. Understand the Philosophy of Religion: Teach Yourself
  • Gaarder, J. 1995. Sophie’s World
  • Hansell, N. 2016. The Sage Train (Philosophy comes to Life)
  • Bowie, R. 2001. Ethical Studies
  • Vardy, P and Grosch, P. 1999. The Puzzle of Ethics
  • Vary, P and Vardy, C. 2012. Ethics Matters
  • Thompson, M. 2010. Understand Ethics: Teach Yourself
  • RS Review

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