Religious Studies


Option Subject - Category B

Examination Board: AQA

Specification Code: 8062 Specification A

Why Take This Course?

GCSE exams in Religious Studies A include questions that allow students to demonstrate their ability to:

  • Apply knowledge and understanding of two religions;

  • Apply knowledge and understanding of key sources of wisdom and authority including scripture and/or sacred texts, where appropriate, which support contemporary religious faith;

  • Understand the influence of religion on individuals, communities and societies;

  • Understand significant common and divergent views between and/or within religions and beliefs;

  • Apply knowledge and understanding in order to analyse questions related to religious beliefs and values;

  • Construct well-informed and balanced arguments on matters concerned with religious beliefs and values set out in the subject content below.

Why did GCSE candidates choose Religious Studies?  This is what they said:

“Opinions matter; discussions are good because I am an auditory learner.”
“I like talking about moral issues like abortion.  There are no wrong opinions.”
“We watch videos.  There is no coursework and it’s not all religious.”
“I like to express my views and opinions and listen to the views of others.”
“There’re a lot of videos and I’m a visual learner.”
“It is helpful when it comes to jobs, as it covers a lot of things employers are looking for, e.g., people skills.”
“The last couple of years I have been getting good grades, so I knew I could do well in it.”
“I enjoyed it in Years 7, 8 and 9.”
“I like to learn about controversial things and have my own opinions about them.”

Aim Of The Course

Courses based on this specification should encourage students to:

  • Develop their knowledge and understanding of religions and non-religious beliefs, such as atheism and humanism;
  • Develop their knowledge and understanding of religious beliefs, teachings and sources of wisdom and authority, including through their reading of key religious texts, other texts and scriptures of the religions they are studying;
  • Develop their ability to construct well-argued, well-informed, balanced and structured written arguments, demonstrating their depth and breadth of understanding of the subject;
  • Reflect on and develop their own values, belief, meaning, purpose, truth and their influence on human life;
  • Reflect on and develop their own values, beliefs and attitudes in the light of what they have learnt and contribute to their preparation for adult life in a pluralistic society and global community.

Course Structure And Content

The specification covers the content laid down by the Department for Education (DfE) subject content for GCSE Religious Studies

Students should consider different beliefs and attitudes to religious and non-religious issues in contemporary British society.  They should be aware that religious traditions of Great Britain are, in the main, Christian and that religious traditions in Great Britain are diverse.  They include Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism, as well as other religious and non-religious beliefs such as atheism and humanism.  This knowledge may be applied throughout the assessment of the subject content, particularly in questions requiring evaluation of attitudes.

Component 1: The study of religions – beliefs, teachings and practices.
Beliefs, teachings and practices of the following religions:
  • Christianity
  • Islam
Component 2: Thematic studies
Four religious, philosophical and ethical studies themes.
Theme A: Religion, human rights and social justice.
Theme B: Religion and life.
Theme C: Religion, peace and conflict.
Theme D: Religion, crime and punishment.


Two written exams: 1 hour 45 minutes of 96 marks each (plus 5 marks for spelling, punctuation and grammar [SPaG]).

Entry Requirements