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Religious Studies

GCSE Religious Studies

Course Length

Two years.

Religion is an important and vital aspect of modern life in the UK, which influences life in both the private and public spheres. GCSE Religious Studies explores tough questions and encourages students to learn about, and form opinions on interesting and complex issues that face the UK today. It will be a good foundation for any student and their plans for A Levels, by developing analytical skills that are helpful both in the arts and sciences. The course is designed to be delivered as a full course and students are assessed at the end of the course in two exams.

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The Specification

AQA GCSE (9-1) Religious Studies Specification A

Course content:

Beliefs, teachings and practices of two from:
  • Buddhism
  • Christianity
  • Catholic
  • Hinduism
  • Islam
  • Judaism
  • Sikhism.
Christianity and Catholic Christianity is a prohibited combination.

How’s it’s assessed 

Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes
96 marks, plus 6 marks for spelling, punctuation
and grammar (SPaG) 50% of GCSE

Four religious, philosophical and ethical studies
themes or two religious, philosophical and ethical
studies themes

Religious, philosophical and ethical studies themes:

Theme A: Relationships and families.
Theme B: Religion and life.
Theme C: The existence of God and revelation.
Theme D: Religion, peace and conflict.
Theme E: Religion, crime and punishment.
Theme F: Religion, human rights and social justice.


Each theme has a common structure of one five-part question of 1, 2, 4, 5 and 12 marks. Each theme is marked out of 24.

Reading List

AQA GCSE Religious Studies A: Buddhism
By Cynthia Bartlett (series editor), Kevin James and author Nagapriya
Published by Oxford University Press,
ISBN-13: 978-0-19-837032-1
Price: £17.99
Publication date: 21 November 2016

AQA GCSE Religious Studies A: Christianity
Cynthia Bartlett (series editor), Marianne Fleming,
Peter Smith, David Worden
Published by Oxford University Press,
ISBN-13: 978-0-19-837033-8

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