RS: Philosophy & Ethics - AS and A Level

Exam Board: OCR

Introduction to the Course

Philosophy of Religion is the philosophical study of religious beliefs, religious doctrines, religious arguments and religious history. Ethics is a branch of philosophy which seeks to address questions about morality; that is, about concepts such as good and bad, right and wrong, justice and virtue. The course aims to develop the ability to evaluate and think critically. These are useful academic skills that can be applied to a range of situations.

Entry Requirements

Standard entry requirements and a grade 6 or above in English Language or Religious Studies.

Course Content


Unit 1: Philosophy of Religion Unit 2: Religion and Ethics Unit 3: Development in Religious Thoughts – Christianity
Learners will study:


  • ancient philosophical influences
  • the nature of the soul, mind and body
  • arguments about the existence or non-existence of God
  • the nature and impact of religious experience
  • the challenge for religious belief of the problem of evil
  • ideas about the nature of God
  • issues in religious language.
Learners will study:


  • normative ethical theories
  • the application of ethical theory to two contemporary issues of importance
  • ethical language and thought
  • debates surrounding the significant idea of conscience
  • sexual ethics and the influence on ethical thought of developments in religious beliefs.
Learners will study:


  • religious beliefs, values and teachings, their interconnections and how they vary historically and in the contemporary world
  • sources of religious wisdom and authority
  • practices which shape and express religious identity, and how these vary within a tradition
  • significant social and historical developments in theology and religious thought
  • key themes related to the relationship between religion and society



The A2 course culminates in three 2 hour exams all weighted at 33.3% of the A Level.

Each examination consists of 4 questions containing structured essays, covering the topics that are studied, of which you have to answer 3. These essays require the development of logically reasoned and evaluative argument.

Future Career Progression

Ethics and Philosophy can be studied at university as single or joint honours and graduates enter a range of careers in the public services as well as in the private sector. Furthermore, it opens up roots to other subjects at university such as Religious Studies and Theology.  With the unique range of skills acquired through this study. Philosophy and Ethics A-Level is also a popular option for entry to many professional careers including: teaching, social work, human resources, the legal profession, nursing and the police or any job that requires you to think well, clearly and rigorously.

Download Course Expectations (PDF).