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OCR J625, 9-1

Studying RS and Philosophy at GCSE enables students to explore some of the ultimate questions about the nature and meaning of human existence. In the first year, students develop an in-depth understanding of Christianity and Buddhism, learning how these belief systems shape the worldview of their followers and influence the lives of individuals, communities and societies. In the second year, students look more closely at some of the ‘big’ questions of philosophy and ethics, such as ‘Does God exist?’ and ‘Can war be justified?’. Students learn about the diversity of Christian attitudes and beliefs prompted by such questions, as well as the views and approaches of secular groups, such as humanists.

The course will encourage you to reflect on and develop your own values, beliefs and attitudes. You will learn how to use your knowledge and understanding to analyse questions about religious beliefs, as well as how to construct and articulate your own balanced and well-informed arguments. The critical thinking and communication skills you learn will be of value in any area of future study or career.

Course content

Component Group 1 - Beliefs and Teachings & Practices

This will involve learning about the beliefs and practices of Christianity and Buddhism, and exploring how these beliefs and practices affect the lives of their followers. It will also involve reflecting on the truth, meaning and value of these beliefs and practices in a diverse religious and non-religious society.

Component Group 2 - Religion, Philosophy and Ethics in the Modern World

This will include the study of different philosophical and ethical arguments and their influence and impact on the modern world from a Christian perspective.

There will be four themes of study:

  • Relationships and families: roles of men and women; gender prejudice and discrimination; equality

  • The existence of God: the ways in which God and the nature of reality might be understood

  • Religion, peace and conflict: violence, war, pacifism, just war theory, terrorism; concepts of justice, peace and reconciliation

  • Dialogue within and between religious and nonreligious beliefs and attitudes: a study of a range of attitudes towards those with different religious and secular views.


Two 1-hour papers in Component Group 1. One 2-hour paper in Component Group 2. There is no coursework.