Theology

Course specification: EDEXCEL: A Level 9RS0

Content of A Level

Paper 1: Philosophy of religion (Paper code: 9RS0/01)

Written examination: 2 hours (33.3% of qualification)

  • Two structured questions
  • One two-part essay question on an excerpt, sourced from a published list of extracts
  • One extended essay question

Content overview

  • Philosophical issues and questions
  • The nature and influence of religious experience
  • Problems of evil and suffering
  • Philosophical language
  • Works of scholars
  • Influences of developments in religious belief

Paper 2: Religion and ethics (Paper code: 9RS0/02)

Written examination: 2 hours (33.3% of qualification)

  • Two structured questions
  • One two-part essay question on an excerpt, sourced from a published list of extracts
  • One extended essay question

Content overview

  • Significant concepts in issues or debates in religion and ethics
  • A study of three ethical theories
  • Application of ethical theories to issues of importance
  • Ethical language
  • Deontology, virtue ethics and the works of scholars
  • Medical ethics: beginning and end of life issues

Paper 3: New Testament studies (Paper code: 9RS0/03)

Written examination: 2 hours (33.3% of qualification)

  • Two structured questions
  • One two-part essay question on an excerpt, sourced from a published list of extracts
  • One extended essay question

Content overview

  • Social, historical and religious context of the New Testament
  • Texts and interpretation of the Person of Jesus
  • Interpreting the text and issues of relationship, purpose and authorship
  • Ways of interpreting the scripture
  • Texts and interpretation: the Kingdom of God, conflict, the death and resurrection of Jesus
  • Scientific and historical-critical challenges, ethical living and the works of scholars

Key skills

  • Research: the ability to collect, combine and interpret information from a wide range of sources
  • Communication: the ability to express ideas clearly and logically; the ability to substantiate and defend an argument
  • Analysis: the ability to assess the weight of evidence and the validity of an argument; the ability to understand and appreciate different points of view
  • The ability to make links between different areas of the subject

Enrichment opportunities

  • Links with the various inter-faith programmes associated with the University of Cambridge
  • One-day Ethics and Philosophy conferences at the Guildhall with Dr Peter Vardy, author and former Vice-Principal of Heythrop College, and other notable contributors

Higher Education and career prospects

Theology is a particularly useful supporting subject to any of the humanities and can contribute to a broader curriculum with sciences or languages. Theology students have gone on to study the subject further at university or have found it valuable when doing degree courses such as Anthropology, History, Psychology, Environmental Science, English, Law and Geography.

The skills developed by studying Theology are in demand by employers as they are transferable skills that are valuable in a broad range of careers. Recent graduates of A Level Theology are currently working in law, teaching, medicine, veterinary science, social work, research (Biochemistry), civil service, marketing and management, PR, finance and academia (Theology, Archaeology and Anthropology).

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