Religious Studies A Level

An A level in Religious Studies will help you develop critical and evaluative skills through a rigorous study of religion and its relation to the wider world. You will study aspects of one or more religions, looking at theological, ethical, phenomenological and philosophical perspectives.

This course is one of our new Gold Star A levels. Find out more about them here.



Course requirements

A general education up to GCSE level or equivalent is recommended for this course. This is an online course so you will also need access to the internet.

Duration of study

It's really up to you but, as a guide, an A level course takes about 250-300 hours plus extra time for assignment work you submit to your tutor. You will have tutor support for a period of up to 24 months from the date of enrolment. Many students allow 18-24 months to complete an A level, but some complete the course within a year.


This course follows specification 9RS0 from the awarding organisation Edexcel. Full details of the specifications can be obtained from Edexcel's website.


Section 1 - Introduction to religious studies
  • Introduction to philosophy of religion
  • Introduction to ethics
  • Introduction to Christianity

Section 2 - The existence of God
  • The design argument
  • Modern design arguments
  • The cosmological argument
  • The ontological argument
  • Modern ontological arguments

Section 3 - Religious and ethical debates
  • Religious experience
  • The problem of evil
  • Environmental ethics
  • The ethics of equality
  • Anthology: Mackie

Section 4 - Theory and application of ethics
  • Utilitarianism
  • Natural moral law
  • Situation ethics
  • War and peace
  • Sexual ethics
  • Anthology: Barclay

Section 5 - Christianity
  • The nature of God
  • The Trinity
  • The nature of the Church
  • The Bible
  • The role and nature of Jesus
  • Shaping and expressing Christian identity
  • Anthology: Moltmann

Section 6 - Religious language
  • Analogy and symbol
  • Verification and falsification
  • Anthology: Flew, Hare and Mitchell
  • Language game

Section 7 - Belief and unbelief
  • Critiques of religious belief
  • Anthology: the Russell-Copleston debate
  • Life after death, 1
  • Life after death, 2
  • Religion and science: methodology
  • Creation and cosmology

Section 8 - Ethical language, deontology and medical ethics
  • TBC

Section 9 - Christianity — social and historical developments
  • TBC

Section 10 - Christianity — works of scholars, religion and society
  • TBC

Exams and assessment

Three exams:
  • 2 hours, 33.3% of marks
  • 2 hours, 33.3% of marks
  • 2 hours, 33.3% of marks

Non-exam assessment (NEA):
  • None


Assignments do not contribute towards your final grade but provide you with an opportunity to submit work to your tutor for marking and feedback. This will help you to gauge your progress as you work through the course.

This course has:
  • 1 introductory assignment
  • 10 assignments

Set texts and resources

There are no additional set texts.

Using learn@nec

Your course is delivered online through learn@nec, so it’s important that you have access to a computer and the internet. We recommend that your computer is using one of the following operating systems and browsers to improve your experience of using learn@nec:

Operating systems:
  • Windows 7 or later
  • Mac OSX 10.7 or later
  • Google Chrome OS
  • Android 4.4 or later, using the Chrome browser
  • iOS 6 or later, using the Safari browser

  • Google Chrome (latest version)
  • Mozilla Firefox (latest version)
  • Safari 6 or later
  • Internet Explorer 10 or later (excluding IE11)

learn@nec may work on other operating systems and browsers with some restrictions. You can see full details of the system requirements by clicking here.

How to enrol

There are several ways to enrol with NEC:
  • Click the ‘Enrol now’ button above.
  • Telephone us on 0800 389 2839 or +44(0)1223 400200 and speak to our course advice team.
  • Ask us to send you an enrolment form which you can complete and return by post.

Paying in instalments

It’s your choice: you can pay in full at the point of enrolment, or you can spread the cost over monthly instalments with our finance offer. To pay in instalments you will need to enrol by telephone.

Representative example:
Course fee:  
Amount of credit:  
Monthly payment:  
Duration of agreement:  
Total repayable:  
Rate of interest:  
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  6 months
  0% (fixed)

The National Extension College (NEC) is the trading name of the Open School Trust, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 676788). Finance is provided through the Deko platform by a number of lenders. You will be offered the best rate available based on your credit history and the lenders’ credit decision policies.

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A Level Religious Studies Course Sample

Thank you for your interest in this course.

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