Philosophy and Ethics (Religious Studies)


Religious Studies students at Charters School are interested and motivated by events, people and beliefs. As part of a local and wider community they are up to date with news and current affairs. They read and learn about issues as well as learning from them. Pupils engage in dialogue and debate and enjoy critical thinking. Pupils study a wide multi-faith curriculum debating current affairs with thought-provoking topics.

This means:

  • Students will appreciate the significance of holy places, beliefs, traditions and culture around the world.
  • They will be able to identify, analyse and evaluate different interpretations of the past and reach a balanced and reasoned judgement. Places of Worship, Religion & the Media.
  • They will be able to confidently articulate their understanding of the past both in academic writing as well as through debate and discussion. Sanctity of Life, Science & Ethics.
  • They will appreciate the ethnic and cultural diversity of our community and thereby become inclusive members of our society. Religion, Human Rights & Social Justice.
  • Through reading and writing, they will develop a critical and enquiring mind, which appreciates the impact of individual endeavour and shows empathy with the past. Global Issues, Interfaith Dialogue.


A level Religious Studies Students follow the OCR syllabus. Students will take a historical approach to Philosophy and will consider different lines of argument from a variety of thinkers. Key thinkers from Plato, Aristotle, Mill and Kant are studied with contemporary contributions from Peter Singer and a variety of religious groups. The A level requires students study and develop the skills of knowledge and understanding with critical argument. Students are encourage to engage themselves fully in class discussion and involve themselves with current political and philosophical debate. Listening is an important skill in discussion and a variety of podcasts and discussions are considered along with the reading of classic texts to give students a varied approach to this interesting course.


Component 01: Philosophy of religion

Students study philosophical language and thought, and issues and questions raised by belief:

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.

Component 02: Religion and ethics

Students explore key concepts and the works of influential thinkers, ethical theories and their application:

Normative ethical theories
The application of ethical theory to two issues: business ethics and medical ethics
Ethical language and thought
Debates surrounding the significant idea of conscience
Sexual ethics and the influence on ethical thought of developments in religious beliefs.

Component 03: Developments in religious thought, Christianity

Students explore:

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 minimum entry requirements for Charters Sixth Form can be viewed here

In addition to these the subject specific entry requirements for Philosophy and Ethics are:

GCSE grade 6 in Religious Studies or another Humanities Subject.
GCSE grade 5 in English Language or Literature.

The Head of Department may decide to accept students who have a grade level 5 in Religious Studies depending on their proximity to the grade boundary.




Take a look around the links below to find our where this exciting subject could lead.


Complementary Subjects

An exciting and interesting course which provides a critical approach to the consideration of moral and philosophical issues. An integral part of the course is to apply theories to contemporary issues of importance for example Euthanasia and Business Ethics. The Course fits in well with Humanities, English, Social Science subjects, Business and Science. Many of our students go on to study Law & Politics at University.


Future Opportunities

Students are expected to have an interest in current affairs, to use an enquiring critical and empathetic approach to the study of religious, political and legal events and ethical developments in society. The Course gives students opportunities to think critically, to discuss and debate. Students are given opportunities to present on a given subject and many find it increases their confidence and ambition to participate in current issues of the day. Careers associated with the course are Legal, Political, Business, Journalism, Medical.

Be Inspired by Exploring Further


These websites about Philosophy, Ethics & Religious issues look at some contemporary takes on many key thinkers such as Plato, Aristotle, St Thomas Aquinas.

History of ideas - BBC Radio 4

In our Time - Philosophy

In our Time - Religion



A weekly philosophy podcast inspiring and supporting students, teachers, academics, and free-thinkers worldwide.


Justice - Michael Sandel

What's The Right Thing To Do? Episode 01 "THE MORAL SIDE OF MURDER"