The National Extension College
Deepen your knowledge of religion and its powerful impact on society in our A level Religious Studies online course.
Religion plays a key role in everyday life, as it influences how people think, feel and act. Our A level course explores different perspectives on religion and its impact on individuals, communities, societies and cultures.
By studying A level Religious Studies, you’ll tackle intriguing ‘big’ themes such as life after death, the nature of evil and the existence of God. You’ll also consider topics including war, abortion and euthanasia from a religious perspective – with opportunities to reflect on your own values and attitudes as you progress.
Our A level Religious Studies online course develops critical thinking skills and promotes effective, empathic, thoughtful communication. These skills support success in higher education and are valuable in a range of careers, such as medicine, law, counselling, business and social work.
Why study Religious Studies?
Our A level Religious Studies online course focuses on Christianity, but is suitable for people of all faiths, or of no religious belief. With the support of a personal tutor, you’ll explore a range of engaging topics including Christianity and society, ethics and religious language.
You’ll have the flexibility to fit study around your lifestyle, learning at your own pace. Like many NEC students, perhaps you’ll go on to study religious studies or theology at university, or use your qualification to support your next career move?
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
- 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: Ethics
- Kant’s deontological ethics
- Aristotelian virtue ethics
- Meta-ethics: cognitivism
- Meta-ethics: non-cognitivism
- Religion and morality
- Medical ethics: the beginning of life
- Medical ethics: the end of life
Section 9: Christianity and society
- The challenge from science
- New movements in theology
- Pluralism and diversity
- Gender equality and discrimination
Section 10: Atonement: works of scholars
- Atonement theory
- Anthology: Hick
- Anthology: Barth
You’ll have access to support from a personal tutor. All NEC tutors are subject experts, with experience of supporting online learners.
Meet Amanda who is just one of our first-class religious studies tutors:
“Learning should be a rewarding experience for its own sake. I love ideas and think that the most valuable thing about education is the joy of gaining knowledge. The most rewarding thing about tutoring and teaching is helping students to find their own reward in learning. I have been teaching for 18 years. I am a head of faculty, an A level examiner and write NEC course materials for A level Philosophy and A level Religious Studies. I am never happier than when I am in a classroom or working 1:1 with learners of all ages.”
What you need to know
- Edexcel 9RS0
- Online learning with support from a personal tutor
- Complete at your own pace
- Approx. 250-300* hours plus time for completing assignments
*The specification suggests that 300 hours is needed. You’ll also need time to complete assignments and prepare yourself for exams and some courses like English literature involve a lot of reading. Everyone is different so it’s impossible to say with certainty how long a course will take you, but you should expect to spend longer than 300 hours. Taken across the length of time we recommend, this equates to approximately 5 hours per week. This will increase if you choose to take it over a shorter time frame or may be less if you are retaking a subject and have covered a lot of of the course content.
- 11 assignments (one introductory) – these do not contribute towards your final grade
- No additional set texts required
- Internet access
- Computer operating system and browser to support learn@nec
Our course fees are open and honest to help you plan for any additional costs.
Your course fee includes:
- Access to learn@nec
- All the course materials you need to complete the course
- Support from a personal tutor for up to 24 months from your date of enrolment
- Assignment marking
- Marking for one past paper
- Guaranteed exam place
- NEC’s guide to study skills: How to Succeed as an Independent Learner
- Spelling, punctuation and grammar guide
- Time planner to help you plan your study timetable
- Information on how to apply for exams
- Academic references if needed
Your course fee does not cover:
- Exam entry fees
- Additional past paper marking
- Revision tutorial
- Optional tutorial
- Additional review
Exams and assessment
- 33.3% of marks (2 hours)
- 33.3% of marks (2 hours)
- 33.3% of marks (2 hours)
There is no non-exam assessment (NEA) for this course.
Additional support if you're under 18
We know that our younger students often need an extra helping hand with their studies. In our experience, learning online works best when the parents are involved, so when you enrol your child with NEC, you’ll have a unique set of services to help you to support your child.
- Your own log in to learn@nec to access the course so you can view the course materials and other information for yourself.
- Access to your child’s gradebook to help you to monitor progress and provide appropriate and timely intervention and support
- You’ll receive emails and forum posts so that you have all the examination and assessment updates/information provided by the NEC team
- Dedicated Parent Portal Pages and targeted blogs with updates/information/help and advice on many aspects of home education.
- Access to the Kudos career platform for young learners to explore career choices.
Who is this course for?
Our Religious Studies A level course is ideal if you:
- Are keen to study religion, theology or a related social science at degree level.
- Want to develop an in-depth understanding of the impact religion has on society.
- Enjoy applying different perspectives and theories to ‘big’ questions and topical issues.
- Would like to reflect on your own values and attitudes.
- Are building your employability skills in areas including critical thinking, communication and empathy.
- A general education up to GCSE level or equivalent is recommended
- An ability to read and write in English
- A degree in religious studies, theology or a related subject.
- A wide range of rewarding career paths in fields such as chaplaincy, education, advice work, charity, policing, counselling, youth work and journalism.
Questions and answers
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