A Level Religious Studies
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A Level: Religious Studies AQA-2060
Develop their interest in, and enthusiasm for, a rigorous study of religion and its relation to the wider world treat the subject as an academic discipline by developing knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to a specialist study of religion adopt an enquiring, critical and reflective approach to the study of religion reflect on and develop their own values, opinions and attitudes in the light of their learning.
AS Assessment Units 1 & 2
RSS07 AS Unit G: New Testament:
How the synoptic gospels came into being (covering oral tradition, reasons for the writing of the gospels, relationship between three synoptic gospels and Mark, reasons for editing gospels and reasons for translation from the Greek.)
Learners will be able to consider whether the synoptic gospels are better understanding by considering how they came into being; the pros and cons of having three gospels, to what extent the gospels may be trusted given the time lapse and if a translation be considered as the word of God.
Aspects of Jesusí teaching and action, parable and healings (covering role and purpose of parable and healings and the scholars view on their theology; the sower, the tenants in the vineyard, the centurionís slave and legion.)
Learners will be able to discuss whether Jesusí healings should be rationalised in light of science, to what extent parables can be understood in the modern day and the purpose and importance of scholars in explaining the theological messages from the text.
The arrest, trial and death of Jesus (covering scholars views on the theological message and the teaching on Jesus, the person and the similarities and differences between Matthew 26:36-27:61, Mark 14:32-15:47 & Luke 22:40-23:56.)
Learners will be able to discuss whether there is an explanation for why each account differs, whether the gospels provide the reason for Jesusí crucifixion, the historical reliability of the texts and how convincing the claims are regarding Jesusí ministry and death within the synoptic gospels.
The resurrection of Jesus (covering the theological message and the teaching about the person of Jesus in these accounts and similarities and differences between Mark 27:62-28:20, Mark 16:1-16:20 and Luke 24.
Learners will be able to discuss whether the resurrection is historical or symbolic or both, whether there is an explanation for the differences between the synoptic gospels, whether the longer ending of Markís gospel is authentic and the importance of the resurrection narratives in the synoptic gospels for Christianity.
RSS09 AS Unit J: World Religions 1
Samsara & Three marks of existence (covering samsara, cycle of death and rebirth, dukkha, anatta & anicca, implications for Buddhists and their attitude for life.)
Learner will be able to consider and explain the Buddhist attitude to life, discuss the common sense implications to dukkha and anicca and explain whether these concepts can only be understood through experience.
The Four Noble Truths (covering an in depth summary of the truths and how they are understood in Buddhist philosophy and practice.)
The learner will be able to consider and explain whether Buddhists should desire to end desire, whether the Buddhist goal can be understood and discuss whether Buddhists should be disinterested in life.
The Eightfold Path (covering the nature and importance of wisdom, morality and mental discipline, the importance of meditation and the relationship between the 3 aspects and the path.)
The learner will be able to consider whether Buddhists feel any of the three aspects have a particular importance, if Buddhists follow the path for their own needs or if it is practiced for others and the significance for these teachings in the modern world.
The Sangha (covering the community as refuge, the monastic and lay community, the communities relationship and the importance of the path to both.)
The learner will be able to consider whether the life of a monk is better or harder than the life of a lay Buddhist, whether Buddhism is a form of escapism and which of the communities has more significance for the modern Buddhist.
The Hindu concept of God (covering the concept of Brahman, the Trimurti, avatar, personal deities and goddesses and their importance in the faith.)
The learner will be able to discuss whether Hinduism is polytheistic, the importance and significance of personal gods and goddesses and whether God can only be known in personal form.
The means to liberation in Hinduism (covering the nature of atman and self-realisation; the relationship between atman and Brahman; the yoga paths including differences and similarities and the importance of these concepts and practices.
The learner will be able to discuss whether yoga is essential in Hinduism, whether belief or action is more important in the faith and the value and importance of the different ways to liberation.
Worship in Hinduism (covering puja in the home; nature, design and purpose of mandirs, temple worship and festival celebrations and the importance of places and forms of worship.)
The learner will be able to discuss whether temple or home worship is more important, why there is a need for places of worship and whether worship is essential to the Hindu way of life.
The Hindu way of life (covering the four stages in life, the nature and role of holy men in Hinduism, ashrams, temple priests and their importance.)
Learners will be able to discuss whether the role of the holy man is superior to the householder, the importance of the home and ashram in Hindu way of life, whether renouncing the world is the ultimate goal and whether temple priests are more essential than gurus.
SET TEXT: The Bhagavad Gita, W J Johnson & Approaches to Hinduism, Jackson & Killingley.
The Gurus (covering life and teachings with particular reference to Gurus: Nanak, Arjan, HarGobind, Tegh Bahadur and Gobind Singh, the reasons for and formation of the Khalsa 1699.
Learners will be able to discuss the extent of how the Gurus challenged the culture of their time, the contribution and importance of each guru and the significance of gurus for the modern sikh.
Festivals (covering Vaisakhi, gurdwara, Diwali and gurpurbs discussing their importance and significance.)
Learners will be able to discuss how important festivals are and how they contribute to the sikh way of life; whether public nature of festivals or their inner meaning is more important and how far festivals only relate to the past rather than the modern day.
The Guru Granth Sahib and the Gurdwara (covering formation, structure and content, authority and use by Sikhs today; the Gurdwara and its role and the Golden Temple.
Learners will be able to discuss the accessibility or the Guru Granth Sahib to the members of the sangat and its importance to Sikhs, whether the gurdwara meets the needs of the modern, British sikh; whether the gurdwara is a social or religious institution and the significance of the Golden Temple, particularly for British Sikhs.
Diwan and Langar (covering home worship and in the gurdwara, the practice of langar past and present, the concept and differences in sewa and langar as an expression of sewa.)
Learners will be able to discuss the importance of worship in the home and the gurdwara, whether langar today expresses its original intentions, the importance to Sikhs with regards to diwan, sewa and langar and how far the faith emphasises practice over belief.
RST3G A2 Unit 3G: World Religions 1
Themes in Mahayana Buddhism (covering similarities and differences between Mahayana and Theraveda Buddhism; the bodhisattva, compassion, wisdom and the bodhicitta; skill in means, other power and transfer of merit; Pure Land Buddhism and its Japanese forms.)
The learner will be able to discuss whether pure Land Buddhism is the easy path, how the relationship between Mahayana Buddhism and the teaching of Gautama Buddha may be described and whether the differences between Mahayana and Theraveda are more apparent than real.
Aspects of Buddhist Philosophy (covering the Tibetan Wheel of Life and the doctrine of paticcaasamuppada, Prajnaparamita and Madhyamaka school.)
The learner will be able to discuss what value these ideas have for Buddhists, whether the teaching of the Madhyamaka school adds anything to the teaching of the historical Buddha and if there is any point in the written or spoken word.
Meditation (covering vipassassana, samatha, mindfulness, concentration, metta and Zen.)
The learner will be able to discuss the implications and importance of these practices, whether the practices are an attempt at escapism; whether meditation is a religious practice and whether it is essential to Buddhism.
Buddhist Ethics (covering the purpose of ethical living, the nature and application of the five precepts, the six perfections and their development and the implications of ethical teaching for Buddhists today.
The learner will be able to discuss whether the ethics are unrealistic; whether the motive or consequence is more important in Buddhism and define what makes an action right or wrong.
Foundations of Hinduism (covering The Indus Valley Civilisation, the Vedic religion, the difference between sruti and smriti, the concept of God in the Vedas and their importance on worship and the Hindu way of living.)
The learner will be able to discuss whether Hinduism can only be understood in its early forms of expression, whether the Vedas are the only true source of Hindu belief, whether sruti is the superior source of authority and whether the concepts of God in the Vedas can be comprehended considering their contradictory nature.
Hindu dharma (covering dharma as a fundamental principle in guiding moral behaviour, sanatana dharma, varnashramadharma and the Hindu understandings of marriage, family life and women.)
The learner will be able to discuss the compatibility between varnashramadharma and sanatana dharma; how the Hindu traditions of marriage and family are rooted in religion or culture and how if they are in line with modern society and if caste is outdated or necessary in the Hindu way of life.
Hinduism and Society and the Modern World (covering modern reform movements of 19th & 20th centuries, Ram Mohan Roy and the Brahmo Samaj, Dayananda Sarawati and the Arya Samaj, Vivekananda and the Ramakrishna mission, Gandhi and ISKCON.)
The learner will be able to assess whether that the need for reform was merely a western viewpoint; to what extent the reform transformed Hinduism in the 20th century and the success and failure of the reformers.
Hindu philosophy (covering reincarnation, karma, samsara, moksha and the main concepts of the Advaita Vedanta philosophy of Shankaracharya; the Vishishtadvaita of Ramanuja.)
Learners will be able to discuss whether Hinduism is a fatalistic religion, whether a good reincarnation or moksha is more important to Hindus and whther the philosophies conflict or complement each other.
Sikh identity, marriage and family life (covering Amrit Sanskar, sikh identity, Anand karaj and the importance of marriage and family life.)
The learner will be able to discuss whether it is necessary for Sikhs to be amritdhari and keshdari, the importance of the panj kakke and assess views on marriage and family life.
Key concepts and beliefs (covering mukti, nam simran, maya, haumai, karma, kirt karo, nam japo, vand kakko, sewa; meaning of the term guru, concept of God and the Mul Mantra.)
The learner will be able to explain the importance of the key concepts, the practicality of living by these values for the Sikh in the modern world and discuss whether Sikhism provides any answers to the meaning of life and why people suffer.
Sikh ethics and conduct (covering Rahit Maryada, miri and piri and the concepts of sant sipahi and dharma yudh.)
The learner will be able to discuss the relevance of Sikh ethics in the 21st century and their difficulties of following the faith in a secular society; the relationship between the concepts and how realistic it is to combine spirituality with the use of force.
Equality and sewa (covering teachings of the gurus, the practical applications of these teachings today and the contemporary expressions of sewa.)
The learner will be able to discuss the extent to which equality is found in Sikhism today, especially in the UK, how far Sikh Punjabi ideals support or conflict with religious ideals and the changing nature of sewa today.
RST4C: Unit 4C Topic 3: Ways of Reading and Understanding Scripture.
Discussion on Christian Scriptures (covering issues of status and translation, use and status of scriptures in religion, teaching arising from the scriptures and approaches to the study of the scriptures.)
Learners will be able to discuss the use and application of scripture and compare and contrast the differences between the different views.
SET TEXT: The Bible: Revised Standard Version.
The New Testament: Proclamation & Paranesis, Myth and History: Duling & Perrin
SET TEXT: Teach yourself Sikhism: W Owen Cole
SET TEXTS FOR WORLD RELIGIONS (As above & considering further texts.)
To complete a full A level it will take in the region of 200 study hours.
To take an A Level you should have a GCSE grade C or above, or the equivalent and preferably in your chosen subject.
You will have access to tutor via email who will mark your work and guide you through the course to ensure you are ready for your examinations.
The examination boartd can provide you with a list of examination centres but it is entirely your responsibility to find a centre which will accept you as an external candidate.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Do your courses meet the latest syllabus changes?
A. yes, all our course materials meet any changes and will be updated free of charge if further changes are made.
Q. Why do I have to find a centre myself?
A. We have students all over the UK and Europe and it is impossible for us to arrange dates and times for individual students.
Q. What if I cannot find an examination centre in my home town?
A. If you wish to gain the qualification then be prepared to travel it is worth it!
Q. How much are exam fees?
A. These vary from centre to centre so please check with your local centre.
Q. Are the courses paper based or on-line?
A. All our courses are paper based and come in attractive sturdy folders.
Q. How do I contact my tutor?
A. Tutors are all working Teachers or Lecturers so contact is by email only.
Q. Why can I not take my exams when I have completed the course and why do I have to wait?
A. Exams are taken at the same times as schools and colleges and are not flexible.
Q. I want to take my exams but there are only a few months to study, is this possible?
A. Depending on the time of year, it is sometimes impossible to complete your studies in a short space of time as your work has to be marked and checked. More importantly the examination boards have cut off times which are not flexible. See our web site for further information.
Q. Will I receive UCAS points on completion of this course?
A. Yes all of our A Levels carry UCAS points. The number of points awarded will depend on the grade you achieve.