This course gives you an understanding of different world views, cultures and religions. Students will adopt an enquiring, critical and reflective approach. They will also reflect on and develop their own values, opinions and attitudes in the light of their study.
The course allows consideration of modern ethical dilemmas and issues such as, whether a war can ever be justified, whether abortions should be allowed, or whether society does enough to treat everybody fairly. A number of key ethical theories are studied so that students develop an awareness of how these theories can influence moral dilemmas. The course also explores the idea of ultimate questions, for instance, looking at whether God exists, whether atheists are correct, what happens when people die, and whether religious or mystical experiences take place, amongst other equally thought-provoking topics.
Students on this course will gain a valuable understanding of a variety of philosophical, ethical and religious ideas and will be able to relate these to traditions and cultures, enabling them to interpret the religious, social and cultural practices of our world. If you have an enquiring mind, are receptive to new ideas and enjoy discussing and asking fundamental questions about important issues, then this is the right subject for you.
The subject complements a wide range of subject combinations in the arts, sciences and social sciences. All universities accept and welcome students with a qualification in this area onto a variety of courses as it is a highly regarded qualification.
Component 1: A Study of Religion
Religious figures and sacred texts
Religious concepts and religious life
Significant social and historical developments in religious thought
Religious practices and religious identity
Component 2: Philosophy of Religion
Arguments for the existence of God
Challenges to religious belief
Component 3: Religion and Ethics
Determinism and free will
A full range of learning strategies is employed. Lessons will involve examining and discussing the ideas of philosophers. Students will also be encouraged to express their own views about issues, in addition to listening and respecting the views of others.
Students will be expected to prepare for the lessons through research and reading and an interest in contemporary issues would be helpful on the course.
Students need to show a high level of motivation to take on a demanding, challenging but inspiring course. This course will help develop skills in researching, communicating ideas orally and through written work, analysing and evaluating information and critiquing complex ideas. It will also help develop problem solving skills, particularly with regard to solutions when looking at real life issues.