GCSE Religious Studies

Course details

All GCSE students at Wigston College will study for a GCSE in Religious Studies: Philosophy and Applied Ethics. At present, students study Philosophy and Ethics for around 30 hours over the two years. To do well, students must be willing to do further studying at home.

The course requires that students understand Christian and secular (i.e. non-religious) perspectives on a range of issues. Whether we like it or not, religion has an impact on the lives of us all – whether it’s on something as trivial as the opening hours of shops on a Sunday, or something as important as the legalisation of gay marriage.

In the exam, students will be rewarded for their knowledge of Christian beliefs and their ability to evaluate them. It doesn’t matter if they agree or disagree with a particular belief, providing they can explore the arguments for and against it.


In Year 10, students study for two units – one in Philosophy and one in Applied Ethics. In the Philosophy unit, students explore Christian and secular (i.e. non-religious) beliefs about the nature of God, as well as considering what happens after we die. In the Applied Ethics unit, students focus on the relationship between religion and human relationships. They will also look at religion and medical ethics.

In Year 11, students complete the course, studying for the remaining two units. In the second Philosophy unit, students look at the nature of good and evil, and consider the relationship between religion and science. In the second Applied Ethics unit, the focus is on the connection between religion, peace and justice. Students will also examine how religion relates to equality.

Students will sit 4 one-hour exams at the end of Year 11, with each exam worth 25% of the final GCSE grade.

What could I go on to do after the course?

GCSE Religious Studies: Philosophy and Applied Ethics develops many useful skills that employers and further education establishments recognise and appreciate, such as the ability to think critically about complex ideas.