Course at a glance

Examining Board: Edexcel
Next Examination Period: May/June 2026
Exam Specification Code: 9RSO
Coursework Element: None
Practical Element: None
Course Fee Includes: Online course materials and tutor support. Additional materials available at extra cost.
Fast Track Option: Fast Track Religious Studies A Level
Payment Options: Interest free instalment plans available

Edexcel A Levels are available for study anywhere in the world. Examinations can be taken at any registered examination centre in the world. It is recommended students check with examining centres that the chosen exam is available.


The A Level Religious Studies course follows the core aims of the Edexcel framework:

The Specification offers an academic approach to the study of religion and is accessible to candidates of any religious persuasion or none.

The Edexcel Religious Studies Specification encourages candidates to: develop their interest in, and enthusiasm for, a rigorous study of religion and its relation to the wider world. To treat the subject as an academic discipline by developing clear critical  skills in their knowledge, understanding and analysis 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.

– Candidates will have an opportunity to critically study aspects of Christianity (although other World Religions area also available in the specifications), gaining understanding of the critical theological debate, the principle theologians, including textual, theological, historical, ethical, phenomenological and philosophical perspectives.

– To undertake a broader study of the Christian religion through the selection of a variety of theological topics which, although eclectic, complement each other. The following are examples: a critical study of the Old Testament and it’s wider complexity for today’s Church,  learning how and why, the History of Christianity is  still  shaping the moral framework of the 21st century.

– The course encourages candidates to develop the critical and evaluative skills which will enable them to apply religious values and teaching in everyday situations.

A study of Edexcel GCE Religious Studies Specification complements many other popular A Levels including Philosophy, Law, History, History of Art, Government and Politics, Sociology and English Literature. Students who successfully complete this course are able to move onto  other A Level and Diploma Courses which builds on the knowledge of the wider syllabus.

A Level Religious Studies Entry Requirements

Although the A-Level programmes build on the course content of GCSE, it is not necessary to have this qualification before undertaking an A-Level. However, in order to meet the demands of the course, it is recommended that candidates have literacy and communication skills equivalent to C or higher at GCSE. Please note that full tutor support is still provided throughout your course duration.

All students must be 16 years of age or above.

A Level in Religious Studies Course Duration

2 years.

Study Hours Required

Approximately 350 hours.

Awarding Body

Pearson Edexcel

Edexcel A Levels are available for study anywhere in the world. A Level Religious Studies Examinations can be taken at any registered examination centre in the world. It is recommended students check with examining centres that the chosen exam is available.

Examination Information

Students are required to arrange and pay for their A Level Religious Studies examinations and manage the course work element if the subject requires this. Students must check the relevant examination board website for further information and final examination sitting dates for the specification.

All examinations are held during the May / June exam period of every year.


A Level Religious Studies Course Content

The whole A level has FOUR (4) specific units of study, which are sub-divided into FOUR (4) Units of learning, these are:

A Level Religious Studies Unit 1 – Philosophy of Religion

In this unit, we will, learn about the philosophy that underpins the belief systems of World religions, together with the counter religious ideas, which are not specific to any one religion, and also form in part the philosophy of non-religious beliefs and values; like: morals; ethics; justice; power and much more.  Therefore, this whole unit is part of a much wider context, in which you will develop a critical analysis and understanding of the many questions that form religious belief and structure. This will include learning about the theological framework that forms the foundations of the religious faiths.

A Level Religious Studies Unit 2 – Religion and Ethics

This unit now builds on the core framework of unit one. Having formed the structure of the Philosophy of religion, we now move to put the sometimes difficult areas of debate under analytical scrutiny,  that scholars grapple with over millennia to the present time. Provide answers to: why do we use religion as a framework for our structures in society, our moral standing, legal statutes, mode of behaviour and many other micro aspects of the macro strategies that inform, support, rationalise, and perhaps even, police society.

A Level Religious Studies Unit 3 – New Testament Studies

In this unit, we will, learn about Christology, Eschatology, Biblical Redactive Criticism, Interpretation and in doing so, take a critical approach to the New Testament; its origin and message; about the man Christ Jesus – His life, mission and why, the Christian faith became a religion. We will learn the concepts that underpins the belief systems of the Christian religion, together with the counter religious ideas that raised conflict with the established Jewish Faith, its: philosophy; legalistic rule; values; morals; ethics; justice; power and much more.

A Level Religious Studies Unit 4 – Study of Religion

In Unit 4: Study of Religion, opportunity is given for students to choose two World Religions and apply the knowledge gained  from units One and Two. The overview will provide a framework of  six of the major World. How religions’ have evolved and, developed their communities; together with the key religious ideas that have shaped there ongoing development. This will allow students to add to this knowledge with guided study and tutor support to produce a final project.


A Level Religious Studies Assessment

The course does not as standard have any ‘course work’ element and is therefore, has an end loaded final assessment by a FOUR  2.5 hours in total examination time, which are divided into TWO parts –  A & B.

To ensure that the four assessment objectives are clearly placed and assessed prior to the final examination, the TMA’s are weighted in accordance with these AO statements below:

AO1: recall, select, organise, and deploy knowledge of the specification content (this Assessment Objective is often referred to as ‘Knowledge’)

AO2: describe, analyse and explain the relevance and application of a religion or religions (this Assessment Objective is often referred to as ‘Understanding’)

Quality of Written Communication (QWC)

In addition, in GCE A-level specifications which require candidates to produce written material in English, candidates must: ensure that text is legible and that spelling, punctuation and grammar are accurate so that meaning is clear; select and use a form and style of writing appropriate to purpose and to complex subject matter; organise, information clearly and coherently, using specialist vocabulary when appropriate. In this Specification, QWC will be assessed in all questions and in all units

Tutor Marked Assignments

At the end of each unit of study there is an assignment to be completed and submitted by the student to the tutor. They are written using much of the information from the unit of learning, areas within the case studies, and additional materials as well as the course script itself.


Further Reading

Although the course programme is ‘self contained’ the student may wish to obtain further materials in regards to learning. The following materials are in the main useful, but not essential to guide learning:-

The Holy Bible: (New International Version, Amplified Version or Message Version).

The Holy Koran

Andrew Northedge – The Good Study Guide


Our A Level Religious Studies programmes are eligible for UCAS points, making them a great choice for students aiming to progress to University. UCAS points are awarded according to the grade earned, please see below for details.

A levels are also widely recognised by employers and are useful for students looking to progress their careers or meet requirements for promotion.

UCAS Points Table

A* = 56
A = 48
B = 40
C = 32
D = 24
E = 16