Looking at your A-level options and not sure what to study? Read on to find out how a religious studies A-level can not only be an interesting subject, but can also give you a range of transferable skills and lead to a variety of careers!
'Religious studies can be a useful subject to study, as it will help you to see the world from different perspectives, and gain a deeper understanding of society as a whole.'
What is religious studies and why should I do it at A-level?
Religious studies, or RE as you might know it, is the study of different religions, cultures and beliefs. You will probably have studied this at school as a compulsory subject, but have you ever considered continuing religious studies at A-level?
Religious studies can be a useful subject to study, as it will help you to see the world from different perspectives, and gain a deeper understanding of society as a whole. This is because you will learn about different religions, and the belief systems behind religious viewpoints on things like life, death, marriage, and the afterlife. We live in a diverse society, so having a deeper understanding of these things is useful to better understand the influence that religion has on different cultures, decision making, and politics around the world. If you are planning on going to university after your A-levels, religious studies is also useful if you want to go on to study subjects like philosophy or theology.
What can I expect from an A-level religious studies course?
The main difference between studying religious studies at GCSE and A-level, is that you will take a closer look at other topics associated with religion, such as philosophy and ethics. You may also notice that you get a bit more of a say in terms of what you study, such as being given the chance to focus on particular areas that interest you. This could include getting the chance to choose what religion you want to focus on specifically.
We’re going to be honest with you though - If you decide to take a religious studies A-level, you can expect to write a lot of essays. This goes for your final exams too, as religious studies papers typically require extended essay type answers. So, this is probably not the course for you if you don’t like writing! Alongside the writing though, you can also expect to be having lots of thought-provoking discussions and debates in class
In terms of entry requirements, while a GCSE in RE is desirable, it is not usually essential (although this may vary from college to college). A strong grade in a subject like English can be useful, but the most important thing is that you have an interest in the subject itself!
What skills will I gain?
A religious studies A-level can provide you with lots of transferable skills including:
- Communication and literacy skills - As studying religious studies at A-level involves essay writing and debate, you will learn how to communicate your thoughts clearly, and create structured arguments.
- Analytical and critical thinking skills - You will gain excellent analytical and critical thinking skills from looking closely at different religions. Both of these are key skills that employers look for.
- Interpersonal skills - As studying religious studies will enable you to gain a deeper understanding of society, this will help you to better understand, and relate to people from different walks of life.
What jobs can religious studies lead to?
Religious studies can be a useful subject for a wide range of jobs, especially those that require you to work with the public, or involve helping people. Some of these include:
- Advice worker
- Police officer
- Youth worker
- Charity worker
- Community development worker
- International aid/development worker
Want to find out more about A-levels and what you can do with them? Check out this useful guide for all you need to know.