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Religious Studies


GCSE Religious Studies

A summary of the course content:


Paper 1 – The Study of Two Religions

Beliefs and Teachings

  • Christianity: the nature of God; beliefs about Jesus; life after death.
  • Hinduism: the nature of God; avatars; cosmology; human life:karma, samsara and moksha; life after death; key beliefs in Dvaita and Advaita tradition and Sanatana dharma


  • Christianity: Prayer and worship; sacraments; festivals; the role of the Church
  • Hinduism: worship, samskaras; festivals; the four paths of yoga; pilgrimage and seva

Paper 2 – Thematic Studies

Relationships and Families

  • Marriage; divorce; sex outside marriage;

Contraception; the nature of purpose of families

Religion and Life

  • Origins of the world; the environment and animal rights;

abortion and euthanasia

Religion, peace and conflict

  • Reasons for war; just war; holy war; pacifism;

violent protest; weapons of mass destruction

Religion, crime and punishment

  • Types of crime; reasons for crime; aims of punishment;

forgiveness; the death penalty

Each theme considers the issues raised from Christian and Hindu religious points of view.


There is no coursework / controlled assessment for GCSE RS.  There are two exams at the end of Year 11:

  • Paper 1: The Study of Two Religions
  • Paper 2: Thematic Studies

Each paper is one hour forty-five minutes long, and it is worth 50% of the GCSE.  Each paper has a range of multiple choice, short answer, and essay-style questions.

Ms N. Skegro
Mrs. E. Andrews
Mrs. M. Agarwal
Mr. C. Weyers
Mrs. A. Kahn
GCSE Religious Studies develops your skills of logical reasoning, the use and interpretation of evidence, evaluation and communication.  It is useful for many careers, including: law, medicine, media / journalism, business, teaching, social work.

If you are intending to take Religious Studies at A Level, GCSE RS will be a useful preparation for this course.