AS Theology/Religious Studies Watch

longsightdon
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Basically, I am thinking about taking as theology alongside Maths, Chem and Bio. However, I'm unsure about what the course entails and was wondering if anyone who has previously done it, could share some of their experiences of the subject? Also I'm thinking about a scientific career and was wondering whether it would put me at a disadvantage to other science applicants. Any tips and advice will be great, thanks!
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Jamerson
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(Original post by longsightdon)
Basically, I am thinking about taking as theology alongside Maths, Chem and Bio. However, I'm unsure about what the course entails and was wondering if anyone who has previously done it, could share some of their experiences of the subject? Also I'm thinking about a scientific career and was wondering whether it would put me at a disadvantage to other science applicants. Any tips and advice will be great, thanks!
What exam board?
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longsightdon
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(Original post by Jamerson)
What exam board?
I think it is OCR
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Jamerson
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(Original post by longsightdon)
I think it is OCR
What modules would your school be teaching? The Philosophy & Ethics papers are the most common.
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longsightdon
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(Original post by Jamerson)
What modules would your school be teaching? The Philosophy & Ethics papers are the most common.
Yeh philosophy and ethics
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Jamerson
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(Original post by longsightdon)
Yeh philosophy and ethics
At AS level, in Ethics you will be introduced to the key normative ethical theories - Catholic 'Natural Law', Utilitarianism, Kantian ethics, etc. And you will discuss these in relation to ethical issues like abortion, euthanasia, and War. You'll develop your essay writing skills - which demonstrates skills that are a bit different to your sciencey subjects. So: AS Ethics is all about the ways we can approach morality and what approaches are the most effective - including advantages and disadvantages.

The other side of the course - the Philosophy of Religion, at AS level focusses on the Philosophy of Plato and Aristotle - exploring Plato's idea of the 'Demiurge', comparing it to Aristotle's 'Prime mover', and comparing and contrasting these ideas with the Christian idea of God. What's more, you'll explore different arguments in favour of the existence of God, and you'll develop a rationale by which to judge what the best approaches are.

At AS level I really enjoyed the ethics side of things more than the philosophy, and the ethics is easier to get a grasp of if you're new to philosophical concepts. A2 RS I found even more enjoyable all-round, but I assume you're planning to drop the subject after year 12?
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longsightdon
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(Original post by Jamerson)
At AS level, in Ethics you will be introduced to the key normative ethical theories - Catholic 'Natural Law', Utilitarianism, Kantian ethics, etc. And you will discuss these in relation to ethical issues like abortion, euthanasia, and War. You'll develop your essay writing skills - which demonstrates skills that are a bit different to your sciencey subjects. So: AS Ethics is all about the ways we can approach morality and what approaches are the most effective - including advantages and disadvantages.

The other side of the course - the Philosophy of Religion, at AS level focusses on the Philosophy of Plato and Aristotle - exploring Plato's idea of the 'Demiurge', comparing it to Aristotle's 'Prime mover', and comparing and contrasting these ideas with the Christian idea of God. What's more, you'll explore different arguments in favour of the existence of God, and you'll develop a rationale by which to judge what the best approaches are.

At AS level I really enjoyed the ethics side of things more than the philosophy, and the ethics is easier to get a grasp of if you're new to philosophical concepts. A2 RS I found even more enjoyable all-round, but I assume you're planning to drop the subject after year 12?
Yeah I probably will drop it at the end of year 12. In terms of the essay writing, what is it like? Is it just like GCSE where u spew out all the information which you know, or do the essays actually require structure and linking etc like in English? Also, would u say it is a difficult subject or if it has a huge workload/learning? Thanks.
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Jamerson
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(Original post by longsightdon)
Yeah I probably will drop it at the end of year 12. In terms of the essay writing, what is it like? Is it just like GCSE where u spew out all the information which you know, or do the essays actually require structure and linking etc like in English? Also, would u say it is a difficult subject or if it has a huge workload/learning? Thanks.
If my memory serves me right, at AS level, the essay structures are a lot simpler than at A2 - it's probably not a huge step up from GCSE, but it does require you to be analytical and explain why something is the case rather than just regurgitate the information you've memorized. Particularly on part B questions, they will often be something about assessing the usefulness of a particular theory on a particular topic - eg. how useful is Christianity for talking about euthanasia?
But as I say, AS essay writing is nothing too strenuous - so don't let that be something that would put you off.

At AS it is not what I would consider a difficult subject - but then again, I am an essay-writing student - not a science or maths person. Someone in my AS class really struggled with the philosophy side of the course, because you are introduced to philosophical ideas for (probably) the first time, it can take a little time to understand concepts like Anselm's
Ontological argument, or Kant's moral argument for the existence of God.

Workload: definitely not overwhelming. Of course, it depends on how much homework and essays your teachers set you, but I found it very manageable.
Although, if you're aiming for an A-grade, you should be doing some extra reading and research, hopefully your school will have lots of books you can consult on particular topics. But again, you're not going to have to read anything monstrous like Aquinas' 'Summa Theologica'
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longsightdon
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(Original post by Jamerson)
If my memory serves me right, at AS level, the essay structures are a lot simpler than at A2 - it's probably not a huge step up from GCSE, but it does require you to be analytical and explain why something is the case rather than just regurgitate the information you've memorized. Particularly on part B questions, they will often be something about assessing the usefulness of a particular theory on a particular topic - eg. how useful is Christianity for talking about euthanasia?
But as I say, AS essay writing is nothing too strenuous - so don't let that be something that would put you off.

At AS it is not what I would consider a difficult subject - but then again, I am an essay-writing student - not a science or maths person. Someone in my AS class really struggled with the philosophy side of the course, because you are introduced to philosophical ideas for (probably) the first time, it can take a little time to understand concepts like Anselm's
Ontological argument, or Kant's moral argument for the existence of God.

Workload: definitely not overwhelming. Of course, it depends on how much homework and essays your teachers set you, but I found it very manageable.
Although, if you're aiming for an A-grade, you should be doing some extra reading and research, hopefully your school will have lots of books you can consult on particular topics. But again, you're not going to have to read anything monstrous like Aquinas' 'Summa Theologica'
Do u think as a more science/maths guy I would be able to get an A grade? And is there a lot of quotations etc?
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Jamerson
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(Original post by longsightdon)
Do u think as a more science/maths guy I would be able to get an A grade? And is there a lot of quotations etc?
I'm sure you'd be more than capable! The Cambridge University website for both Philosophy and Theology make the point that neither Religious Studies nor Philosophy require any previous study on the subject - so if you're able to come from a maths/science background and flourish at studying Philosophy at Oxbridge without even doing it as a GCSE - you'll definitely be fine to do it at AS level
Quotation-wise, AS is not too heavy, you only need to have a few to hand, and you'll be good to go
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longsightdon
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(Original post by Jamerson)
I'm sure you'd be more than capable! The Cambridge University website for both Philosophy and Theology make the point that neither Religious Studies nor Philosophy require any previous study on the subject - so if you're able to come from a maths/science background and flourish at studying Philosophy at Oxbridge without even doing it as a GCSE - you'll definitely be fine to do it at AS level
Quotation-wise, AS is not too heavy, you only need to have a few to hand, and you'll be good to go
Thanks for the advice! Do u mind me asking what u achieved in as level religion? And what wud u say the most interesting topic is?
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Jamerson
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(Original post by longsightdon)
Thanks for the advice! Do u mind me asking what u achieved in as level religion? And what wud u say the most interesting topic is?
No problem
I got an A at AS, and finished A2 with an A*

On the AS syllabus, it's difficult to choose! I liked each side of the course for different reasons. I liked the ethics side of things in general - like the topic on abortion, where you look at all the different views on when life begins.
On the Philosophy side of the course, I quite liked Plato and his allegory of the cave / realm of the forms.
What topics you like will really depend on whether you prefer the ethical side or the philosophy side, and then within that, whether you like learning about Christianity-based works or Greek philosophy, or in the ethics side of the course, whether you prefer exploring secular normative ethical theories or religious ethics.
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longsightdon
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(Original post by Jamerson)
No problem
I got an A at AS, and finished A2 with an A*

On the AS syllabus, it's difficult to choose! I liked each side of the course for different reasons. I liked the ethics side of things in general - like the topic on abortion, where you look at all the different views on when life begins.
On the Philosophy side of the course, I quite liked Plato and his allegory of the cave / realm of the forms.
What topics you like will really depend on whether you prefer the ethical side or the philosophy side, and then within that, whether you like learning about Christianity-based works or Greek philosophy, or in the ethics side of the course, whether you prefer exploring secular normative ethical theories or religious ethics.
I knew u were a religious genius glad im getting advice from u! Thanks for all the advice. If I have any future questions is it alright if I PM u?
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Jamerson
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(Original post by longsightdon)
I knew u were a religious genius glad im getting advice from u! Thanks for all the advice. If I have any future questions is it alright if I PM u?
:jebus:

It's my pleasure! Just shoot me a PM and I'll answer anything to the best of my knowledge

Best Wishes!
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