Is "Religious Studies" the same as "Philosophy and Ethics" Watch
They are not the same. RS looks at different religions and their beliefs, and how they tackle difficult topics. Philosophy and Ethics looks at ethical and philosophical questions -- for example, does a man, locked in a room, but doesn't want to leave the room and doesn't know it's locked, still have free will? They are both essay-based and I think the exams are rather long and strenuous, but yes they are counted as 'hard' subjects because of the debate and thinking processes involved.