rumana101
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In terms of content what is involved in the ocr as religious studies course? Is the course enjoyable and what is the work load like?
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gib_student
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(Original post by rumana101)
In terms of content what is involved in the ocr as religious studies course? Is the course enjoyable and what is the work load like?
I did OCR RS at AS and got an A. There is a lot of content that you need to know as a lot of the course is based on knowledge and understanding. It depends what modules you do, but I thoroughly enjoyed Religious Ethics and Philosophy of Religion. The work load isn't too heavy, I did an essay per topic, but thats probably because I go to a comprehensive school. If you will do the same modules as I did and you know your teachers are good I would recommend doing it.
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TorpidPhil
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I did OCR RS 2 and a half years ago, it was pretty great.

Our course was divided in two parts - philosophy of religion and Ethics.

My memory is bad so I don't remember the order in which we learned things and so this is going to be what we did in both AS and A2.

Philosophy of Religion

We covered a lot of the history of philosophical concepts of god and how/why it developed. I found that extremely useful from an intellectual perspective. We went from Plato's Form of the Good to Aristotle's deistic Prime Mover and eventually to Augustine and Aquinas' theistic God. This set up and explained the rational philosophical justification behind believing in God. We of course criticised that later on. This did leave out the polytheistic beliefs in God, but to be honest, western philosophy never really saw polytheism as a rational philosophical belief. It's was more of a socially useful one. Monotheism in the past has been treated like a theory of physics - it had great descriptive power and was academically and logical rigorous despite what modern new-atheists claim.

We covered arguments for the existence of God in the form of the teleological argument, cosmological argument, kant's moral argument, the ontological argument and arguments from religious experience. Kant's argument is pretty great in my opinion. In doing this though you will study scholars like Swinburne, Aquinas, Augustine, Hume, Dawkins, William Lane-craig, Descartes, Russel and so on. You then look at quite a few arguments against the existence of God. Such as the problem of evil and the problem of inconsistent revelation and inconsistent miracles, as well, of course as ripping apart all of the arguments for the existence of God. Overall the for and against was very balanced I found and I went to a Catholic College.

For the ethics side we did normative ethics first, then some applied ethics, then meta-ethics.

Normative ethics basically outlines the meaning of good/bad and consequently how we ought to live our lives. We studied secular and religiously inspired ethical theories such as Aquinas' natural law, Kant's categorial imperatives, Bentham's/Mill's/Singer's utilitarianisms, Christian Ethics concerning agape and virtue ethics.

We then studied applied ethics, looking at issues such as abortion, environmentalism, euthanasia, war and applying what we learned about the different ethical theories before to not only say what those theories would think about the morality of those scenarios but also which ethical theory was the best because of what it said about those scenarios.

Finally we studied meta-ethics which looks at the greater question of what it means for something to be good as well as why, if at all, we should do good things over bad things. That gets very complicated and at A2 level you only scrape the surface of that philosophical debate.

Never once in all of this were you allowed to fall back on "scripture" to justify your answers. Saying "this is the correct answer because it's in the bible" got you no marks because that isn't a rational argument. It was philosophy, not theology, you don't assume the existence of God so scripture is pointless. If you want to do that argument you must first prove God exists and that the Bible is inerrant word from him. You obviously can't do that so those sorts of answers are out of the question. You have to think rationally and write clearly with clarity of thought and argument. You have to avoid logical fallacies and criticise certain viewpoints by pointing out the fallacies within them. You will learn a lot and you will probably debate a lot in class too. Your writing skills will no doubt improve, especially your persuasive writing. It will help you think more rationally too since you will be introduced to a lot of logical fallacies and basic logic thinking (don't worry, you don't actually study logic itself, this is not mathematical in anyway).

It's not going to be as simple as memorising case studies which happens in some other subjects, instead you will be forced to think for yourself and you need fairly good persuasive writing skills. That said, the workload when it comes to revision is nothing compared to something like history, the natural sciences or mathematics. I studied it in a Catholic College and not once did I feel pressured to choose the theistic side or the atheistic side because of where I was studying it. Instead, I always chosen the side which seemed the most rational to me (which was always the atheist side).

I really enjoyed it, but naturally I would as I'm a philosopher at heart. Now studying philosophy at uni and it's... The best subject ever. It does help your intellectual ability tremendously though. I really recommend doing it :O
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rumana101
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I think the course my college offers does philosophy of religion and ethics. What other a levels did you take along with rs as I am considering on taking the science subjects. How hard is it in comparison the the GCSE course and is an A grade easy to achieve? Im currently on an A* at GCSE
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rumana101
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(Original post by gib_student)
I did OCR RS at AS and got an A. There is a lot of content that you need to know as a lot of the course is based on knowledge and understanding. It depends what modules you do, but I thoroughly enjoyed Religious Ethics and Philosophy of Religion. The work load isn't too heavy, I did an essay per topic, but thats probably because I go to a comprehensive school. If you will do the same modules as I did and you know your teachers are good I would recommend doing it.
I think the course my college offers does philosophy of religion and ethics. What other a levels did you take along with rs as I am considering on taking the science subjects. How hard is it in comparison the GCSE course and is an A grade easy to achieve? Im currently on an A* at GCSE
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gib_student
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(Original post by rumana101)
I think the course my college offers does philosophy of religion and ethics. What other a levels did you take along with rs as I am considering on taking the science subjects. How hard is it in comparison the GCSE course and is an A grade easy to achieve? Im currently on an A* at GCSE
my other are levels were english lit, geography and sociology. I would say it wouldn't be too hard alongside science subjects, it will just require a lot of reading and memorising. I did AQA religion GCSE and at A level RS is completely different, although its not necessarily harder.
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rumana101
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(Original post by gib_student)
my other are levels were english lit, geography and sociology. I would say it wouldn't be too hard alongside science subjects, it will just require a lot of reading and memorising. I did AQA religion GCSE and at A level RS is completely different, although its not necessarily harder.
thanks for the advice, much appreciated!
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carpe.noctem
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(Original post by gib_student)
my other are levels were english lit, geography and sociology. I would say it wouldn't be too hard alongside science subjects, it will just require a lot of reading and memorising. I did AQA religion GCSE and at A level RS is completely different, although its not necessarily harder.
out of all your subjects at AS level , which was the most enjoyable and which was the most difficult ?
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gib_student
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(Original post by Humzaawan123)
out of all your subjects at AS level , which was the most enjoyable and which was the most difficult ?
Most enjoyable was Sociology, it's a really interesting subject. The most difficult was either English Lit or RS. I didn't like the format of the english written exam, it was an absolute pain to study for. As for RS, I only regarded it as difficult because of the sheer amount of content you need to learn only to be assessed on a small proportion (you only answer 2 questions in the exam). Also, my religion exams clashed and so I had to do them back-to-back - I ended up having a breakdown the night before the exam, it also seemed too overwhelming to learn so much content.
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