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Religious studies and Philosophy

The principal aim of religious studies at Bryanston is to engage pupils in enquiring into the big questions in life from the study of religion, belief, philosophy and ethics. In so doing RS will support pupils’ own personal moral, philosophical, ethical and spiritual development whilst promoting respect for others. To find out more about how we achieve this, please see the department aims below.  


RS in D (Year 9)

A study of Religion

Pupils study the major world faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism. Pupils are also given the opportunity to explore other faith practices as well. They are taught the main beliefs and teachings of each faith and they explore the impact these beliefs have on how people live their lives. Pupils investigate the nature of faith on society and critically evaluate the impact this has had on this country and the wider world.

RS in C (Year 10)

Introduction to Philosophy and Ethics

Pupils are given the opportunity to begin studying some of the big questions in life through the examination of contemporary moral issues.  They explore the key arguments for and against the existence of God, the problem of suffering, the issues surrounding medical ethics, the value and nature of human rights, care for the environment. They are given the chance to examine key ways of promoting social harmony through the seven protected characteristics of the equality act.

A level Religious Studies

In the sixth form pupils have the chance to study A level Religious Studies or IB Philosophy.

The Religious Studies A level (OCR) is a mixture of two core disciplines: Theology and Philosophy. It is a rigorous, but accessible course which will develop your reasoning, reading and writing abilities. If you enjoy arguing, and interacting with abstract ideas, then this is the subject for you.

Component 1: Philosophy of Religion, two hour exam (33%)

  • Ancient Philosophy
  • The philosophy of mind
  • Arguments for and against the existence of God

Component 2: Religion and Ethics, two hour exam (23%)

  • Normative Ethical Theories, from Aristotle to Mill
  • Application of ethical theories to practical issues

Component 3: Developments in Religious thought, two hour exam (23%)

  • Religious beliefs, practices and teachings
  • Sources of religious authority
  • Historical development of religious ideas

IB Philosophy

Our IB programme features various different subjects:

  • Philosophy of Mind (What does it mean to be a human being?)
  • Ethics (What is right? Where does 'rightness' come from?)
  • Political Philosophy (What kind of government - if any - is the best? What are our rights?)
  • Philosophy of Religion (Does God exist? How should Religion play a role in our society?)
  • An in-depth study of Descartes' Meditations of First Philosophy