Search this Site:

A Level Theology

Choose A Level Theology at St Edmund’s College and explore fascinating issues and ideas, and enjoy debating a range of ethical dilemmas.

In Sixth Form, you can expect classes to involve plenty of discussion and debate. As you develop a deeper knowledge of religion, philosophy and ethics you’ll have opportunities to share your ideas and to consider the views of others.

This A Level also develops valuable transferable skills, including research, essay-writing, critical evaluation and analysis, and constructing a persuasive argument.

Enrichment opportunities at St Ed’s include:

  • Experiencing the rich Catholic heritage and traditions of England’s oldest Catholic school
  • Attendance at the A Level Religious Studies conference in Cambridge
Head of Department Miss A Moloney BA (Hons) (Surrey), PGCE (Surrey)
Syllabus Edexcel


Course structure

A Level Theology at St Edmund’s covers the following three areas of study:

  • Philosophy of religion
  • Religion and ethics
  • Study of religion (Christianity)


Areas of study


  • Religious language uses and purpose
  • The verification and falsification principles
  • The uses of symbol, analogy and myth to express human understanding of God
  • Religious experience
  • The concept of revelation
  • The attributes and nature of God
  • Life after death – the soul: death, resurrection and reincarnation
  • The views of various philosophers and theologians including St. Thomas Aquinas, Plato, Aristotle, J Hume, A J Ayer, A Flew, L Wittgenstein and P Tillich


  • Meta-ethics – use of ethical language and how different scholars understand how words like good, bad, right and wrong are used in ethical statements
  • Virtue ethics – the concepts of the Eudaimonia and the Golden Mean
  • Applied ethics and ethical theories:
    • Natural law
    • Kantian ethics
    • Utilitarianism
    • Religious ethics
    • Environmental ethics – the Gaia Hypothesis
    • Gender and equality – rights
    • Sexual ethics – premarital, extramarital sex, contraception, homosexuality
    • The sanctity of life: abortion and euthanasia
    • The views of various philosophers and theologians including St. Thomas Aquinas. P Singer, P Vardy, J Fletcher, J S Mill, J Bentham


  • Challenging the nature and authority of God, the Trinity, the Church and key Christian moral principles
  • The diversity of practice in the Eucharist and in creative expressions of religious identity
  • Exploring Christianity and science, secularisation and new movements in theology today
  • Exploring the atonement theory and the ideas of Karl Barth and John Hick

Over two years, three topics will be studied.

Assesment takes place at the end of Rhetoric II (Year 13) in three 2-hour written assessments.

  • Paper 1 – 33.33% Philosophy of Religion
  • Paper 2 – 33.33% Religion and Ethics
  • Paper 3 – 33.33% Christianity
Philosophy begins with wonder
Socrates (469 BCE - 399 BCE)
Key skills developed
Analysis and critical judgement: the ability to examine, assess and justify arguments and points of view The ability to work with abstract, conceptual ideas, to ‘understand both sides’ and negotiate and resolve conflicting viewpoints and approaches
Research: the ability to identify, evaluate and combine relevant information from a range of sources Problem-solving skills, especially in relation to ethical dilemmas
The ability to communicate effectively through discussions, debates, presentations and essays An understanding of the impact of conflicting ideologies and values
An appreciation of human diversity, belief systems, cultural and spiritual experiences


Future pathways

The study of theology is excellent preparation for further studies in a breadth of humanities and social science subjects. It also develops a wide range of valuable transferrable skills.

Former students have gone onto study law, English, politics, history, philosophy, theology, psychology, criminology, sociology.

Beyond university, popular career pathways include policing, nursing, education, youth work, counselling and research.