Religious Studies GCSE

Religious Studies GCSE

Explore Christianity and Judaism, as you deepen your understanding of the role of religion in society. You will consider religious, societal and personal responses to moral themes including: relationships; the environment; medical ethics; war and peace; human rights and social justice; and the origins of the universe and life.

Why St Mary's

Supported by dedicated teachers, you will explore what Christians and Jews really believe and how their beliefs influence their lives and practices. Religious Studies GCSE also opens up discussion and debate on a range of topics, from the environment, medical ethics and prejudice to wealth and poverty, human rights and war.

Our enriched learning opportunities can include:

  • Connections with local faith communities
  • Links with the various inter-faith programmes associated with the University of Cambridge


Course overview

This syllabus is non-denominational and nonconfessional. It is appropriate for those of any faith or secular background and is concerned with exploring and evaluating ideas, beliefs and morality. This takes place within the context of the predominant local religion, Christianity, along with additional study of aspects of Judaism.

Component 1: The study of religions: beliefs, teachings and practices

  • Christianity: beliefs and teachings – key beliefs; Jesus Christ and salvation
  • Christianity: practices – worship and festivals; the role of the Church in the local and worldwide community
  • Judaism: beliefs and teachings – key beliefs; the covenant and the mitzvot
  • Judaism: practices – the synagogue and worship; family life and festivals

Component 2: Thematic studies

The following thematic study options have been selected from the syllabus and are studied in the context of Christianity and Judaism:

  • A: Relationships and families – sex, marriage and divorce; families and gender equality
  • B: Religion and life – the origins and value of the universe; the origins and value of human life
  • D: Religion, peace and conflict – religion, violence, terrorism and war; religion and belief in 21st century conflict
  • F: Religion, human rights and social justice – human rights; wealth and poverty



Component 1: The study of religions - 1 written examination (1 hour 45 minutes), 50% of the total mark

Component 2: Thematic studies - 1 written examination (1 hour 45 minutes), 50% of the total mark

At a glance

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What our teachers say...

“We were drawn to the subject because it is diverse and interdisciplinary. Leaving aside the broad range of philosophy, practice and belief that can be part of the discipline, it touches textual criticism, history, art, psychology, literature, epistemology, sociology, languages, cosmology, politics and more!”