GCSE and A level Religious Studies qualifications are changing

Thu Jan 22 14:51:29 UTC 2015

GCSE and A level Religious Studies qualifications are changing. The new specifications will be taught from September 2016. 

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The first AS assessments will take place in summer 2017 and the first GCSE and A level assessments will take place in summer 2018.

The Department for Education has revised the subject content for GCSE, AS and A level qualifications in religious studies and it held a public consultation to gather feedback on the proposals. The consultation closed on 29 December.

View the DfE revised subject content

GCSE: key proposals

  • Option to study the beliefs and teachings and sources of wisdom and authority for 2 different religions
  • Option to study 1 primary religion in depth and the beliefs and teachings and sources of wisdom and authority for a 2nd religion
  • Specifications will require students to demonstrate knowledge of the diversity of religious beliefs in Great Britain
  • Opportunity to study optional themes in relation to textual studies and religious, philosophical and ethical studies in the modern world.

AS and A level: key proposals

  • A reduction in the number of optional areas of study
  • Requirement to study 2 approaches from a choice of:
    o Systematic study of religion
    o Philosophy, ethics and social scientific studies
    o Textual studies.
  • Prescribed subject content, including an increase in religious content
  • Requirement for all students to study the beliefs and teachings from at least 1 religion in depth through a systematic study of that religion and/or a detailed analysis of its texts.

Ofqual proposed new assessment arrangements for GCSE, AS and A level qualifications in religious studies and it also held a public consultation, which closed on 5 January.

View Ofqual's proposals for the new qualifications

Key areas

  • Exam-only assessment for GCSE, AS and A level Religious Studies
  • Proposed assessment objectives that specify more clearly the core abilities for religious studies
  • Assessment objectives that promote comparability through the use of fixed weightings rather than ranges
  • Different assessment objective weightings for AS and A level qualifications to help promote differentiation.

Both the DfE and Ofqual are analysing the results of their consultations. We would like to keep you informed about the changes so please sign up to receive our Religious Studies qualification updates.

Best wishes,

The Religious Studies Team
 

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