Religious Education GCSE

Religious Education

What will you learn?

The course covers two units; one focuses on the beliefs and practices of two religions, the second looks at a range of themes and religious responses to them. Both units have been specifically chosen because they offer students the opportunity to explore a wide range of relevant, engaging and often controversial moral and ethical issues such as prison as a suitable punishment, whether euthanasia should be allowed, human rights and justice in society. The course will give students an opportunity to develop their own ideas and beliefs, as well as sensitively evaluating the attitudes and values of religious believers.


Topics covered:

Religion and life

This unit focuses on a range of topics to do with life, from how the world was created, plant earth, animal rights, abortion and euthanasia. The main questions raised are to do with the idea of life, when it begins, and sanctity and quality of life. Students identify religious and non-religious opinions on this.

Religion, peace and conflict

Students explore the issues connected to war today, including causes, consequences, weapons of mass destruction and religious teachings about the issues raised, which are compared with non-religious viewpoints.

Religion, crime and punishment

This is a study of the ideas of crime and punishment, including causes of crime, the benefits and limitations of different types of punishments. As well as the aims of rehabilitation and different religious and non-religious approaches to this.

Relationships and Families,

Students examine the idea of different relationships in a religious and modern context. The nature and purpose of marriage and the changing view of divorce.

Christian and Buddhist beliefs and teachings

Students study the beliefs, teachings and practices of Buddhism and Christianity. This includes the influence of the beliefs, teachings and practices studied on individuals, communities and societies.

How will you be assessed?

2 exam papers at the end of the GCSE course

Each paper is 1 hr and 45 minutes long


Paper 1

Christianity beliefs and practices

Buddhism beliefs and practices



Paper 2 Thematic paper; which will examine the topics:


Families and Relationships

Religion and LIfe

Religion, Peace and Justice,

Crime and punishment



Both the exams include multiple-choice questions, short open response and extended writing questions.

Where can this subject take you in the future?

This course lays a solid foundation for further study of Religious Studies at A-level and related A-level subjects including Philosophy, History, Government and Politics and English Literature.

GCSE RE is a qualification that is highly regarded by many professions and employers because the course offers students the unique chance to develop and strengthen core values of tolerance, justice and respect, as well as a valuable insight into the ever-changing world around them.