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Philosophy and Religion

A critical study of the philosophy of religion, religious ethics and Buddhism. 

Why study Philosophy and Religion? 

Why do some people believe that they can communicate with God or a higher being? Why do some people believe in an afterlife? How does religion work alongside science? What is morally wrong? What is morally right? These are just some of the ideas explored in philosophy and religion. 

What will I study?

A-level Philosophy and Religion covers an incredibly diverse range of topics. There are three parts to the course.  

  • In philosophy of religion, you will consider religious miracles, religious experiences and beliefs about the afterlife through the prism of religion, philosophy and science.  
  • In religious ethics, you will consider several ethical theories and apply them to issues of life and death.   
  • In Buddhism, we will study issues surrounding ethics, philosophy, science, gender, and sexuality and tolerance of other faiths amongst other interesting topics. 

Which exam board & how will I be assessed?


There are two 3-hour exams at the end of the second year. 

Where could it take me?

By completing philosophy and religion you will be fully prepared for any religion or philosophy-based degree such as philosophy, theology, ethics and religion. Some students have gone to study unrelated degrees such as law, finance and medicine. 

Alumni apply the ethical aspects of the course in diverse careers such as healthcare, social work, the police, or education. Others put their analytical skills to good use in business, law, politics or media. 

Subject combinations

While we have a lot of students who pick a combination of humanities subjects those studying science and Maths also excel in our department due to the analytical and logical nature of the course. What is needed is an interest in philosophical, ethical and religious issues, together with a willingness to argue an opinion rather than just assert it. 

What support is available?

We have a fully resourced department library, website and social media presence so help is always on hand. We also have a virtual learning environment for online, independent study. Regular one-to-one tutorials are run throughout the year, helping with revision strategies, subject content and  exam techniques. Staff also provide group workshops on request, as well as support via email and social media. We also work closely with the study support department to ensure all students get access to the best support. 

What extracurricular activity is available?

The department run trips to university departments as well as hosting visiting speakers. We make an annual visit, in normal times, to the Manchester Buddhist centre and other Buddhist sites of interest in the North West. 

Did you know?

An average of 58% of students achieved an A*-B grade over the last 3 years.  

An average of 98% of students achieved an A*-E grade over the last 3 years.