Skip to content ↓

Religion, Philosophy and Ethics

RPE is a challenging A level which brings enjoyment and rewards to those who follow the course of study.

There are 3 main sections:


  • Ancient philosophical influences: Plato and Aristotle
  • Arguments about the existence or non- existence of God
  • The nature and impact of religious experience
  • The challenge for religious belief of the problem of evil
  • The nature of the soul, mind and body
  • The possibility of life after death
  • Ideas about the nature of God
  • Issues in religious language


  • Normative ethical theories: Natural Law, the Categorical Imperative, Utilitarianism and Situation Ethics
  • The application of these ethical theories to Euthanasia and Business Ethics
  • Ethical language and thought
  • Debates surrounding the significant ideas of conscience and freewill
  • The influence on ethical thought of developments in religious beliefs and the philosophy of religion on sexual ethics

Developments in Religious Thought

  • The study of human nature, life after death, knowledge of God and the person of Jesus
  • A study of how these developments are put into practise ethically; different Christian moral approaches and Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • Gender, theology and society
  • Pluralism and Secularism
  • Liberation theology and Marx

Candidates take 3 two hour exams answering 3 questions from a choice of 4 taken in the summer at the end of Year 13.


The course is designed to enable candidates to:

  • Develop an interest in and enthusiasm for a rigorous study of religion, philosophy and ethics.
  • Treat the subject as an academic discipline by developing knowledge and understanding appropriate to a specialist study of religion, philosophy and ethics.
  • Use an enquiring, critical and empathetic approach to the study of religion, philosophy and ethics.


RPE is regarded as an academic subject by all universities and colleges. It is offered at degree level where modules studied for the A level can be explored in greater depth. Universities offer a wide variety of content choice within Religion, Philosophy and Ethics. The subject proves to be of valuable preparation for many university degrees including Law, Medicine and Psychology as well as future employment, for example in journalism or the Civil Service.

Paste in video URL and save page via the "Edit" tab at the top of the page