Guidance for Year 13

Why choose AS/A2 Religious Studies?
  • Students will have already studied GCSE Religion which is a good basis for A Level.
  • It can help deepen the student's faith and commitment to Gospel values.
  • It carries the same points as any other academic subject for gaining entry into university.
  • As part of the course students visit historical sites of interest relevant to the Celtic Church in Ireland.
  • It increases your career opportunities and opens the door to many courses in university/third level education.
  • It is interesting, challenging and deepens one's understanding of God and life.

The specification in Religious Studies has been designed to offer students the opportunity:
  • To develop an interest in and enthusiasm for a rigorous study of religion.
  • To treat the subject as an academic discipline by developing knowledge and understanding appropriate to a specialist study of religion.
  • To use an enquiring, critical and empathetic approach to the study of religion.

Subject Content

Module 1

Area of Study A: Textual Studies
AS 1: An Introduction of the Gospel of Luke
A2 1: The Theology of the Gospel of Luke

AS 1 Completed in Lower Sixth A2 1 Completed in Upper Sixth
Background to the Gospel of Luke
A study of:date, authorship, sources.Purposes and characteristics of the Gospel of Luke.
The role of Luke as an historian.
Christianity according to Luke
A critical study of:Luke's presentation of salvation history.
The function of Biblical criticism and the Proto Luke theory.
Selected Narratives in Luke's Gospel
A study of:
The structure of Luke's Gospel with special emphasis on the narratives of infancy, journey, passion and resurrection.
Religious Themes in Luke's Gospel
A critical study of:
The themes of mercy, universalism, discipleship and the place of women in Luke's Gospel.
The Words and Deeds of Jesus
A study of:
The origin, type and purpose of parables with special references to the parables of God's mercy.
The function, purpose and characteristics of miracles in Luke's Gospel.
The Theological Significance of the Words and Deeds of Jesus
A critical study of:
Jesus' teaching in the Sermon on the Plain.
The parables of the kingdom, crisis and discipleship.
An examination of the theological significance of the use of miracles in Luke's Gospel.

Area of Study B: History of Religious Traditions
AS 5: The Origin and Development of the Celtic Church
A2 5: The Celtic Church and its missionary outreach in the 5th, 6th and 7th centuries.

AS 5 Completed in Lower Sixth A2 5 Completed in Upper Sixth
The Historical Background of Patrick
A study of:
Christianity in Ireland before the arrival of Patrick.
Possible means of entry of Christianity into Ireland.
The social, political and religious background to the arrival of Patrick.
Patrick's arrival and ministry in Ireland.
The content and themes of Patrick's writings.
The Evidence of Writings from the Period
A critical study of:The historical Patrick, with reference to his writings and other texts.
The significance of references to Palladius.
The Two Patricks controversy.
Religious Belief and Practice
A study of:
The various monastic founders such as Enda, Finnian, Ciaran, Brendan, Comgall, Brigid.
The nature of the monastic life.
The missionary outreach of the Irish Church with reference to the activities of Columbanus and other relevant Irish peregrini.
The art, architecture and religious practice of the Celtic Church.
Ministry, Authority and Spirituality
A critical study of:
The changes from episcopal to monastic organisation.
The nature of episcopacy.
The Irish Penitentials and their influence.
Celtic and Roman Christianity.
The claims of Armagh to primacy.
The Character and spirituality of the Celtic Church.
Saints, Scholars and Hagiography
At study of:
The lives of Patrick, Columba (Colmcille) and Columbanus.
The content and features of Celtic hagiography with particular reference to Muirchu's 'Life of Patrick' and Adamnan's 'Life of Columba'.
The Influence of Saints and Scholars: the historicity of texts
A critical study of:
The contribution and influence of Patrick, Columba (Colmcille) and Columbanus to the growth and development of the Church in Ireland and elsewhere.
The content of the following works, their usefulness: Muirchu's 'Life of Patrick', Tirechan's 'Brevarium', Adamnan's 'Life of Columba', Jonas' 'Life of Columbanus', Cogitosus' 'Life of Brigid'.

Structure of Assessment

AS Level
  1. AS Textual Studies - An Introduction to the Gospel of Luke.
  2. AS History of Religious Tradition - The Origin and Development of the Celtic Church.
  3. Internal Assessment Assignment (1500 - 1750 words).

Value 40% of AS, externally marked. (1 and 2 externally assessed written papers)

The AS is the first part of the full Advanced GCE course. It will be assessed at a standard appropriate for candidates who have completed half of the full Advanced GCE course. The full Advanced GCE comprises the AS and the second half of the Advanced GCE course referred to as A2 where the course content is studied in greater depth and detail.

However, the AS can be taken as a stand-alone qualification without progression to A2. The A2 will be assessed at a standard appropriate for candidates who have completed a full Advanced GCE course and will include an element of synoptic assessment.

The Advanced GCE award will be based on the aggregation of marks from the AS (50%), covered in Lower Sixth and the A2 (50%), covered in Upper Sixth.

Entry Requirements
  • Normally a Grade B or above at GCSE Level.
  • To have a good working knowledge of the Gospel
  • To have a critical mind with good evaluation skills
  • A sympathetic approach to the study of Religion
  • The ability and desire to work hard.