Philosophy & Ethics

Philosophy and Religion in Society

  • Should abortion be a woman’s choice?
  • Is prison an effective way to deal with criminals?
  • Can a war ever be justified?
  • Do animals have rights?

At Malden Oaks all KS4 students study the AQA Religious Studies B Ethics, Philosophy and Religion in Society This enables us to ensure that all students receive lessons in important topical issues, while giving them the opportunity to achieve a GCSE qualification.

The course offers a modern and inspiring syllabus that will help students learn about the approaches of religion and philosophy to some of the fundamental questions about morality, citizenship and life issues. It’s a GCSE for students of all faiths – as well as for those who don’t have one.

Please view the overview of the course plan.

Post 16 and employability

The course is an excellent basis for moving on to an A Level in the philosophy and ethics areas of Religious Studies. It could also take you towards a number of careers, including working in the police or as a counsellor, social worker, nurse, youth worker, teacher or philosopher, in organisations such as the Peace Corps or Amnesty International, or in any career that requires an understanding of people.

Course content

This GCSE provides a more modern approach to studying topics related to between one and three religions. You’ll look at today’s issues – perhaps including things you see or read about in the news. You’ll look at different philosophies and learn about ethics within 2 different Units: Religion and Morality and Religion and Citizenship. Each unit is broken down into sections and we will study religious attitudes towards:

  • Relationships
  • Sport and Leisure
  • Multicultural Society
  • Human rights
  • Matters of life, such as cloning and fertility treatment
  • Drug abuse
  • Crime and punishment
  • Rich and poor in British Society

You’ll learn skills in interpreting and evaluating pieces of information, communicating and applying your knowledge, and in solving problems. You’ll also have an opportunity to develop your debating skills.


You will sit two exams lasting one hour and thirty minutes each – one for Religion and Morality and one for Religion and Citizenship. Each of the exams is worth 50% of your total mark. You will answer questions in 4 sections of the exam paper, based on the units that you have studied in lessons and receive a grade from A* to G.

You can improve your chance of a high grade by making using some of the useful links we have provided.