Religious Philosophy and Ultimate Questions

Aims of GCSE Religious Studies Specifications

This unit will provide students with the opportunity to:

  • Develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of religion by exploring the significance and impact of beliefs, teachings, sources, practices, ways of life and forms of expressing meaning;
  • Express their personal responses and informed insights on fundamental questions and issuesabout identity, belonging, meaning, purpose, truth, values and commitments.

This unit is intended to begin philosophical thinking at GCSE, focussed on matters linked to the Philosophy of Religion. It encourages candidates to reflect upon ultimate questions about the meaning and purpose of life, and to develop their own reasoned response to those questions. In the examination, candidates will be expected to illustrate their answers by reference to actual  arguments put forward by philosophers in relation to the issues. This unit allows candidates to use examples from one or more of the six major world religions of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism.


Candidates will be required to answer four questions in the examination, based on four of six topics.

Questions will be focussed on concepts and framed in an open-ended way that will allow candidates to answer with reference to the religion(s) they have studied. The Specification allows for the study solely of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism or Sikhism, or for a combination of any of these specified religions.


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