This AQA Religious Education GCSE Specification was retired after the 2018 examinations, and we don't currently offer a course for the new specification.

The Religious Education (RE) Distance Learning Course offers students the opportunity to investigate Religion and religious responses to fundamental questions of life. This course is suitable for candidates of any religious persuasion or for those without religious beliefs.

The study of Religious Studies at GCSE is an ideal foundation for further study at A-level but it also complements other related subjects such as Philosophy, History, Sociology and English Literature.

Each lesson begins with a set of clearly stated objectives and an explanation of its place in the overall programme of study. Effective learning is encouraged through frequent activities and self-assessment questions. There are eleven self-assessment tests and eleven tutor-marked assignments including a mock exam assignment. Students will need Internet access to participate in all course activities.

The Syllabus:

The Religious Education Course prepares students for the AQA GCSE Religious Studies (Specification B) 4055 Specification for examinations in May/June 2017.

Please Note: This specification will be retired after the May/June 2017 exams.

The specification has six possible units from which students must complete two. The specification is designed to enable you to focus on religions which are of interest to you. You may choose from six religions in relation to your studies (Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism) but this course focuses on the two units below. The other alternative units are not available for study with this course.

Religion and Citizenship:

You are required to study one religion only in this unit but you may refer to more than one religion in your answers if you wish to. The following topics are covered:

  • Religion and Relationships
  • Religion, Sport and Leisure
  • Religion and Work
  • Religion and the Multicultural Society
  • Religion and Human Rights

Worship and Key Beliefs:

You will need to study at least two religions in this unit. This can include the same religion from the previous unit or completely different religions. The following topics are covered:

  • Places of Worship
  • Worship
  • Pilgrimage
  • Origins and Beliefs
  • Practices and Belonging


Assessment is by two examination papers.

Paper 1: Religion & Citizenship (1 Hour 30 Minutes) is 50% of the total GCSE marks.

Paper 2: Worship and Key Beliefs (1 Hour 30 Minutes) is 50% of the total GCSE marks.

Candidates answer four structured essay questions from the choice of six given. Each question is worth 18 marks. There are four additional marks on the paper for Spelling, punctuation and Grammar (SPaG).


There are no prerequisites for starting this course.


There is no coursework with this syllabus.

Additional Reading:

The Religious Education GCSE course is self contained and does not require you to buy any additional textbooks. Should you want any further reading about the subject then there are recommended titles detailed within the course pack.

Student Support:

Every student receives a personal tutor with whom they should keep in regular contact. All tutors are fully qualified experienced teachers holding either a Postgraduate Certificate in Education or a degree in education. Most work from home and are able to offer flexible contact times. The tutor will contact students with an introductory letter and a telephone call to help decide on a study plan. They will also let the student know the best ways and times for contact.

There is no limit on how often you can contact your tutor. The advice and encouragement our tutors provide are an important part of your learning experience. You can contact your tutor by Phone, Post or Email. There are tutor-marked assignments (TMA's) in every course. These help the student to consolidate their learning and prepare for examinations.

All tutors have a Freephone 0800 telephone number and most will have Skype capabilities. Whilst you are still actively submitting assignments, you should expect to be in contact with your tutor regularly. Remember, to get the most out of your tutor, you will need to tell them when you need assistance.

Examination Centres & Examination Fees:

All distance learning students will sit their exams as a private candidate in a registered school or college. The finding of an examination centre and the booking of exams is the responsibility of the student. In December/January students are contacted and advised to start arranging their examinations. AQA have over 300 exam centres in the UK. Examination officers are available for registered students for advice on finding suitable centres or you can use AQA’s Private Candidate Page which details information about being a private candidate and has a search facility showing a small selection of centres set out geographically.

All GCSE exams need to be sat in the May/June exam window. Examination fees need to be paid direct to your chosen exam centre. Prices for exams will vary depending on the exam centre’s administration costs so it is worth contacting a few centres to compare prices.

Studying from Abroad:

It is possible to study GCSE Courses from anywhere in the world. However some home study courses are easier to study from abroad than others and some restrictions to the type of tuition available apply. If you wish to study a GCSE then you will need to sit the examinations in the UK. Please remember that most GCSE's have several examinations which may well be spread over several weeks.

View Testimonials
Submit a Testimonial