More Opportunity to Study Sikhism & Buddhism at GCSE

More Opportunity to Study Sikhism & Buddhism at GCSE

Exam board OCR’s new draft World Religions GCSE offers greater opportunity than ever before to study both Sikhism and Buddhism as part of its new Religious Studies GCSE suite which has been updated to reflect the diversity of faiths of the UK in the 21st Century.

OCR’s World Religions GCSE offers students the opportunity to study Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism as well as Sikhism and Buddhism. Students can now study up to 75 per cent of their GCSE in Sikhism and Buddhism, a greater proportion than previously offered.

Both Sikhism and Buddhism can be studied across three modules including Sikhism and Buddhism 1 & 2, and Ethics. Alternatively, students can study all four modules in Christianity, Islam and Judaism or three modules in Hinduism (a fourth module has to be taken based on another religion). The new specification allows centres and candidates to study more than one religion across the course.

In addition, students can also study Sikhism and Buddhism in OCR’s Philosophy and Ethics GCSE specification which encourages pupils to engage with contemporary issues such as euthanasia, and examine the approach which different religions take to real-life situations. Between these two specifications, OCR now offers unrivalled scope to study Sikhism and Buddhism at GCSE.

The World Religions GCSE and the Philosophy and Ethics GCSE specifications are both being updated as part of current reforms taking place within 14-19 education and will be ready for first teaching in September 2009, subject to approval from the qualifications regulator QCA.

Mara Bogdanovic, Stakeholder Relations Senior Manager at OCR comments: “We are working hard to make all our specifications more engaging and relevant to students. By increasing the Sikh and Buddhist content across our Religious Studies GCSE suite we are recognising the changing structure of faiths in the UK and addressing a real need in the market for qualifications which reflect this.

“We are confident the changes across our Religious Studies GCSE suite will be a popular move, and as a result we hope more young people will leave school with an understanding of belief systems represented in the UK.

” We believe that the scope of options now available can be used to promote understanding of different faiths among young people, encouraging them to think about religion and faith in a context relevant to modern society.”

Other changes to OCR’s Religious Studies GCSEs suite include the introduction of Humanism as a belief system which can be studied as part of Philosophy and Ethics GCSE, reflecting the growing popularity of this worldview in the UK.

Teachers and students can view the new specification at, along with details of all new draft GCSE specifications from OCR.

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