There were 4.9% more UK candidates sitting A Level Religious Studies (RS) in June 2011 than in 2010, but the proportion of them getting A* and A grades was 2.1% down, according to data released today (18 August) by the Joint Council for Qualifications.
There were 22,325 candidates for A Level RS in summer 2011, maintaining the steady growth which has been apparent since the turn of the millennium (in 2000 there 9,178). Entries for RS now comprise 2.6% of those for all A Level subjects.
68.2% of RS candidates are female, compared with 53.7% for all subjects. Females also tend to get rather better grades in RS than males, 58.9% and 55.4% respectively being awarded A*, A or B.
Overall, 5.5% of RS candidates received the A* grade, 21.8% A, 30.5% B, 23.4% C, 12.5% D, 4.8% E, with 1.5% unclassified. The figure of 57.8% for A*, A and B was 1.8% up on 2010 and above the 52.6% for all subjects, for which 2.2% of entries were unclassified.
Candidates from Northern Ireland were far more likely (68.1%) to get A*, A or B grades at RS than those from England (56.9%) or Wales (52.0%). It should be noted that there is a separate Scottish Qualifications Authority which publishes its own statistics.
The full results, which also cover several non-A Level qualifications (the most important for RS being AS Levels, with 33,915 candidates, a massive 22.3% increase on 2010), are available at:
Trend RS A level data for 1993-2009 will be found on the BRIN website at:
It will be interesting to see how the currently rising number of RS A and AS Level candidates will be impacted down the line by Government’s recent decision to exclude GCSE RS from the 2011 eBaccalaureate (eBacc), which faith communities fear will deter schools from offering GCSE RS and youngsters from sitting it.