Law is considered to be one of the core arts subjects, valued by universities and employers. Law is a fascinating subject as it affects every aspect of our lives and enhances our understanding of how the Government, Parliament and the Judiciary operate in relation to each other. English law today is largely made by Parliament. However, Judges also make law by setting out their decisions in particular cases of importance and these decisions will be followed in later cases. These decisions are known as precedents and form the body of our common law system. The law is not fixed and it changes to meet the needs of society and to reflect a changing morality. A Level Law gives you plenty to think about and to discuss.
All students studying for A Level would be expected to have five GCSEs at grade C or above (grade 5 or above) in academic subjects, including GCSE English Language, of which two must be B grades (grade 6). Law students must also have a B grade (grade 6) in English Language.
Law can be studied in either your first or second year as an AS qualification, or over two years as a full A Level.
Firstly students will delve into the various sources of law. By this we mean how law is made and who is responsible for making it. We study the operation of judicial precedent within the courts. This means the decisions of previously decided cases applied to current cases of similar facts and legal principle. The making and interpretation of statutory law is also an important subject. In addition, the Civil and Criminal Courts systems will be explored. In the latter part of the first year, you will develop an understanding of the basic principles of the law of Tort (Negligence). We also study an introduction to Criminal Law and concentrate on the non-fatal offences, in particular Assault, Battery, ABH and GBH.
In the second year, the course focuses upon Criminal Law in much more detail. A student can build upon the understanding of the basic principles gained in the first year to develop a detailed knowledge of the law of Murder and Manslaughter. Specific aspects such as Theft, Burglary and Blackmail are also studied along with broader subjects to include ‘law and justice’ and ‘law and morality’.
There is no coursework for this A Level. Both AS and A Level are assessed through a series of written exams. There are three units in total. The examinations are a combination of essay questions and problem scenarios which the student is required to analyse in depth and apply their knowledge of the law to the situation.
Many students who have studied A Level Law choose to study it at university and qualify to become either a solicitor or a barrister. Law is, however, a sound academic subject that can be useful if you want to go on to take related subjects such as History, Politics, Business or Criminology at degree level.
The study of Law is also very useful for a wide range of career choices such as the legal profession, the public sector, local and central government, charities, business, and the police and probation services.
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