Studying Law gives students an understanding of the role of Law in today’s society and raises their awareness of the rights and responsibilities of individuals. Students on this course will learn how to study, analyse, apply and evaluate legal issues, rules and principles and construct clear arguments whilst considering differing perspectives. By learning about legal rules and how they apply to real life, students will also develop their analytical ability, decision making, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Law combines well with a wide range of subjects including:
- Modern Languages
Many students go on to study Law at university or use the knowledge and skills they have developed on the course to secure employment in the Police or Government & Civil Service. Law apprenticeships also offer many opportunities or positions such as Legal Executives or Legal Secretaries.
This course will focus on developing students’ knowledge and understanding of the English Legal system and areas of private and public law within the law of England & Wales. The course includes the following main topics:
- Nature of Law and the English Legal System
- Criminal Law
- Human Rights
Students will learn about different sources of Law and the role Law plays in society as well as exploring law and morality, law and justice and the rule of law. The modules on the English Legal System will look in depth at law making, the role of Parliament and the European Union in designing legislation and passing reforms. Students will gain an understanding of the Legal system including the civil courts, criminal courts, the judiciary and other forms of dispute resolution as well as investigating legal personnel roles and exploring access to justice and funding.
The Criminal Law section will focus on the rules and theory of criminal law, liability, different types of offences such as robbery, assault, manslaughter etc and their defences.
The Tort section will explore the rules and theory of civil wrongs such as breach of duty, negligence, liability for injury or economic loss and consider the possible defences and remedies.
Finally the Human Rights topic will cover theories in human rights and will explore human rights in the aftermath of the Second World War, as well as international aspects such as the UN and the EU. Students will examine specific articles of the major conventions on human rights as well as considering their restrictions and enforcement.
Law students have the opportunity to take part in a variety of course related experiences. In the past, these have included:
- Reigate College Law Society which meets regularly for talks and events such as a mock trial
- A talk by a local Solicitor
- An EU debate
- Talks and workshops by local Universities
- Trips to local courts
In addition to course specific experiences, students also have the opportunity to get involved in the College’s Activities Programme.
All students need to gain an experience of the work place during their time at College and for students studying vocational courses it should ideally be linked to one of their subject areas.
Assessment is via 100% examination at the end of the course. There are three papers each with a combination of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing questions.
Internal assessment will be carried out throughout the year.
The exam board for Law A Level is AQA.
All students need to have at least five GCSEs at Grade 4 or above (and a satisfactory school reference) in order to be accepted on an A Level/BTEC Level 3 Programme.
In addition, students should meet the following minimum GCSE requirement:
- Grade 5 in English Language
Students without a Grade 5 in English Language should consider the BTEC Level 3 course in Law.
Students will do well in Law if they have a passion for learning about current affairs and relate this knowledge to course content.
How does BTEC Law differ from A Level Law?
The main difference between the courses is the assessment method. A Level Law is 100% examination based, with three 2-hour exams at the end of Upper Sixth. The exam papers focus on Criminal Law, Civil Law, and Human Rights. BTEC Law is a mixture of both internally assessed coursework and externally assessed tasks.
Generally, the content for both courses is very similar. However, A Level Law has a module on Human Rights in the final term whereas, BTEC Law covers Family Law.
Is it a requirement to have studied Law at GCSE level?
There is no expectation that students have studied Law in advance. The course is designed for beginners and will include a basic introduction to UK Law. The only requirement is a general interest in Law, current affairs and issues of justice. All students are encouraged to engage in wider reading throughout their course and stay up to date with current cases.
Why study Law at College?
Contrary to some outdated beliefs, Law is a valued subject for Level 3 studies.
The A Level Law Review contacted the most selective universities in the country, who agreed that they treated A Level Law like any other subject.
A Level Law is regarded as equal to other A Levels by OFQUAL, the examining boards and the vast majority of British universities, with some going further by seeing it as ‘expressively advantageous’.
For the 46 students who left Reigate College in Summer 2020 and went on to read Law at university, 39 completed A Level or BTEC Law.
For more information on studying Law at university visit: www.ucas.com/explore/subjects/law
What is the course structure for A Level Law?
A Level Law covers issues of Crime, including the study of homicide offences, property offences, non-fatal offences, defences and sentencing. Civil Law examines negligence, nuisance and the escape of dangerous things, occupier’s liability, vicarious liability and psychiatric injury. Humans Rights explores the right to life, right to liberty and security, right to respect for family and private life, freedom of expression and the right to freedom of association and assembly.
What is the proportion of coursework to external assessment?
A Level Law is 100% examination based – there is no coursework component.
What other subjects go well with Law?
If you are interested in studying Law further or pursuing a career in the legal profession, Law will go well with History/Classics, English Literature or Language, Mathematics, Science, Philosophy and Languages. If a vocational route is of more interest, recommended subjects are Business, Politics, English, Psychology, Sociology and Criminology. For both courses, it is acceptable to be enrolled on a mix-and-match programme combining A Levels and BTEC subjects.
How does a BTEC external assessment differ from an A Level exam?
An A Level Law exam is mainly scenario-based, demonstrating application skills, with some multiple-choice questions to assess basic knowledge. Generally, this will be a written exam for most students and will cover the full two years’ worth of course content.
A BTEC external assessment will focus upon one unit of study. Students will receive pre-release material one week before the assessment; this will typically take the form of a case study. Students will have six hours of supervised class time to prepare for the assessment, using their pre-release material for guidance. Students are allowed to take two sheets of typed notes into the assessment that meet examination board standards. The assessment is completed electronically.
How many A Level Law students go on to study Law at university?
Currently, 30 out of the 41 students that completed A Level Law in Summer 2020 have gone on to Higher Education. Almost 50% of these students went to Russell Group universities including Birmingham, Warwick, Bristol and Manchester.
12 A Level students have gone on to read Law, Criminology or associated courses. Other popular Higher Education course choices include History, Geography, Sociology, Business and Finance.