At AS Level the course aims to give students a comprehensive understanding of the English legal system and a grounding in substantive law. At A2, the course aims to give students an in-depth understanding of two substantive legal disciplines and an overview of the key pervasive issues in law. Law has been taught at The Downs School for a number of years and is one of the best performing subjects at the school. Former Downs School Law students have won places to read Law at leading UK universities including King’s and Queen Mary, London, Exeter, Southampton, Bristol, Warwick and Sheffield Universities.
- Ability to present a reasoned argument.
- An interest in law and a willingness to put time and effort into this challenging but rewarding subject.
- Due to the nature of the course, a minimum of grade B in English or History at GCSE is recommended.
- An interest in reading widely.
- Ability to research source material for personal study.
- Interpretation and analysis skills.
- Study skills.
- Preparedness to argue and discuss issues.
- Willingness to learn to evaluate your own work.
- An interest in current affairs.
At Advanced Subsidiary Level, two modules will be covered:
Unit 1- Law making and the English Legal System.
This unit is designed to give students a comprehensive outline of how laws are made by focusing on parliamentary law making, statutory interpretation, delegated legislation, the common law and precedent. The second part of the unit looks at the English legal system by covering topics such as the criminal and civil court systems, as well as juries, magistrates, judges and lawyers.
Unit 2 - The Concept of Liability.
This unit focuses on introducing students to two key areas of law – Criminal and Tort Law. In the Criminal Law section students will analyse the key elements of criminal liability, focusing on non-fatal offences ranging from assault to grievous bodily harm, as well as covering sentencing procedures. In the Tort Law section, students will focus on the key elements of the tort of negligence, as well as court procedures and damages.
At Advanced Level, two further modules will be covered that build on learning at AS Level:
Unit 3 - Criminal Law
(Including murder, manslaughter, non-fatal offences and defences).
Unit 4 - Law of Tort
(Including negligence – psychiatric harm and economic loss, as well as nuisance, escape of dangerous things, defences and remedies).
The Concept of Law
This is a synoptic unit that allows students to look at law thematically by focusing on law and morality, law and justice, the idea of fault and how the law balances competing interests.
Units 1-3 have 1 hour 30 minutes examinations and Unit 4 is a 2 hour examination; each is worth 25% of the total A Level marks, with Units 1 and 2 worth 50% of AS marks.
The Law course will make use of a wide range of teaching methods, including seminars and case studies, as well as students’ presentations, research, debates, group and class discussion. The course will aim to make full use of ICT, as well as trips to conferences and courts. In the past four years, students have visited Parliament, a ‘magic circle’ city law firm, the Royal Courts of Justice, the Inns of Court and AS Law student conferences.
‘A’ Level Combinations
A Level Law combines particularly well with any arts or humanities subject, such as History, English, Government and Politics, Economics, Sociology or Geography. However, Law is also an excellent subject to combine with Business Studies, Mathematics and Sciences.
Career and Higher Education Opportunities
Law A level is widely regarded by universities as excellent preparation for an undergraduate law degree or for a conversion degree course after university. It is highly regarded as an academic qualification for other degree courses and provides students with valuable knowledge and understanding relevant to a range of careers, such as law, investment banking and finance, the civil service, journalism, publishing, management, advertising, the armed forces, the police force, politics and local government. One thing is for certain, having A Level Law on your CV will probably make you stand out from other candidates!
Recommended text books, revision guides and reference books
Law A Level years 12 and 13
OCR AS/A Level Law Book 1
Publisher: Hodder Education
OCR A Level Law Book 2
Publisher: Hodder Education