Law is the cement of society and impacts on almost every aspect of life. Studying law develops skills of reasoning and analysis and enables you to look at issues objectively and rationally. These are skills which are useful for study at a higher level and in everyday life. The course examines three key areas – criminal law, tort law (a branch of civil law) and human rights and requires students to apply their knowledge to legal problems and reach a logical conclusion. You will gain an understanding of how law develops and applies to everyday situations. Students look at leading cases in each of the key areas of law as well and also explore important areas of the legal system and factors influencing legal change. In addition, you will consider key themes and concepts linked to law such as justice and morality and the relationship between law and society.
The A Level comprises 3 Units taught over two years. You will study three areas of law as well as key aspects of the legal system. The three areas of law are:
- Criminal Law
- Tort Law and either
- Contract Law or Human Rights
In addition you will study the English legal system – the legal system of England and Wales.
Criminal Law content general principles of criminal law, murder, manslaughter, and non-fatal offences, property offences such as theft and robbery, key defences such as insanity, self defence, duress automatism and intoxic ation, the law on attempt.
Tort Law content negligence, nuisance, occupiers’ liability, defences and remedies in tort law, the principle of vicarious liability.
Human Rights content – the nature and protection of human rights, the role of the human rights act and a focus on freedom of expression, and the rights to assembly, liberty and privacy and the right not to be discriminated against or Contract Law content the rules of contract law, express and implied terms, theories of contract law, consumer rights, exclusion clauses, remedies.
Legal system content sources of English law – legislation, delegated legislation, EU Law, statutory interpretation, precedent, criminal courts and lay people (jury and magistrates), the legal profession and judiciary, legal funding and access to justice, the nature of law, the rule of law, law and morality and law and justice.
(Exam board: OCR)
(Specification code: H415/01, 02, 03)
Lessons utilise a variety of teaching methods including teacher-led work, student research using internet and library resources, class discussion and debates. We encourage you to take an active part in class – to raise questions, to contribute to discussions and question and answer sessions and to work together with other students.
In recent times activities have included attending University Conferences, visits to Parliament and the Supreme Court and participation in the Bar National Mock Trial Competition and National Debating Competitions. In addition, each year we normally have several visiting speakers (recent examples have included a local Magistrate and lecturers from Northumbria and Teesside Universities).
You are expected to keep well-organised files, to develop note-taking skills and to make regular use of web resources and your class textbooks.
There will be three exams – each two hours in length. These will contain a mixture of compulsory and optional questions. Some will be problem based; others essay style or short answer questions.
Law would suit students with an interest in current affairs, debating and exploring topical legal issues. You do not have to have studied Law previously to take the subject. You must have at least a grade 5 in GCSE English. As Law is examined through written exams enthusiasm for essay writing and good English skills are essential.
In this subject, particular skills and aptitudes will be required, many of which will be demonstrated by students’ GCSE profiles.
Students will also need to meet the general College entry requirements. Entry requirements are subjects to change.
Each year about 30-40 students progress to study Law at University. Destinations in recent years have included Oxford, Cambridge, Sheffield, Manchester, Nottingham, Teesside, Leeds, Newcastle, Lancaster, Liverpool and Northumbria.
Others go on to study non-law related subjects, some to a Gap Year and others enter Higher Level Apprenticeships or employment, including the police force.
Law combines well with all other subject areas in College. We have students with a wide range of subject combinations as many of the skills you will develop in Law are transferable. Students who take science benefit from developing analytical and reasoning skills. Humanities students benefit from well-developed written skills and an ability to argue a viewpoint and express themselves well.