We all come into contact with Law on an everyday basis whether it is purchasing a product, having a disagreement with a neighbour or being a victim of crime. Studying the Law allows students to explore the role of the legal system in our lives and how we can use the courts to resolve disputes, or punish those who commit crime. The course encourages students to develop knowledge and understanding of the English Legal System, Criminal, Tort, Contract and Human Rights Law. It focuses on building an understanding of legal methods and reasoning by developing skills to apply and discuss the law to resolve legal problems. A background in Law is recognised as providing excellent organisational and debating skills. It enables students to analyse and evaluate complex issues, and to communicate their arguments logically, persuasively and coherently.
The College expects students to have
Grade 5 or above in English Language and Literature.
Students who study this rigorous and academic subject will eventually practise as barristers, solicitors or legal executives. Others will work in a range of businesses and professions including multinational corporations, accountancy firms, journalism, politics, the civil service, the police or social services.
Year 1: The nature of Law and the English legal system: Crime
The focus of this year is to allow students to build an understanding of the English Legal System and how it operates. Students will explore professions in the legal system, and who makes the Law. To this end, we study topics such as: the nature of Law, parliamentary law-making, statutory interpretation, judicial precedent, criminal courts and lay people, the civil courts and ADR, legal personnel, the judiciary in criminal courts, independence of the judiciary, access to justice and funding in the criminal courts, and the EU.
In addition to developing an understanding of the Legal System, students will study key aspects of criminal law in order to know what makes a crime a crime. By the end of the two year course, they will be able to identify, explain, apply, analyse and evaluate criminal law in relation to a complex scenario to reach a logical conclusion. In order to be able to achieve this, students will study fatal and non-fatal offences against the person e.g. murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, GBH/wounding and ABH. They will also examine property offences including theft and robbery, and general defences such as self-defence, duress and insanity.
Year 2: The nature of Law and the English legal system: Tort
Throughout the second year of study, students will develop a greater understanding of the English Legal System, looking at deeper issues such as whether law reflects morality and whether it should reflect morality. We will also look at concepts such as justice and whether Law can achieve justice, fault and the idea of finding someone to ‘blame’. Alongside these concepts, students will develop their skills of comparison, analysis and evaluation to answer extended questions on the legal system as studied in Year 1.
Rather than focussing on Crime, the emphasis in the second Year is on Tort Law and Civil Wrongs. For example, students will study: the rules of tort law, theory of tort law, liability in negligence for physical injury to people and damage to property, occupier’s liability, economic loss, psychiatric injury, nuisance and the escape of dangerous things, vicarious liability, general defences, and remedies. By the end of this topic, students will be able to apply and discuss law in relation to case studies to reach a logical conclusion.
The nature of Law and the English legal system: Contract or Human Rights
The final part of the A Level provides the option of studying Contract or Human Rights Law. The former will enable the students to identify, explain, analyse and discuss the contract formation through concepts such as offer, consideration and acceptance. The latter will provide a historical context to UK Human Rights legislation and how the current Law applies today. Therefore, closer examination of the articles of the Human Rights Act and European Convention on Human Rights will be required e.g. the right to life, the right to freedom of expression and the right to liberty and security of person.