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A Level

Law AS & A Level

Subject Area
Humanities & Social Sciences
Start Date
September 2022
Study Mode
2 years
Level 3

Law is a subject that will be new to most students coming into York College. It is a fascinating, stimulating and challenging course which will equip you with the skills of logic and reasoning, and also give you an understanding of the way in which the law influences aspects of our everyday lives.

A Level Law is a well-established course which has for many years developed students’ knowledge and understanding of the law. It also allows students to develop skills of analysis, evaluation, independent research and problem-solving skills which are valued by employers and universities. Law is a subject which provides students useful knowledge for life. It is relevant and useful for a wide range of university courses and jobs.

Entry requirements

A minimum of 4 subjects at grade 5 or above at GCSE plus English Language at grade 4 or above. You should ideally have a grade 5 in English Language or a grade 6 in GCSE History or Religious Studies.

What will I study?

Year One

The Legal System

  • Civil courts and Alternative Dispute Resolution; negotiation, mediation, conciliation and arbitration
  • Criminal courts and lay people working in the criminal courts (jurors and magistrates)
  • Legal professionals (solicitors, barristers, and judges)
  • Access to justice (where to go for legal advice and representation)
  • Funding legal cases (no win no fee agreements, paying as a private client and state funding)
  • Criminal procedure (the role of the Crown Prosecution Service, bail, plea, trial procedure)
  • Sentencing (the aims of sentencing, aggravating and mitigating factors and adult sentences)

Introduction to Criminal Law

  • Basic principles of criminal law (elements of a crime)
  • Non-fatal offences against the person (assault, battery, actual bodily harm, grievous bodily harm and wounding)

Law Making

  • Parliamentary law making (acts of Parliament), what influences parliamentary law making (media, public opinion, pressure groups and law reform bodies), how laws are reformed and how the courts interpret the meaning of parliamentary law
  • Delegated legislation (laws made by government departments, local authorities and by large corporations)
  • Judicial precedent (how judges make laws/rules in court cases)

Tort Law

  • Introduction to Tort Law (civil liability - claims for compensation for loss and damage arising from another person)
  • The basic principles of negligence (who do you owe a duty of care to and what amounts to a breach of that duty of care) and occupier’s liability (the duty of care that occupiers/owners of property owe to visitors and trespassers)
  • Damages (the different types of compensation claimed, how it is calculated and paid)

Year Two

Criminal Law
An advanced study of non-fatal offences, fatal offences (murder, voluntary and involuntary manslaughter) attempted crimes, offences against property (theft, robbery and burglary) plus a range of defences including insanity, automatism, intoxication, self-defence, consent, duress, necessity, loss of control and diminished responsibility.

Additional Tort law
Torts (wrong-doing) against land nuisance, defences in tort law, injunctions and employers’ liability for the acts of their employees.

Concepts of Law
Justice; the relationship between legal and moral rules; law and society.

    In addition, you will study a range of Human Rights laid down in both UK law and the European Convention of Human Rights, including right to life, the right to a fair trial, the right to a private and family life, the right to freedom of expression and the right to freedom of association and assembly etc.

    Xtra Curricular Activities

    The Law team offer a wide range of extra-curricular events:

    • Law Club
    • Visiting speakers from universities and the legal profession
    • We aim to take students to Nottingham to take part in a mock trial and do a tour of 300 years of crime and punishment.

    Preliminary reading

    Pick up a newspaper and see how many articles contain or refer to the law. Follow interesting cases in the news, watch UK TV documentaries on the law & legal system and visit your local magistrate’s court with a parent or friend.

    Method of delivery

    You will typically be in College four days per week. In-College delivery is supported by online resources, and students develop strong independent learning skills to equip them for their next steps.

    How will I be assessed?

    You will be examined on both your first and second years for the full A Level qualification. There is no coursework in either AS or A Level Law.

    There are three separate two hour papers at the end of Year Two:

    • Criminal Law & the Legal System
    • Law making & Tort Law
    • Concepts of Law and further Law (Human Rights)

    This three, 2 hour paper approach is the same as many other Humanities A Level subjects.

    Good course combinations

    This course works well with Politics, Sociology, History, Psychology, Business and English Language; however it also makes a stimulating fourth subject alongside any combination (sciences, sport, languages). Law is all around us in our daily lives, at work and as consumers.

    Students interested in studying law at university could consider taking Law as their fourth subject at AS to help them make an informed decision about their degree level study.

    Your next steps

    Many students are offered places at university to study law with the intention to go on to become barristers or solicitors. In recent years, we have had students go on to read law at Cambridge, Bristol, Nottingham, Newcastle, York, Leicester, Warwick, Sheffield and Northumbria universities.

    Similarly, students go on to study subjects other than law at university. It is particularly useful for subjects like criminology, sociology, history and business-related degrees, as well as more diverse professions such as social work, the probation service, youth offending, the police, the civil service and nursing.

    Kalen Law profile

    “I chose Law because I knew it would be very useful for the future, no matter what I decided to do. I really enjoy the course. I find it very interesting, and I greatly enjoy learning the different laws and how the country is run, as well as where and how this knowledge can be applied.”

    Law A Level
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