What is Law?
Law is about the rules and principles that govern the way we all live together. The AS course looks at the way these rules are made and how they change over time. It also investigates the court system and the people who work in it. The other part introduces you to some basic criminal and civil law, in particular the law on assaults and negligence.
The A2 course develops the study of the criminal law, in particular investigating murder, manslaughter, theft and fraud. It also draws the themes of the whole course together and links the rules of law to philosophies of fault, morality and justice. The course looks at the effect of law on people and the way in which we can influence its development.
Is Law suitable for me?
Students tell us Law is great because it is a very relevant subject; it is about what is happening in the world around you now. You need to read newspapers and watch current affairs programmes so that you too are up to date. Because law is current it affects everything we do and studying law will be useful to whatever you decide to study in the future. It is always interesting and will always be valuable.
BUT the study of law is difficult. You need to read a great deal and as the course is completely exam-based you are reqired to prepare many written assignments to practise a variety of writing skills. You need to learn many cases which are relevant to your studies and used to support your essays. Students say steady learning throughout the year is a real advantage.
Students particularly enjoy the emphasis on criminal law in the second year – and all students enjoy the opportunity to link classroom studies with topical issues, such as euthanasia.
How will I learn?
Formal lecture and note-taking lessons are broken up with discussions, problem solving and DVDs. Visits to courts and talks from law professionals will help your understanding. You will also be asked to undertake individual research, make use of the computer facilities and to be prepared to take part in mock trials. You will be expected to do about 5 hours private study each week, including reading a quality newspaper daily.
How will I be assessed?
Coursework: Year 1 – 0%; Year 2 – 0%.
Law is assessed by examination only. There are two exams for AS, comprising short essay answers or answering questions on legal problems using the law you have been taught.
At A Level there are also two exams. Both of them comprise legal problems whilst the second also requires you to write a long essay on general legal issues using law from any part of the two year course.
An A Level in Law is a sound academic qualification for whatever you choose to do. Students have gone on to university to study Law and said how useful they found their A Level studies, but also study Theology, Politics, Zoology, Business Studies, Languages and countless other courses. After a Law degree most students intend to become solicitors or barristers but some plan careers in legal journalism or the Civil Service. Other students have moved on to careers in banking or business and several have joined the Police. Law is a subject that you will find yourself referring back to frequently, whatever you decide to do after Alton.
Students studying a 3 or 4 AS level programme should normally have achieved an average GCSE point score of 5.5 or above and at least a grade C in Maths and/or English (unless specified otherwise). Students with a point score between 4.5 – 5.5 will normally take a mixture of Subsidiary Diplomas and AS levels. You can check your likely GCSE point score by going to 'Choosing the Right Course' on the website and entering your predicted grades.
Law requires good clear writing skills and an ability to think logically and objectively. Most of all we want students who are really enthusiastic and prepared to work hard. Consistent effort is much more likely to lead to higher A Level grades than previous success in school exams. Law is certainly a subject where you will achieve far more if you are prepared to study hard.
All students will be expected to provide their own textbook and stationery, computer discs or memory sticks and calculators (where appropriate). Any further costs are outlined below:
Essential: £35 for textbooks and a further £30 on materials, trips etc.
Optional: there are trips to courts and conferences, which although optional are highly beneficial to your study, but we keep the costs to a minimum. You would be expected to pay for these trips yourself.
If the costs of equipment, materials and trips may cause you financial hardship, you may wish to read through details of our financial support scheme on our website.
- Sixth Form Course: