A level law fosters students’ interest in law and helps them develop knowledge and skills relevant to further study of law and other subjects. The course studies criminal law, contract law and tort, where students develop their understanding of the law, apply their legal knowledge to situations and gain a critical awareness of the present state of the law within these areas. The nature of law is also studied which looks at law in a wider context and how it interacts with morality, justice, society and technology.
Students study the OCR A level curriculum over 2 years. It comprises of three papers:
Paper 1 focuses on the rules and general elements of criminal law and provides an introduction to criminal liability through the study of offences against the person and offences against property. Students will develop their knowledge and understanding of criminal law and the skills to apply their legal knowledge to scenario-based situations and gain a critical awareness of the present state of criminal law.
Paper 2 focuses on the rules of tort, liability in negligence, occupiers’ liability and remedies. It provides an introduction to civil liability. Learners will develop knowledge and understanding of the law of tort and the skills to apply their legal knowledge to scenario-based situations and gain a critical awareness of the present state of the law of tort.
Paper 3 focuses on the central elements of contract law from the formation of contracts to their enforcement. Learners will develop knowledge and understanding of the law of contract, the skills to apply their legal knowledge to scenario-based situations and gain a critical awareness of the present state of the law of contract. Nature of law topics such as morality, justice and law and society are also covered.
Students are often asked to propose what they think the law should be after discussion on a particular topic. Case studies are then used to discover what the law is which leads onto a discussion evaluating the law and considering further issues such as whether it is moral or provides justice. Students will develop and apply the techniques of legal method and reasoning to analyse and offer answers to problems, based on legal principles, legislation and case law. Students are encouraged to question everything and consider different viewpoints, interpretations and application of the law. Participation is actively encouraged through questioning and debate. Students are prepared for University as there are several topics where students are expected to work independently by researching and teaching themselves. This provides a starting point for class discussions where more in-depth debate can take place and links are made with other aspects of the curriculum. Through the use of questioning, quizzes, essays and presentations students develop a range of transferable skills: analytical skills, attention to detail, logical thinking, research skills, essay writing skills and the ability to produce a balanced argument.
Quality intervention is provided in the form of small group sessions and extra lessons after school. Individual feedback is also provided on all homework and timed essays where the philosophy is always to encourage students to achieve the highest possible grades.
Some students take A Level Law because they already know that they want a career in law. The A Level gives an excellent introduction for students who want to read law at university or start a legal apprenticeship. It demystifies the law. Universities recognise the advantages of A Level Law and the old view that it should not be studied has long since faded away.
A Level Law is not just for students who want to enter the legal professions. It is a well-respected subject and is a welcome addition to many A Level programmes of study. A Level Law links well with science subjects and humanities and social science subjects including, history, sociology, philosophy, economics and business, to name just a few!