About A-Level Law

GCE Law (2160)

Student Guide

It's a big decision for a student having to choose their A-levels. That's why AQA produces Student Guides, which talk to students in their own language about
  • what to expect if they decide to study this subject
  • what makes it an interesting course
  • what skills they will develop
  • how the subject is assessed
  • complementary areas of study
  • possible careers options.

This will help students plan and evaluate their options before speaking to their teachers to make their final choice.

This guide can be downloaded and printed here or you can order printed copies at nominal cost from the AQA Shop.

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Why choose this subject?

You are interested in current affairs; you enjoy reading and want to know more about the English Legal system and the Criminal Justice system. You enjoy being challenged intellectually, you have a logical mind and the ability to solve complex problems and have the skill of essay writing.

Entry requirements:

Ideally you will have a B in English. C grade in English is the absolute minimum requirement. Good grades in History, Science and Maths are also useful.

Combine this course with:

Oxford University states that “Law is a subject with which almost any combination of A’ level subjects are appropriate. A’ Level Law is regarded in the same light as any other A level subject. Ideally, you will combine Law with one essay based subject (English, History, and Drama) and one logic based subject (Maths, Science, Economics).

Some ideal background subjects are useful if you wish to pursue Law further, for example a modern language gives you a huge advantage if you combine this with a Law degree at university. You will also have the added bonus of spending a year in a European country. Chemistry with Law could allow you to apply for a degree in Forensic Science. “A forensic scientist must be able to present results to a non-scientific audience under stressful conditions in a court of law”. Other career routes are given below:

Essential if you go on to:

Journalism, the Civil Service, Diplomacy, Business and Management areas, Law, Teaching.

What will you learn in KS5

AS Level LAW

Law consists of two main units studied throughout the year. The first Unit – LAW 01 is ‘law making and the Legal System’ and students will cover domestic legislation, forms of primary and secondary legislation, the roles of Parliament and the Judiciary in the operation of law making. Students will also study forms of dispute solving which looks at the court structure, the legal profession and finance. The second unit – LAW 02 concerns ‘The concept of liability’, which covers an introduction to civil and criminal offences and the sanctions and remedies involved. During term time visits to courts will be arranged and time permitting, visits to legal chambers.

During the course, students will develop an understanding of legal method and reasoning, then develop the ability to communicate legal arguments and conclusions.

Assessment will take place in January and June. The first unit, namely ‘law making’ and ‘dispute solving’ cover 50% of the total of AS level marks. The second unit – LAW2 covers 50% of the total AS level marks.

A2 Level LAW

Students will study two units – LAW 03 – Criminal law, focusing on offences against the person, which includes homicide, non-fatal offences and a number of defences. LAW 04 concerns offences against property, namely theft, burglary, robbery and fraud offences under the new Fraud Act 2006. Students will also have to learn concepts of law.

The course is supported by educational visits to legal institutions in order for students to develop an awareness of these areas of law. Students are expected to develop critical awareness of the changing nature of law in society.

The course is assessed through two examinations. LAW 03 is taken in January and LAW 04 is taken in June. The quality of written communication is assessed in all assessment units and all the units are based on extended written material.