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Law A Level at The Downs School

Course description

At AS Level the course aims to give students a comprehensive understanding of the English legal system and a grounding in substantive law. At A2, the course aims to give students an in-depth understanding of two substantive legal disciplines (Criminal and Tort) and an overview of the key pervasive issues in law.

Law has been taught at The Downs School for a number of years and is one of the best performing subjects at the school. Former Downs School Law students have won places to read Law at Russell Group universities including King‟s and Queen Mary, London, Exeter, Southampton, Bristol, Warwick, Cardiff and Sheffield Universities.

Course content

At Advanced Subsidiary Level, two modules will be covered –

Unit 1- Law making and the English Legal System. This unit is designed to give students a comprehensive outline of how laws are made by focusing on parliamentary law making, statutory interpretation, delegated legislation, the common law and precedent. The second part of the unit looks at the English legal system by covering topics such as the criminal and civil court systems, as well as juries, magistrates, judges and lawyers.

Unit 2 - The Concept of Liability. This unit focuses on introducing students to two key areas of law – Criminal and Tort Law. In the Criminal Law section students will analyse the key elements of criminal liability, focusing on non-fatal offences ranging from assault to grievous bodily harm, as well as covering sentencing procedures. In the Tort Law section, students will focus on the key elements of the tort of negligence, as well as court procedures and damages.

These will be examined in the summer and count towards 50% of the A Level. These examinations can be re-taken the following summer, with re-sits counting towards the final grade.

At Advanced Level, two further modules will be covered that build on learning at AS Level –

Unit 3 - Criminal Law (including murder, manslaughter, non-fatal offences and defences).

Unit 4 - Law of Tort (including negligence – psychiatric harm and economic loss, as well as nuisance, escape of dangerous things, defences and remedies). The Concept of Law, this is a synoptic unit that allows students to look at law thematically by focusing on law and morality, law and justice, the idea of fault and how the law balances competing interests.


Entry requirements

A minimum of GRADE B in English Language or History at GCSE is required.


Units 1-3 have 1 hour 30 minutes examinations and Unit 4 is a 2 hour examination; each is worth 25% of the total A Level marks, with Units 1 and 2 worth 50% of AS marks.

Future opportunities

Law A Level is widely regarded by leading universities as an excellent preparation for an undergraduate law degree or for a conversion degree course after university. It is highly regarded as an academic qualification for other degree courses and provides students with valuable knowledge and understanding relevant to a range of careers, such as law, investment banking and finance, the civil service, journalism, publishing, management, advertising, the armed forces, the police force, politics and local government. One thing is for certain; having A Level Law on a student‟s CV will probably make them stand out from other candidates!

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Downs School directly.

Last updated date: 26 June 2015

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 - 2 Years