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Law AS and A Level at York College

Course description

Year 1

Law Making

Parliamentary law making (acts of Parliament)
Influences on parliamentary law making (media, public opinion, pressure groups and law reform bodies)
Delegated legislation (laws made by government departments, local authorities and by large corporations)
Judicial precedent (how judges make laws/rules in court cases)

The Legal System

Civil courts & Alternative Dispute Resolution; negotiation, mediation, conciliation and arbitration
Criminal courts & 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 & representation)
Funding legal cases (no win no fee agreements, paying as a private client & state funding)

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)
Criminal procedure (the role of the Crown Prosecution Service, bail, plea, trial procedure) and Sentencing (the aims of sentencing, aggravating and mitigating factors and adult sentences)

Introduction to Tort Law (civil liability)

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)
Damages (the different types of compensation claimed, how it is calculated and paid)
Civil procedure (starting a claim in the courts, the defendant’s response and the pre- trial procedure)


Year 2

Criminal Law

An advanced study of non-fatal offences, fatal offences (murder, voluntary and involuntary manslaughter) attempted crimes and strict liability offences
A range of defences including insanity, automatism, intoxication, self-defence, consent, duress, necessity, loss of control and diminished responsibility

The Concept of Liability

Offences against property (theft, robbery, burglary, blackmail and criminal damage)
A synoptic study of the influences and issues surrounding the development of the criminal law; including human rights, ethical principles, membership of the European Union, problems with parliamentary law making and whether judges should make law

Students will sit an AS qualification at the end of their first year. This is a stand- alone qualification and does not count for their full 2 year A Level qualification. 
Students will from September 2017 sit a linear A Level qualification at the end of their 2 year A Level course. They will be examined on both their first and second years for the full A Level qualification. There is no course work in either AS or A Level Law.

Entry requirements

A minimum of 2 grade Bs and 4 grade Cs at GCSE including GCSE English Language (grade 4 or above). Students should achieve a grade B in English Language (grade 5), History or Religious Studies.

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 everyday lives.


100 per cent exams. There are four separate papers, one on each module.

Future opportunities

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 and nursing.

Further information

This course works well with Politics, Sociology and English Language. However it also makes a stimulating fourth subject alongside any combination. Students interested in studying Law at university should consider taking Law as their fourth subject.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact York College directly.

Last updated date: 19 October 2016
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