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Law (AS/A Level) at New College Swindon

Course description

This subject will enable you to understand how the Law affects your life.  The topics covered - such as the English Legal System, the Judiciary and Criminal Law - constantly receive the attention of the press and news media.

The study of Law requires an understanding of Legislation and Case Law, and the ability to apply these rules to unique circumstances, arriving at a logical conclusion.  You will learn to think clearly, and improve your writing skills, in order to communicate your thought processes effectively.

Course content

In Year 1 you study the English Legal System and the people who run it:

  • the process of creating new Law
  • the administration of the system
  • skills of application and analysis

In Year 2 you will study the general principles of Criminal Liability, including detailed study of the law on murder, manslaughter, assault, theft, and associated defences.

Throughout the course we make use of textbooks, newspaper articles, electronic media and other material.  Your understanding of topics will be developed and tested regularly through essays and problem-solving.

Entry requirements

The course places strong emphasis on writing skills, so you must have at least a Grade B or above in English Language at GCSE (no equivalents) and at least four other GCSEs at Grade C or above.  These GCSEs must demonstrate good levels of literacy.

It is not necessary to have studied Law before, and most students joining the course will not have taken GCSE Law.

Ideally, you should have an interest in current affairs or any aspect of the Law and a good level of logical thought.


In Year 1 you take exams for each of the AS Level modules (English Legal Systems and Sources of Law).  You complete the A Level in Year 2 by taking the two A2 module exams (Criminal Law).  You can get further details on the assessment pattern from the Section Leader.  There is no coursework.

Future opportunities

Law is very useful, both in terms of careers, and as an education for life.  You are subject to English Law, and you are both restricted and protected by it.  The Law becomes increasingly important in adult life when you take on responsibilities as an employee and, perhaps, as a parent.

Law is relevant to many careers: banking, accountancy, estate agency, insurance, any business career, and of course the Law itself.

Although AS Level or A Level Law is not a requirement for entry to the legal profession, it could help you to decide whether or not you want to pursue this career idea.  Most universities now welcome students with evidence of prior study of Law at any level.

The study of Law demonstrates your ability to think logically and express yourself clearly.  This is an attractive skill in the eyes of employers.

Law combines well with any other subject, but has particular links with social sciences such as Government and Politics and Sociology.  It is useful if taken with languages to take advantage of study and career opportunities in Europe, or with business-based subjects.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 28 April 2016

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