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Law BTEC Level 3 at Priestley College

Course description

If you have a real interest in law but prefer a combination of coursework and exams rather than just exams, then this course may be for you. You will study key aspects of the English legal system and how it operates, as well as areas of Criminal and Civil law. The course is a little more vocational than A Level Law with assignments and exams often based around giving legal advice within legal scenarios or creating information leaflets or magazine-style articles.

Course content

The first year of the course is a BTEC certificate (equivalent to one AS) and encompasses two units. The first unit is dispute solving within the civil law context, looking at the civil court system and the creation of law by judges, as well as exploring legal personnel including barristers and solicitors. This unit is externally assessed. The second unit is internally assessed and focuses on understanding law making within the criminal context. This unit investigates how our laws are made including parliamentary law making, as well as covering aspects of legal liability, which will allow you to look at criminal law and sentencing. If you take the second year of the course this will take the qualification up to a BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (equivalent to one full A Level). The second year units have more focus on the criminal law looking at offences such as murder, manslaughter, theft, robbery and burglary. There is also a big focus on police powers such as arrest, detention and searches.

Entry requirements

The main criteria is a keen interest in studying law. No prior knowledge about law is required but enthusiasm and a questioning mind are important. As the course is based around deadlines, good organisation and time management are very important. As the units are mainly assessed by written work, good English skills will help your performance and basic IT skills are also of benefit as the work is usually word processed. You will also develop skills such as working in a team during the more practical tasks such as role plays and presentations.

Our minimum entry requirements remain 5 GCSEs at grade C or above, however there are now a number of restrictions on the type/range of programmes you can take at Priestley which will reflect your overall GCSE grade profile.

If you do not have a GCSE Grade 4 or the old Grade C in English Language and/or Mathematics by the time you join Priestley you will be required to continue working to improve in these subjects so you may find your programme options more limited.


Assessment will be a mixture of exams and coursework. In the first year there will be one externally assessed unit in the form of an exam and one internally assessed unit in the form of coursework assignments. These will have clear criteria and specific deadlines that must be met. You can achieve a pass, merit or distinction on each piece of work and these combine to produce the final grade. Coursework marking is done internally and then externally verified by the course provider whilst exams will be marked externally. All units must be passed to achieve this qualification.

Future opportunities

You can apply to study law or other subjects at university or apply for employment with bodies such as the Crown Prosecution Service or the Legal Services Ombudsman. Alternatively you may try to obtain a paralegal post with a solicitor’s firm. This course will provide you with a good basic working knowledge of the English legal system which is useful in a wide variety of jobs.

Further information

You will be able participate in the Priestley Law mock trial competition and also hear from guest speakers including local solicitors and lay magistrates. In year two you may opt to join the popular pre-legal programme to help you prepare for progression onto a law related degree.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 10 October 2016
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