The Law Department prides itself on providing the best possible grounding in law for our students and opening their eyes to a world of possibilities. None of our students will have studied law before – some may have done work experience in the court service or with a solicitor; some will have only picked up some vague – and often inaccurate! – legal knowledge from television. So we start from scratch with everyone.

Courses Offered

AS and A level Law WJEC

The AS level in Law covers the nuts and bolt of the English Legal System and the Sources of Law. We look at the criminal process – including the powers of the police, criminal courts and sentencing powers, civil jurisdiction – and how to pay for it – and the personnel involved –solicitors, barristers, judges and the jury. We also examine the sources of our law – Parliament, judicial precedent and European law. At A2 level we look at criminal law – the offences of murder and manslaughter, non-fatal offences and offences against property as well as a lot of the defences.

AS and A2 Citizenship AQA

AS Citizenship is a very good broad AS level where students have the chance to consider lots of very interesting topical issues of real relevance to them. We look at Britishness, identity, life –chances and discrimination among other things. In unit 2 students have the chance to develop their own Active Citizenship profile.

The A level covers human rights, globalisation and conflict, as well as some of the legal process and the role of the citizen within it.

Assessment is by examination. In the first year students log their Citizenship learning and activity and they can take this with them into the Unit 2 examination. There will be a question based on that log so it would be foolish not to.

BTEC Certificate in Applied Law Level 3

An overview of the English Legal System dealing with the institutions and personnel and the main sources of English Law including European Law. It is anticipated that students will take this course as part of a broader programme of AS-Level study, perhaps as an alternative to AS-Level Law, for those studies who wish to focus upon the development of portfolio materials rather than preparation for examinations.

Citizenship for Law

All our AS Law students are entered for the Citizenship AS level. There are some overlaps with the law syllabus and our students normally do as well in Citizenship as they have in law. When choosing an AS programme Law counts for 8 periods – 6 are taught and the other 2 periods are allocated so that students can read around Citizenship, use Moodle, become involved in Active Citizenship and complete the profile and generally prepare themselves for the examinations.

Please see the Course Details box on this page for links to downloadable subject information sheets.

Trips and Visits

We arrange trips to the Royal Courts of Justice in London and Chelmsford Crown Court.

We also have good links with the Law Departments at Essex University who have arranged taster days for our students.

We have established very good links with our two local universities. Essex University put on a taster day exclusively for our students and we also have a good relationship with Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford.

Last year 3 of our students went to Essex to do a law degree and 5 went to ARU.

Others have become para-legals or joined the police force.

Some FAQs

Q: Is it true that universities do not like you to take Law A Level?

A: There is a common misconception that if you want to study Law at degree level you should not take Law A-level. There is also an argument that if you already know that you want to pursue a legal career then maybe you should chose different A-levels in order to broaden your knowledge. Whilst we agree that this argument has some merit, if you are certain before you make your choices and you also have read around the subject, it doesn’t really make much sense to apply to take a Law degree when you have had no grounding at all in the subject area. It would be a shame to find that it’s not for you when you get to University. Students from our Department have been offered places to study Law in just about every university in the country, including Cambridge and we feel strongly that Law A-Level offers them an excellent foundation for their future studies. Students from our Department have been offered places to do Law in just about every university in the country – including Cambridge.

Q: How will I be assessed?

A: There is no coursework in Law. There are 2 AS exams taken in the Summer of the first year and 2 A2 exams – one is sat in January and one in June.

Q: Is there any coursework?

A: No. Law is only assessed by examination. Citizenship is examined too – but for Unit 4 on the A level there will be a pre-release topic to prepare so the examination won’t be all memory.

Q: Will I have to do a lot of homework?

A: As for all subjects, students should expect to do 3-4 hours work outside the classroom. This may involve written work – usually an essay from a previous examination paper, some reading or research or revising for a test or a timed essay in class.

Q: How could I prepare myself to do Law at college?

A: You could read Law Reports in newspapers or online. Law is always in the news – whether it is a high profile criminal case or arguments about prison sentences, cuts in legal aid , jurors contacting defendants on Facebook or a whole range of issues.

Support

Everyone in the Department is always prepared to give extra help and support to a student who is struggling with any aspect of the course.

Some Student Destinations

Last year – as in most years – many of our students went on to do Law degrees or a law –related degree such as Criminology.

Some students went to work as legal executives or legal secretaries rather than going to Higher Education and many joined the police force – though sometime after a short interval as the police tend to prefer more mature candidates.