Studying Law makes you think about just how many aspects of our lives are governed by the legal system. Please note - This exam board may change, as this subject will undergo curriculum reform for first teaching from September 2017 – more details about specific content will be made available as soon as possible.
Have you ever wondered who makes the laws? What’s the difference between the role of Parliament and the judiciary? What happens when a person is called for jury service? How do you protect your rights if you get injured through someone's negligence or are charged with a criminal offence? These questions and many more will be answered when you study Law at Paston.
For Law you need an enquiring mind and be able to absorb factual information. You will learn how to think logically and to break down arguments into their component parts - handy skills in whatever you choose to do in the future. You will learn through a combination of class teaching, individual and group research activities, presentations and lots of tests!
You can combine Law with a wide variety of humanities, business, languages, and social science and science subjects - there is no 'ideal mix'. Law at Paston is very successful with a number of students gaining marks in the top 10 nationally. Many students go on to university to study a wide range of subjects including Law.
In your first year of law, your programme of study will likely include:
The Nature of Law & The English Legal System:
The nature of law will include the study of the distinction between enforceable legal rules and principles and other rules and norms of behaviour; criminal and civil law and the different sources of law (including custom, statutory law and the common law).
The Law of Tort
- Students must also show knowledge and understanding of the rule of law and law making, including:
- Parliamentary law making including Green and White Papers; the legislative process; the influences on Parliament; the advantages and disadvantages of influences on law making
- Delegated legislation including types of delegated legislation (orders in council, statutory instruments, by-laws); the control of delegated legislation; the reasons for the use of delegated legislation and advantages and disadvantages of delegated legislation
- Statutory interpretation including the rules of statutory interpretation (the literal, golden and mischief rules); the purposive approach; intrinsic and extrinsic aids and the impact of European Union Law and the Human Rights Act 1998 on statutory interpretation
- Judicial precedent including the doctrine of precedent; the advantages and disadvantages of precedent; the hierarchy of the courts including the Supreme Court
- Law reform including the Law Commission
- European Union law including the institutions of the European Union; the sources of European Union law and the impact of European Union law on the law of England and Wales
- The legal system including court and tribunal structures and legal personnel, which must include:
- The civil courts and other forms of dispute resolution including civil courts and the appeal system
- The criminal process including the criminal courts; appeals, sentencing and court powers; the role of lay people within the criminal process
- Legal personnel including barristers, solicitors, legal executives, regulation of the legal professions, the judiciary
- Access to justice and funding, both public and private
- The rules of the law of tort
- Liability in negligence for injury to people and damage to property including the duty of care neighbour principle and Caparo test); breach of duty (the objective standard of care); and damage (factual and legal causation)
- Occupiers’ liability (liability in respect of lawful visitors (Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957) and trespassers (Occupiers’ Liability Act 1984))
- Remedies (damages including compensatory damages and mitigation of loss)
- The rules of criminal law
- General elements of liability (actus reus and mens rea, conduct, voluntary and involuntariness, causation, consequences, fault, intention, recklessness, negligence and strict liability)
- Offences against the person (non-fatal offences of assault, battery, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, wounding and grievous bodily harm with intent – Offences Against the Person Act 1861)
Two written examinations comprising essays and problem-solving scenarios.
Please refer to our entry requirements for the different programmes of study.
Additional entry requirements for this course: English Language GCSE new grade 4 (or old grade C)
In your second year of law, your programme of study will likely include:
The Nature of Law:
Students must show knowledge and understanding of the following:
The Law of Tort
- Law and society (including the role law plays in society)
- Law and morality (including the distinction between law and morals; the diversity of moral views in a pluralist society; the relationship between law and morals and its importance; and the legal enforcement of moral values); and
- Law and justice (including the meaning of justice and theories of justice and the extent to which the law achieves justice)
- Theory in the law of tort
- Torts connected to land (law of nuisance and Rylands v Fletcher)
- Vicarious liability (nature and purpose of vicarious liability; testing employment status; other areas of vicarious liability)
- Defences (including contributory negligence and volenti non fit injuria and defences specific to claims connected to nuisance and Rylands v Fletcher)
- Theory in criminal law
- Fatal offences of murder, voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter
- Property offences, including theft and robbery (Theft Act 1968)
- Capacity defences of insanity and intoxication
- Necessity defences of self-defence, duress, and duress of circumstances
- Preliminary offences of attempt
- The rules of the law of contract and theory in the law of contract
- The essential requirements of contract (offer, acceptance, intention to create legal relations and consideration including privity of contract)
- Express and implied terms, conditions, warranties and innominate terms, exclusion and limitation clauses
- Misrepresentation and economic duress
- Discharge of contract including breach of contract (actual and anticipatory breach), performance and frustration
- Remedies including damages (compensatory damages; causation and remoteness of damage; mitigation of loss) and equitable remedies
There is a misconception amongst some students and teachers that universities have a negative view of A-level Law:
‘Universities would rather students came with no prior knowledge of Law before they study a Law degree.’
‘A-level Law is viewed as a ‘soft subject’ if a student is hoping to study something other than Law.’
To dispel these rumours, AQA have gathered evidence and supporting statements from respected institutions including Russell Group universities, to set the record straight and stop students from being put off from studying law. Read more.
Also see what law students themselves have to say.
If you’re interested in employment law and your rights and responsibilities, a useful website is - www.acas.org.uk
For case reports and help with your studies, two good websites are www.bailii.org and www.e-lawstudent.com
As a member of the EU, English law has to conform to all EU law, to find out more about the EU visit http://europa.eu/index_en.htm Watch this space for if and when this changes!
The Home Office leads on immigration and passports, drugs policy, crime policy and counter-terrorism and works to ensure visible, responsive and accountable policing in the UK. Find out more at - www.homeoffice.gov.uk
The Law Commission is the statutory independent body created by the Law Commissions Act 1965 to keep the law under review and to recommend reform where it is needed. The aim of the Commission is to ensure that the law is fair, modern, simple and as cost-effective as possible. To learn more visit www.lawcom.gov.uk
If you want to pursue a career in law, the Law Society, an independent body for solicitors, is a fantastic source of information - www.lawsociety.org.uk
Keep up to date on current legal issues via http://www.theguardian.com/law and www.thetimes.co.uk
Parliament examines what the Government is doing, makes new laws, holds the power to set taxes and debates the issues of the day. The House of Commons and House of Lords each play an important role in Parliament's work. Find out what is happening at - www.parliament.uk
The Supreme Court is the final court of appeal in the UK for civil cases, and for criminal cases from England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It hears cases of the greatest public or constitutional importance affecting the whole population. https://www.supremecourt.uk/
Clive Adrian Stafford Smith OBE is a British lawyer who specialises in the areas of civil rights and the death penalty in the United States of America. He has represented some of the detainees held since 2002 at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp as enemy combatants. The highlights (and lowlights) of his career make fascinating reading – find out more at: http://www.reprieve.org.uk/about/reprieve-staff-and-fellows/clive-stafford-smith/