spotlight on… law

Here, we take a closer look at the Law A-level course which is offered at Cowley Sixth Form and we asked two of our students, Josh and Charlie, to give us a bit of insight into the course, what’s involved and what it’s like studying it here at Cowley.

When did you first consider studying Law at sixth form?

J: I first became interested in studying Law in Year 11. I have had a long-held interest in studying Forensic Science and Law seemed a good fit with Chemistry and Criminology.

C: It was Y11 for me too. I have a great interest in History and Politics and Law seemed a good A-level to help my understanding.

What was it that captured your interest in the subject?

J: I became interested after attending Law taster sessions in Y10 and Y11. Back then, I had thought about a career in the Police. I went along to the Sixth Form Open Evening to find out more.

C: I always knew that Law was an important and contentious issue in History. It was obvious that politicians used and manipulated laws and I wanted to know more about them.

What has surprised you most about the subject?

J: I always thought that there was a big book of laws we had to obey and that was it. I didn’t realise that there was something called Common Law and that many decisions about points of law are taken by judges in higher courts rather than Parliament.

C: I would echo what Josh said. Judicial law-making was a big surprise and how are lives are influenced by such decisions.

Which is your favourite case?

J: Collins (1972) – a case about burglary which features a man climbing a ladder, completely naked apart from his socks. He wasn’t considered a trespasser!

C: Turner (no 2) (1971) This is a theft case which demonstrates that it is possible to steal your own car.

If you are struggling with a question/topic what support is available?

J: We are given printed booklets for each topic which are really helpful to read over once we are out of class.

C: The law classroom is always open for us to talk to each other or the teacher. There are currently sessions every lunchtime and after college to help us catch up work missed during lockdown.

What do you enjoy most about the lessons?

J: The class is a comfortable size – we get to know each other and the teacher well. We enjoy our time together as we learn new aspects of the law.

C: The subject matter is always interesting and often surprising.

What have you found the most challenging? 

J: I find planning for essays the most difficult – we don’t do so many in Law but there are a few to prepare.

C: I’m used to a lot of essay work from History so that’s not so difficult for me. It’s challenging to remember all the cases.

What advice would you give someone thinking of taking the subject at Cowley?

J: Keep up with your work from the start of the course. There is a lot of content and new concepts to learn. You have to be on top of it.

C: Learn to argue for criminal offences succinctly – there is no room for waffle!

If you had to pick your subjects again, would you still pick Law? If yes, why? If no, why not? 

J: Definitely. I enjoy how it complements my other choices.

C: Yes. It was always Law or Physics, but I’ve no regrets with my choice!

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