What A-level Subjects should I take to study Law at a top University?

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LucindaBurton
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I am getting a lot of conflicting advice about which A-level subjects I should take to help me gain a place at a good University to study law. Whilst (for example) both Oxford and Cambridge both state on their website that there is no particular subjects that they prefer you to take to study law... other articles say that the top university's only seriously consider your application if you have AAA or A*AA in traditional subjects (English, Maths, History, & German for example)... does anyone have any advice on this?
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PQ
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(Original post by LucindaBurton)
I am getting a lot of conflicting advice about which A-level subjects I should take to help me gain a place at a good University to study law. Whilst (for example) both Oxford and Cambridge both state on their website that there is no particular subjects that they prefer you to take to study law... other articles say that the top university's only seriously consider your application if you have AAA or A*AA in traditional subjects (English, Maths, History, & German for example)... does anyone have any advice on this?
What subjects do you think you'll enjoy most and are most likely to get good grades in?
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Reality Check
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I took a mix of arts and sciences: English, French, Biology, Chemistry and Maths for A level and was admitted for Law - I think they want to see traditional academic subjects passed well. Doing Drama, Business Studies and Media isn't going to get you a place, but you know that already.
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LucindaBurton
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(Original post by PQ)
What subjects do you think you'll enjoy most and are most likely to get good grades in?
I was thinking of taking English Literature and Language combined and History as two of my options. German is also another potential option, but I am also quite interested in Sociology and Psychology... but this is where I have a dilemma... I have been given advice that these last two are sometimes considered 'Soft' options as they are relatively new and as such some of the top University's may not rate you as high as another student who only took traditional A-levels
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Doones
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(Original post by LucindaBurton)
I was thinking of taking English Literature and Language combined and History as two of my options. German is also another potential option, but I am also quite interested in Sociology and Psychology... but this is where I have a dilemma... I have been given advice that these last two are sometimes considered 'Soft' options as they are relatively new and as such some of the top University's may not rate you as high as another student who only took traditional A-levels
One or other would be absolutely fine on top of English and History.
A modern language is always a good idea too.

So basically pick the one you think you will enjoy and do best at.
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PQ
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(Original post by LucindaBurton)
I was thinking of taking English Literature and Language combined and History as two of my options. German is also another potential option, but I am also quite interested in Sociology and Psychology... but this is where I have a dilemma... I have been given advice that these last two are sometimes considered 'Soft' options as they are relatively new and as such some of the top University's may not rate you as high as another student who only took traditional A-levels
Neither Cambridge or Oxford have a problem with Sociology or Psychology. Sociology is something Cambridge only recommend for applications to Arts and Social Science courses - so for law it would be fine.

The key is to take subjects where you're likely to get A*A*A or higher predictions if you are mainly interested in Oxbridge law courses. With *just* AAA/A*AA predictions your chances of an offer are very low.

None of those subjects would prevent you from getting an offer. Languages are VERY tough to do well in (so you might find that they're more lenient if you have a lower prediction with German A level).
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Emma:-)
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(Original post by jneill)
One or other would be absolutely fine on top of English and History.
A modern language is always a good idea too.

So basically pick the one you think you will enjoy and do best at.
I agree
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Reality Check
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(Original post by PQ)
Neither Cambridge or Oxford have a problem with Sociology or Psychology. Sociology is something Cambridge only recommend for applications to Arts and Social Science courses - so for law it would be fine.

The key is to take subjects where you're likely to get A*A*A or higher predictions if you are mainly interested in Oxbridge law courses. With *just* AAA/A*AA predictions your chances of an offer are very low.

None of those subjects would prevent you from getting an offer. Languages are VERY tough to do well in (so you might find that they're more lenient if you have a lower prediction with German A level).
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Good graphic. Where did you get it from?
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Doones
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(Original post by Reality Check)
Good graphic. Where did you get it from?
It's fun, but a bit clunky

https://www.ucas.com/advisers/offer-rate-calculator/
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chazwomaq
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Here is the best advice you'll get, written by the universities themselves: http://russellgroup.ac.uk/for-studen...l-and-college/

Generally no specific subjects are required, although some places specify at least one essay subject or sometimes English. Traditional subjects are definitely best.
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PQ
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(Original post by Reality Check)
Good graphic. Where did you get it from?
And it's worth warning that subject choice in highly academic private schools are very restrictive and these students make up a LOT of the applicants to oxbridge - enough to skew subject choice patterns influence on offer rates.

For both performance in the LNAT/Law admissions test will have more influence than subject choice at A level.
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Reality Check
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Thanks for that - it's interesting. I think what surprises me using it is how putting three academic A levels at grade A effectively rules you out of most 'good' universities for competitive courses - found that 3 A grades gave a 'less than 10%' chance of an offer for Law at most decent institutions.
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PQ
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https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/admissions/...-jurisprudence

Should I study any particular subjects before applying?
At least a C grade in GCSE Mathematics (or equivalent) is normally required. If you are applying for one of the four year Law with Law Studies in Europe courses (other than the Law with European Law course) then you will need to show you have the necessary language skills: for further details see Question 4 of the FAQs on the four year courses. Otherwise your choice of subjects is your own, though please note that General Studies is not accepted. Strictly academic subjects matter most. Both arts and sciences are helpful. Studying A-Level or AS Law confers no particular advantage or disadvantage and we are happy to receive applications from those who are studying for such qualifications in law. When Oxford colleges are comparing A-level results and predictions they may attach reduced importance to General Studies.

http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.a...ectmatters.pdf

Are you inclined towards the arts or social sciences?
If you think you would like to study an arts or social sciences course at university but you are not sure which one, then English Literature, 1 History, languages and Mathematics are good ‘keystone’ subjects: choosing one or more of these will provide a good foundation for your subject combination.

Other good choices to combine these subjects with include: an additional language, Ancient History, Classical Civilisation, Economics, Further Mathematics, 2 Geography, Philosophy, Religious Studies and sciences (Biology, Chemistry or Physics).

Other possible subject choices, for instance Archaeology, Citizenship, English Language, Environmental Science, Government and Politics, History of Art, Law, Music, Psychology or Sociology, are useful preparation for some of our arts and social sciences courses.

The arts and social sciences courses offered at the University of Cambridge are: Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic; Asian and Middle Eastern Studies; Classics; Economics; Education; English; History; History of Art; Human, Social, and Political Sciences; Land Economy; Law; Linguistics; Modern and Medieval Languages; Music; Philosophy; Theology and Religious Studies.

1 English Language & Literature can be an acceptable alternative
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PQ
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(Original post by Reality Check)
Thanks for that - it's interesting. I think what surprises me using it is how putting three academic A levels at grade A effectively rules you out of most 'good' universities for competitive courses - found that 3 A grades gave a 'less than 10%' chance of an offer for Law at most decent institutions.
Remember though it's what is PREDICTED not what is ACCEPTED. The two are very very different.
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Doones
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(Original post by Reality Check)
Thanks for that - it's interesting. I think what surprises me using it is how putting three academic A levels at grade A effectively rules you out of most 'good' universities for competitive courses - found that 3 A grades gave a 'less than 10%' chance of an offer for Law at most decent institutions.
I guess because of LNAT etc.?

e.g. Bristol says A-levels are only 40% of their assessment weighting for Law
http://www.bristol.ac.uk/study/media...s/2017/law.pdf
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Reality Check
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Remember though it's what is PREDICTED not what is ACCEPTED. The two are very very different.
Yes, but what are the statistics on this? Surely for the best institutions the actual grades achieved by students who have been offered A*/A*/A or A* are in most cases the same? I can believe that there are occasions where an A will stand in lieu of an A* but surely this isn't done wholesale?
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Doones
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(Original post by PQ)
Remember though it's what is PREDICTED not what is ACCEPTED. The two are very very different.
I think I might have asked you this before... is there a per university, per course, report showing the % acceptances for various "offer missed" scenarios? e.g. 50% accepted with one grade missed, 10% accepted with a two grade miss, etc. ??
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Reality Check
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(Original post by jneill)
I guess because of LNAT etc.?

e.g. Bristol says A-levels are only 40% of their assessment weighting for Law
http://www.bristol.ac.uk/study/media...s/2017/law.pdf
Yes, I assume so. I suppose I"m still in a mindset where 3 A grades at A level is about top of the pops - it really isn't now, is it? Being something of a fan of statistics, I do wonder how discriminatory A* have been for the best institutions in identifying the best students, or whether they would ideally want an A**: maybe the top 0.5% of the cohort. Maybe they've accepted that that level of granularity is unrealistic and their admissions tests and interviews do very well in sorting out the wheat from the chaff, even if that chaff comprises students with predictions of A*s!
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Doones
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(Original post by Reality Check)
Yes, but what are the statistics on this? Surely for the best institutions the actual grades achieved by students who have been offered A*/A*/A or A* are in most cases the same? I can believe that there are occasions where an A will stand in lieu of an A* but surely this isn't done wholesale?
No I think the point is applicants who are predicted below the typical offer may still receive an offer. This is especially true for STEM courses with very high offer rates for Maths, etc, but it seems to be much less the case for Law...
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PQ
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(Original post by Reality Check)
Yes, but what are the statistics on this? Surely for the best institutions the actual grades achieved by students who have been offered A*/A*/A or A* are in most cases the same? I can believe that there are occasions where an A will stand in lieu of an A* but surely this isn't done wholesale?
The statistics - are closely guarded and difficult to source.

https://www.ucas.com/file/43181/download?token=lnUjPHdK contains the likelihood of applicants meeting or exceeding their predictions - it's basically flattened out at 40% of applicants (so 60% missing their predictions....but the vast majority still get accepted).
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