Arran90
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#1
A Level subjects for law are not as clearly specified as for medicine or STEM subjects. However:

1. Is it unwise to take two non-facilitating subjects in addition to one facilitating subject?

2. Is it unwise not to take an essay type subject? There have been several instances of being accepted for law with A Levels in mathematics, further mathematics, and physics (the least essay type combination) but do such applicants tend to struggle badly with a law degree because it's words?

3. If the essay subject is a non-facilitating subject such as government and politics rather than a facilitating subject such as history then is this looked down on by most universities assuming the other two subjects are facilitating subjects?

4. Is it unwise to take computer science or economics A Levels because they are non-facilitating and admissions tutors might not be familiar with them?

5. Why exactly is A Level law not looked at favourably by most universities for a degree in law?

6. Is it rare not to have an A Level in English literature?

7. Foreign languages are facilitating subjects but are they of any value in terms of knowledge for a law degree – assuming students aren't studying foreign legal systems?

8. Exactly which A Level will best prepare students for a law degree in terms of skills and knowledge and why?
2
reply
Compost
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#2
Report 2 years ago
#2
1. It's Ok, though it depends a bit on your choice of subjects - Economics and Politics would be fine, PE and Photography probably less so.
2. Probably bets to pick something (or at least an EPQ) - but this could be a foreign language.
3. Fine if your other subjects are academic.
4. They're longstanding, main stream subjects. They'd be fine.
5. Most are fine with it (though it isn't asked for), I think it's only LSE that is on record preferring you don't do it.
6. No, although (can't find the reference) i have read that the 3 most popular A levels for successful Russell Group applicants are History, English Literature and Maths.
7. I think one would be a good choice - it helps you understand how a language it put together and they are considered challenging subjects. My understanding of how English is put together was learnt almost entirely from Latin and French.
Last edited by Compost; 2 years ago
1
reply
Arran90
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#3
(Original post by Compost)
4. They're longstanding, main stream subjects. They'd be fine.
Computer science is a new subject. It's supposed to be more up to date and academically rigorous than the old computing it replaced but whether universities, outside of STEM degrees, value it more than the old computing (or at all) is a different matter.

6. No, although (can't find the reference) i have read that the 3 most popular A levels for successful Russell Group applicants are History, English Literature and Maths.
I'm more interested in less common combinations and whether they are worthwhile and sensible or not.

7. I think one would be a good choice - it helps you understand how a language it put together and they are considered challenging subjects. My understanding of how English is put together was learnt almost entirely from Latin and French.
I'm not very familiar with foreign language A Levels. All I know is that German would be recommended for a course involving German law as it enables students to understand primary sources of information. Rather strangely, English language is not highly rated as an A Level even though, argubly, it's the most important primary and secondary school subject.
0
reply
harrysbar
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#4
Report 2 years ago
#4
Too many questions in one go...

What subject combinations are you thinking about doing? The answer will help us advise you as to whether they are a good mix for Law, especially if you also tell us your strengths and weaknesses. For example, it is a very good idea to take English Lit or History, but only if you think you can achieve top grades in those subjects. It would be ok to choose Law A level as long as your other A levels were more academic ones (Law is not seen as that academic compared to traditional A level subjects which is why it is not generally rated that highly). Computer Science seems a bit risky to me, but Economics is not risky as it is a highly regarded subject.
1
reply
Arran90
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#5
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#5
(Original post by harrysbar)
What subject combinations are you thinking about doing? The answer will help us advise you as to whether they are a good mix for Law, especially if you also tell us your strengths and weaknesses. For example, it is a very good idea to take English Lit or History, but only if you think you can achieve top grades in those subjects. It would be ok to choose Law A level as long as your other A levels were more academic ones (Law is not seen as that academic compared to traditional A level subjects which is why it is not generally rated that highly). Computer Science seems a bit risky to me, but Economics is not risky as it is a highly regarded subject.
I'm just enquiring. I'm not planning on studying law.

Are academic and traditional A Levels synonymous with facilitating A Levels or not?

I have been scratching my head over the issue...

It's difficult to deny that a person with good GCSE grades and no A Levels will find a degree in biochemistry significantly more difficult than a person with A Levels in biology and chemistry. Ditto for a degree in physics without A Levels in physics and mathematics. A similar situation probably applies for a degree in history or geography without the respective A Levels. This is because skills and knowledge from the A Levels are a prerequisite for the degree courses. However, would it be significantly more difficult for a person with good GCSE grades to start a law degree course without taking any A Levels beforehand and get a 1st than a person with 3 A* grade A Levels? The purpose of this question is to determine whether the A Levels provide useful beneficial skills and knowledge for a law student or whether they are just a hurdle primarily in order to reduce the number of students taking a law degree.
0
reply
Arran90
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#6
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#6
Universities are known to dislike and disfavour certain A Level subjects.

A few years ago a mentioned a prospective law student who wanted to do A Levels in electronics and computer science and it was seen as a controversial choice on TSR.

Nobody has answered question (8) Exactly which A Level will best prepare students for a law degree in terms of skills and knowledge and why?

Most universities cannot afford to use A-levels as an easy way to cut down on numbers - they're desperate for more students. The few universities that are genuinely selective for law in the UK (Oxbridge plus LSE/UCL/KCL plus Durham plus maybe Bristol, depending on your perspective) haven't really used A-level subject choices (or indeed the number of A-levels you take) as a discriminating factor. They're more interesting in raw grades + performance in the other aspects of one's application.
Competition for places at top universities is still intense although many of the new universities will accept applicants for law onto foundation years without any GCSEs.

University of Essex
https://www.essex.ac.uk/courses/ug00235/1/llb-law
A-levels: BBB, including one essay-based subject

University of Leeds
https://courses.leeds.ac.uk/3010/law-llb#section3
A-level: AAA excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking

The list of acceptable subjects includes many non-facilitating subjects. There is no requirement to study an essay-based subject

University of Bristol
http://www.bristol.ac.uk/study/under...9/law/llb-law/
A*AA or A*A*B


Superficially, this provides applicants with a diverse selection of A Levels. Some students might choose easy subjects (whatever they personally find easy) in order to make the grade but whether this adequately prepares them for the degree course or impresses the admissions tutors is a different story. Just because a person gets 3 A* grades in mathematics, further mathematics, and physics doesn't imply that they have the right preparation and mindset for a law degree. On the other hand, A Levels in law, sociology, and government and politics might not impress the admissions tutors as the hallmark of academic rigour but, if accepted, such an applicant could find that it has prepared them exceptionally well for a law degree that getting a 1st is a walk in the park.
0
reply
returnmigrant
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#7
Report 2 years ago
#7
Most Unis will not ask for any specific A level subjects for Law - they just want mega-high grades.
If they do 'prefer' certain subjects they have to be up-front about this and say so; the days of admissions 'secrets' are long gone.

Bristol, for instance, does not specify any subjects for Law and doesn't have any interest in 'facilitating subjects' across the University. Each course page on their website will tell you exactly which A levels and/or BTEC subjects and the GCSEs they want.

However, if you have done a typical essay-based subject like History, Politics, Sociology, English Lit etc, you are more likely to have the immediate essay skills needed - and you will find LNAT easier. This wont automatically help you get a place but it will make starting the degree easier - there is a great deal of reading, and essay writing is an essential skill that is at the core of a Law degree.
0
reply
returnmigrant
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#8
Report 2 years ago
#8
This.
0
reply
Arran90
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#9
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#9
(Original post by returnmigrant)
If they do 'prefer' certain subjects they have to be up-front about this and say so; the days of admissions 'secrets' are long gone.
Applicants are definitely asked about their A Level choices during the interview. I think that giving an intelligent answer how their choice is beneficial for both a degree and a career in law carries more weight than the exact choice of subjects.
0
reply
username3731912
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#10
Report 2 years ago
#10
(Original post by Arran90)
Applicants are definitely asked about their A Level choices during the interview. I think that giving an intelligent answer how their choice is beneficial for both a degree and a career in law carries more weight than the exact choice of subjects.
I mean this just isn’t true

Why do these youths focus on facilitating subjects which fully mean nothing for law and not preferred? Universities like Oxford, Leeds and LSE have preferred subjects lists for Law. If your subjects are on there, you’re fine. Facilitating means nothing here, facilitating literally means flexible. It’s for students who don’t know what to pick but want to open up the most doors for university and so choose these flexible/facilitating subjects. Anyone who tells you you need facilitating subjects for law is stupid. Preferred subjects. These are still academic subjects but much wider, like psychology, sociology, geography, economics, language literature subjects like Arabic Literature.
0
reply
username3731912
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#11
Report 2 years ago
#11
i wouldnt use essex as an example of a competitive uni...
1
reply
Notoriety
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#12
Report 2 years ago
#12
The question is over-simplistic, so I don't like it.

There is no "perfect prep" for law at uni, including A-Level law. That's why the perennial advice is to study somewhat academic subjects you enjoy, so you get the required grades (e.g. A*AA/AAA/AAB). If there were a perfect combo, unis would ask for it or give some indication that it existed.
1
reply
foolishstrawbery
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#13
Report 2 years ago
#13
About Law A level. From what I've heard (from Lawyers/people in the industry) is unis and law firms don't like it is because what you learn in Law A level is really diluted and not exactly real law (it is but it's not in enough depth). I think because of that they end up having to unteach a lot of things and the subject itself doesn't give you very many practical skills that a lawyer would need. Other subjects, like philosophy and ethics or history, give you transferable skills such as critical evaluation of content and the ability to structure arguments. So because of that they are regarded more useful skills for a lawyer to have because you're going to have to learn Law anyway in uni so having an A level in Law won't give you any benefits because it doesn't really mean anything.
0
reply
Arran90
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#14
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#14
(Original post by anonymous1231231)
Why do these youths focus on facilitating subjects which fully mean nothing for law and not preferred? Universities like Oxford, Leeds and LSE have preferred subjects lists for Law. If your subjects are on there, you’re fine. Facilitating means nothing here, facilitating literally means flexible. It’s for students who don’t know what to pick but want to open up the most doors for university and so choose these flexible/facilitating subjects. Anyone who tells you you need facilitating subjects for law is stupid. Preferred subjects. These are still academic subjects but much wider, like psychology, sociology, geography, economics, language literature subjects like Arabic Literature.
(Original post by Notoriety)
There is no "perfect prep" for law at uni, including A-Level law. That's why the perennial advice is to study somewhat academic subjects you enjoy, so you get the required grades (e.g. A*AA/AAA/AAB). If there were a perfect combo, unis would ask for it or give some indication that it existed.
Myths and misinformation continue to circulate even on TSR.

There are plenty of people who go round thinking that applicants have to take facilitating subjects for law, or that all facilitating subjects are valued by universities more than all non-facilitating subjects so applicants with more facilitating subjects are given priority. Others go round saying that you should take history and / or English literature because either applicants won't be accepted or they will find a law degree difficult otherwise. Concerns have also been raised that taking subjects that may be unfamiliar to admissions tutors can be risky.
0
reply
Doones
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#15
Report 2 years ago
#15
(Original post by Arran90)
Myths and misinformation continue to circulate even on TSR.
Because people like you keep perpetuating them with posts like this.

Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
Arran90
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#16
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#16
Questions (1) to (4) are resonably well answered. Can anybody shine more light onto questions (7) and (8)?
0
reply
Doones
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#17
Report 2 years ago
#17
(Original post by Arran90)
Can anybody shine more light onto questions (7) and (8)?
Why? When universities don't ask for any.

If they felt there were preferred subjects they would say so.

If someone wants to study a MFL then that's entirely up to them - it neither advantages nor disadvantages them for a Law course.

Ditto for the broader question 8 - your A-level subjects don't generally matter. Saying "x, y and z" are the best prepartion perpetuates the myth that universities prefer applicants with x, y and z. They don't.
0
reply
Arran90
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#18
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#18
(Original post by Doonesbury)
Ditto for the broader question 8 - your A-level subjects don't generally matter. Saying "x, y and z" are the best prepartion perpetuates the myth that universities prefer applicants with x, y and z. They don't.
IF you are telling the truth, then it means that A Levels for the purpose of a law degree are just pure credentialism because the degree course does not build on the skills and knowledge contained in the A Levels. Therefore a law degree will actually be no more difficult for a person with good GCSE grades and no A Levels than for a person with 3 A* grade A Levels.

I don't think this is the case in reality as I find it difficult to believe that all A Levels are equal preparation for law degree in terms of skills and knowledge.

Is there a reason why a much higher proportion of law students have A Levels in English literature and history than further mathematics and electronics? Foreign languages are more common than physics and chemistry.
0
reply
Doones
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#19
Report 2 years ago
#19
(Original post by Arran90)
IF you are telling the truth, then it means that A Levels for the purpose of a law degree are just pure credentialism because the degree course does not build on the skills and knowledge contained in the A Levels. Therefore a law degree will actually be no more difficult for a person with good GCSE grades and no A Levels than for a person with 3 A* grade A Levels.

I don't think this is the case in reality as I find it difficult to believe that all A Levels are equal preparation for law degree in terms of skills and knowledge.

Is there a reason why a much higher proportion of law students have A Levels in English literature and history than further mathematics and electronics? Foreign languages are more common than physics and chemistry.
For the simple reason someone studying humanities at A-level is more likely to want to study a humanity at university. Whereas someone study electronics and FM is more likely to want to study a science...
0
reply
Arran90
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#20
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#20
(Original post by Doonesbury)
For the simple reason someone studying humanities at A-level is more likely to want to study a humanity at university. Whereas someone study electronics and FM is more likely to want to study a science...
I consider law to be law. LLB (Hons) is (the start of) a training course to become a solicitor or a barrister, not a humanity.

It is possible to have a career in law with a degree in history or theoretical physics but this is a more circuitous route to take.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

How are you feeling about starting university this autumn?

Really excited (61)
22.34%
Excited but a bit nervous (124)
45.42%
Not bothered either way (35)
12.82%
I'm really nervous (53)
19.41%

Watched Threads

View All