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Importance of A level options.

I really want to do Criminal Law at Uni and eventually be a barrister but I am unsure of my A level options;

Do I need to pick criminology,law,etc,etc at A level

or

Can I pick maths,Computer science,physics and one essay based subject?

Any advice wanted thankyou,
Reply 1
Hi not really tbh you don’t even need do an actual law undergrad to pursue a career in law u could just do a law conversion. I want to do the same thing as well and for my alevels I picked History, Sociology and English literature - all essay subject don’t recommend it’s actually hell. However i have noticed most people who want to pursue law do English literature you could pick the a levels u want to do, however some university’s want you to have certain subject so I picked history and English literature because they’re open subjects and for some university u need at least one of these (especially Russel group unis)there’s a list and I think maths might be one. History is very heavy in content and the exams are mostly analytical essay writing same with English literature for a law degree it would help you, but these are just examples and I really recommend doing your own research. Hope this helps!
You can pick anything at all that you like, but usually at least one 'traditional' subject - maths, compsci and physics are all traditional subjects. Criminology isn't a traditional subject, and most undergraduate law programs are neutral on law a level.
You cannot become a lawyer by studying only criminal law, even if you intend to practise in that field. You have to study constitutional and administrative law, contract law, tort law, equity and trusts, land law, criminal law, and EU law. You do that by taking a law degree which includes those subjects, or by taking a degree in any subject and then a graduate diploma in law (GDL), or nowadays by taking the new solicitors' qualification routes. About half of the lawyers in the UK have degrees in law. The other half have degrees in all sorts of subjects.

You should choose A level subjects which are academically rigorous, and which you think that you are likely to enjoy. You should then choose a degree subject which is academically rigorous and which you think that you are likely to enjoy. I would not recommend A level law - it's too lightweight, and of little use to an undergraduate or a practising lawyer.

Being a lawyer involves a lot of reading, a lot of analysis of written information, and a lot of writing. Please note that the use of correct and precise written English is important for lawyers. Studying subjects such as history, English, politics, and philosophy can assist in developing the skills used by lawyers.

TL/DR? Do what you enjoy and are likely to excel at.

Miss S Byng MA (Oxon), Barrister.
Reply 4
Original post by Greenhouse999
I really want to do Criminal Law at Uni and eventually be a barrister but I am unsure of my A level options;
Do I need to pick criminology,law,etc,etc at A level
or
Can I pick maths,Computer science,physics and one essay based subject?
Any advice wanted thankyou,
I don't believe that there are any universities that offer criminal law as a degree, due to criminal law being one of the foundational modules of a straight law LLB course. If you like the criminal law aspect of law, you can study law with criminology, as long as its an LLB qualifying law degree.

No, you do not need to pick criminology and law as your A levels. Criminology isn't actually an A level at all, its a WJEC qualification that would be equivalent to an A level. Some universities actually don't accept this at all, so think carefully before you choose it. Despite what people say, you do not need law a level to do a law degree. I'm currently studying psychology, philosophy and politics and planning to apply for a law degree this September. You can absolutely pick STEM subjects, but typically most universities would prefer you to at least have one (sometimes even two) essay based subjects. Law is a humanities subject, which means you are going to have to write a lot of essays. If you don't like the sound of this, you might want to reconsider your options.

My best advice to you is have a backup option. I went into A levels wanting to study either law or psychology, and picked A levels that were appropriate for either. I know a lot of people now who are changing their mind on what they want to study and don't have the appropriate A level knowledge to display their interest in the subject on their PS, so are having to go out of their way to immerse themselves in the subject a lot more than what most people would do (e.g. going from medicine to PPE). Think about how your A level subjects can relate to the things you want to study, and pick ones that you will enjoy, rather than ones you think you need. If you don't enjoy your subjects, your less likely to do well in them. Best of luck to you!
I add that criminal law is intellectually interesting in an academic setting, but can be grindy and miserable in practice, unless and until you get into well paid white collar crime or great big stabby murders. Junior criminal lawyers are not well paid, and have to work hard doing mostly humdrum cases about everyday human horribleness, in a system which is falling to pieces after years of underfunding by governments of every hue. The hilariously good TV show "Defending The Guilty" is fiction, but only just. Have a read of "The Secret Barrister".

Most law students who aspire to be lawyers don't find out until quite late in their studies which area of law they would most like to practise in. As suggested by the previous poster, who displays wisdom beyond his or her years, keep your options open.

PS: Don't do A level Law. It's a Mickey Mouse A level.
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by bibachu
I don't believe that there are any universities that offer criminal law as a degree, due to criminal law being one of the foundational modules of a straight law LLB course. If you like the criminal law aspect of law, you can study law with criminology, as long as its an LLB qualifying law degree.
No, you do not need to pick criminology and law as your A levels. Criminology isn't actually an A level at all, its a WJEC qualification that would be equivalent to an A level. Some universities actually don't accept this at all, so think carefully before you choose it. Despite what people say, you do not need law a level to do a law degree. I'm currently studying psychology, philosophy and politics and planning to apply for a law degree this September. You can absolutely pick STEM subjects, but typically most universities would prefer you to at least have one (sometimes even two) essay based subjects. Law is a humanities subject, which means you are going to have to write a lot of essays. If you don't like the sound of this, you might want to reconsider your options.
My best advice to you is have a backup option. I went into A levels wanting to study either law or psychology, and picked A levels that were appropriate for either. I know a lot of people now who are changing their mind on what they want to study and don't have the appropriate A level knowledge to display their interest in the subject on their PS, so are having to go out of their way to immerse themselves in the subject a lot more than what most people would do (e.g. going from medicine to PPE). Think about how your A level subjects can relate to the things you want to study, and pick ones that you will enjoy, rather than ones you think you need. If you don't enjoy your subjects, your less likely to do well in them. Best of luck to you!

Thank You for this advice

I am now set on;

maths,law,psychology, Religious studies

Very excited for next year
Thankyou,
Reply 7
Original post by Greenhouse999
Thank You for this advice
I am now set on;
maths,law,psychology, Religious studies
Very excited for next year
Thankyou,

No worries, this sounds like great mix of subjects. Good luck for next year!
You can pick any subjects for law at most unis (though most recommend at least one essay based subject) so you’d be better picking subjects you like/are good at over ones such as law/criminology that you’d be taking just because you felt they were necessary

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