Law

BA Hons Law

Photo by Lonpicman via Wikimedia Commons

Average intake at Wadham: 10

Studying law will not only give you the opportunity to qualify as a solicitor or barrister: it will also help you develop a diverse set of skills which you will be able to apply in many different situations. You will learn to assimilate and analyse complex information, construct arguments, write with precision and clarity and think on your feet.

Course Homepage

Law at Oxford

The Courses

BA (Hons) Law
BA (Hons) Law with Law Studies in Europe

The Degree

Law is an unusual subject for a university degree in that the overwhelming majority of students have not previously studied it. The courses are therefore designed for those starting from scratch. The title of the Oxford undergraduate BA degree—Jurisprudence—is an old-fashioned word derived from Latin. However, Jurisprudence (or the philosophy of law) is one of the compulsory courses for the BA degree at Oxford.

Law at Wadham

While we welcome applications from graduates to read Law as a second BA, we do not accept applications to take the degree in two years. We are unfortunately unable to accept visiting students. Our primary method of teaching is in tutorials comprising groups of two or three students. The focus is on an in-depth and critical treatment of the topics studied. This sometimes means we cover a slightly smaller range of topics. Oxford law undergraduates have written examinations in three courses at the end of their second term and a further nine at the end of their final year. Students are also required to write an extended essay on a topic in Jurisprudence over the summer break after their second year as part of their overall evaluation. A full list of courses offered is available here. Wadham's law library is very well stocked and always open; electronic law databases can also be accessed from anywhere in College. The Law Faculty and Library are also about a 5-minute walk away.

The Wadham Law Society

The College has an active Law Society run by our students. There is also a senior section of the society, run principally by the old members, which takes an active part in the organisation of trips and raises money to subsidise social activities and, for example, the law collection in the College Library. Many of these non-resident members are happy to advise them on careers in law. The current President of the Society is Master of Rolls, Lord Dyson.

Prof Sandy Steel
Jeffrey Hackney

A Student's Perspective

Ben, 1st Year Law with German Law

'As a first year lawyer in Trinity term, I have already sat my Law Moderations and am looking forward to a June without exams for the first time in years; one consisting of Summer balls and punting between essays. The appeal of the three mods subjects at Oxford (Roman Introduction to Private Law, Constitutional Law and Criminal Law) lies in their variety. You don’t need to know any Latin for Roman Law but you certainly pick some up, and the historical aspects of the law of an ancient and seemingly strange culture keeps you turning the pages; on the other hand studying Constitutional Law gives you a greater appreciation of the formation of the State and the interweaving and competing relationship of Law and Politics.

The appeal of Law at Wadham in particular also lies in variety, that is, the variety of Wadhamites studying Law and their interests. Whilst some aspire to an ostentatious life in the city as a commercial lawyer, others place more value in pursuing a career in Human Rights or Immigration Law. Equally not everyone studying Law wants to be a lawyer. Additional variety comes with the international heritage of Wadham lawyers and the opportunity to contrast British culture with those around the world. The Wadham College Law Society is incredibly active and caters to all: in my first couple of weeks at Wadham we had dined with former Wadhamites from Hogan Lovells and been treated to a Q&A session on Prisoners’ Rights with former DPP and Warden of the college Lord Ken Macdonald.

A Law degree at Wadham is time-intensive and incredibly rewarding, and yet I have still managed to find time to play for the college rugby team and be one of Wadham SU’s Welfare & Equalities Officers - Wadham lawyers are often a central part of the diverse and cohesive student community in college, and you’ll find us in the gardens for Queerfest and Wadstock.'