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ML13 Law and Sociology (4 years) (Full-Time)

Law and Sociology BA

UCAS Code: ML13

Start Date:
3 October 2022

Entry Requirements:
A Level: AAB or IB: 36 points

4 years

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Why study Law at Warwick?

Our Law and Sociology (BA) joint degree aims to develop your understanding of technical and doctrinal aspects of the law, sociological theory and research, and social problems, institutions and practices.

You’ll also gain a critical awareness of the role that law can play in modern societies, and develop both contextual and professional perspectives on the law. This will help you position legal institutions, ideas and processes as an important part of society. Within the subject of sociology, you’ll explore key phenomena and problems in contemporary society, which may include crime and justice, gender and sexualities, media, race and ethnicities, and global economies. This degree can also be gained as a qualifying law degree.

Image of Alumni Debbie Wathome

Whilst I was able to grow and flourish as a law student I also got involved with the array of cultural societies and events the university has on offer. These experiences gave me great memories and helped to shape me as a well-rounded young person ready for the world of work.

Seyi Afolabi - Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK (Law & Sociology 2006-2011)

In addition to covering subject-specific content, this four year joint degree takes an interdisciplinary approach that enables lawyers to understand law in a broad sociological context and helps sociologists to understand legal techniques and institutions.

A key feature of the course is the second-year module on Social Theory of Law, developed specifically for this course and jointly taught by experts in the sociological study of the law, who are teaching and researching in the Law School and the Department of Sociology at Warwick. Taking this degree will give you the opportunity to develop high-quality skills in legal and sociological research, presentation, debating, writing and independent study, and to acquire legal and sociological understanding that will enable you to participate effectively in policy debates.

Having spent the first and second year of your degree developing core sociological and legal skills, in your third and fourth year you can choose from a wide range of modules tailored to your academic interests.

Core Modules

Year One

  • Law State and the Individual: You will study the sources of law (Acts of Parliament, common law rules, conventions) and foundational concepts (such as the legislative supremacy of Parliament, the rule of law and separation of powers) through the critical reading and understanding of academic material and legal texts. We will consider the role of politics and economics and the institutional and theoretical aspects of the law, alongside the law’s relationship to the state and individuals. You will also become familiar with the purposes, limits and possibilities of legal language and methods. The module consists of a mixture of participatory and problem-based exercises, workshops, and more orthodox lecture and seminar work through which you will develop and test your knowledge and practical legal skills.
  • Tort Law: You will examine the law of civil liability for wrongfully inflicted damage or injury: the law of tort. We emphasise the processes and techniques involved in judicial (as opposed to legislative or administrative) law-making; the relevance and responsiveness of doctrines thus developed to society’s actual problems; and the policies and philosophies underlying the rules. As well as acquiring knowledge of the application of these technical areas of law, you will develop skills of legal reasoning and critical judgement, with particular reference to insurance, loss spreading, developing medical knowledge, professional standards and consumer protection. Work is undertaken independently and in debate and collaboration with your peers.
  • Introduction to Social Analytics 1: In the age of ever-increasing data availability which is paired with a growing sophistication of statistical techniques, the opportunities for social science research are vast. This module will give you an understanding of the basic elements of core descriptive and inferential statistics that will allow you to critically engage with quantitative findings in existing social science research, and also conduct quantitative analysis yourself. The module covers the topics of conceptualisation, operationalisation and measurement, as well as the principles of sampling and the basics of statistical inference. You will be introduced to the statistical methods and process of social science research in one-hour lectures, and then explore these in extended seminars (two hours) through both readings and the statistical software STATA. We shall be working on real data sets, such as the World Development Indicators, but you will also conduct your own short surveys amongst other students and analyse the data in class afterwards.
  • Researching Society and Culture: What is society and how do you study it? Is human behaviour governed by rules similar to the natural world that you can study objectively? Or do human beings consciously act upon their environment and change the world through creativity and intelligence, driven by their own understanding and motivations? These are some of the questions that this module will explore. You will be introduced to the core ideas behind sociological research and the practical tools to undertake research yourself. As well as looking at some of the key qualitative methods (for example, interviews, ethnography and discourse analysis), you will also examine the political, ethical and practical issues that social research inevitably entails.

Optional Cores

Year Two

  • Social Theory of Law: The module is jointly taught by members of the School of Law and the Department of Sociology. You will be equipped to critically analyse and debate contemporary theories and disputes about the role of law in society. This includes consideration of significant theories of law, justice and jurisprudence and recognition of their origins, and their limitations in contemporary society. You will be expected to conduct self-directed learning and research into primary and secondary sources to arrive at your own considered position, and to express this through relevant arguments in writing, and in debate.
  • Criminal Law: You will develop an understanding of the general principles of criminal law and its operation within society, coupled with an awareness of the social and political forces that influence the scope of the law and its enforcement. You will encounter basic concepts of the structure of English Criminal Law, and gain some knowledge of procedures, theories, and historical and political contexts, so as to understand and debate legal arguments and policy. In your studies, you will be expected to assess and present arguments for and against in open debate and also work collaboratively with your peers on specific tasks.
  • Contract Law: On this module, you will learn to understand and explain the fundamental principles of contract law, one of the building blocks of the common law and which underlies commercial and consumer law. Using primarily a case-law approach, you will have opportunities to study the relationship between case law and statute and to tackle specific problem-solving tasks that will help you develop both your theoretical knowledge, including your understanding of the social context and function of the courts, and your legal writing skills.
  • Property Law: On this module, you will focus on the role of law in relation to the ownership, use and development of land. Starting with the basic principles of English land law, you will learn to apply these to hypothetical cases, and analyse, evaluate and critique individual cases and statutory provisions using a series of linked materials on a discrete topic. Working both independently and collaboratively, you will also acquire research skills and be able to speak and write about property law accurately and using appropriate terminology.
  • Designing and Conducting Social Research: This module will teach you the core concepts and practical skills to undertake qualitative social research in academic and professional settings. These include research design, ethnography, in-depth interviewing, documents and discourse. As well as practical skills, you will investigate how social research has changed in recent decades, considering: ethical questions when researching life online; how (and whether you should) study Twitter; effects of social media on social interactions; and how to engage diverse audiences. You will also gain analytical skills to critically evaluate previous research and develop your ability to collect and analyse data using a range of qualitative methods.

Optional Cores

Year Three

If you are thinking of becoming a barrister or seeking qualification as a lawyer in other jurisdictions, which recognise the Warwick law degree, you will be advised to take The Law of Trusts and Foundations of EU Law modules either in Years Three or Four (subject to Bar Standards Board requirements). Otherwise, you may choose optional modules so that no more than 60 CATS are taken from the Law School (including the Law of Trusts and Foundations of EU Law) and no more than 60 CATS from the Department of Sociology.

Year Four

In your final year you will be required to complete the Supervised Project either as a half or full module. The remainder of your modules will be selected from the range of optional modules available in the Law School and Sociology Department.

  • Supervised Project: The supervised project allows you to undertake independent study to complete one of a range of outputs. These may include a researched dissertation; reasoned policy briefing; a piece of investigative journalism; a video documentary or podcast; or other creative piece of work. The exact form will be agreed with each student. The module aims to provide you with a high degree of responsibility for the learning process and will require you to manage your own learning, reflect on it critically, and seek and use constructive feedback. There is no set syllabus given that each project is individual to the student. However, general skills-based workshops will be provided to introduce you to research methods, research ethics, managing a supervision relationship, and writing to enable you to commence independent project work early in the term. Individual supervision meetings will be focused on substantive issues and on improving quality of the work. The length of the Supervised Project is either 6000 words (half module - 15CATS) or 12,000 words (full module - 30 CATS).

Optional Modules

Alongside the required core modules, you must complete at least 90 CATS of both Sociology and Law modules over the course of your third and fourth years of study. CATS = Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme. There are a range of optional modules available. See which modules are currently running in the Law School and Department of Sociology.

The modules due to run next year may vary from the lists above, depending on staff availability, research priorities, and student uptake. While we do our best to run as wide a variety of subjects as possible, it is not always possible to offer every module.

Scheme of Study

Four years full-time study leading to the degree of BA (Honours) or BA (Pass).

Many of our modules are delivered by a combination of lectures, seminars and workshops supported by online materials. The lectures will introduce you to a particular topic and then you will spend time investigating a topic in preparation for seminar discussion or practical exercises.

We employ a range of innovative teaching methods, such as experiential based learning, reflective journals and dramatised dissertations. Research training and personal and professional development are embedded throughout your degree. Our contextual approach to law means that we also provide opportunities to engage in law-related work outside the curriculum. Across your years with us, we will give you all the support and advice needed to help you realise your full potential.

Contact Hours

Typically, each module has two hours of lectures per week, plus regular seminars and workshops which offer opportunities for legal problem solving and discussion of ethical or policy issues relating to the law. Staff have regular advice and feedback hours in which you can discuss issues outside of your seminars.

Class Size

Typically in lectures, depending on the options chosen, class sizes are between 10 to 300 students. Core module lectures consist of approximately 300 students, and there are approximately 16 students per seminar. Some modules teach through workshops involving 20 to 30 students.

Although methods of assessment vary for each module, you will generally be expected to write essays and/or sit a two to three hour examination in your modules. As well as essays and exams, we offer a variety of other assessment methods such as group presentations, moots and reflective diaries, with emphasis placed on continuing assessment through class tests, essays and other formative and summative written work. You will also write formative essays for which you will receive detailed feedback in preparation for your final module assessments. Formative assessments do not contribute towards your final mark.

Year weightings towards final mark:

  • First Year 0% - 120 CATS
  • Second Year 33.3% - 120 CATS
  • Third Year 33.3% - 120 CATS
  • Fourth Year 33.3% - 120 CATS
CATS = Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme

A level AAB - A Level Sociology preferred but not essential (Contextual Offer ABB*)

International Baccalaureate 36 points - Higher Level Sociology preferred but not essential

Other Qualifications: We welcome applicants with non-standard qualifications or relevant experience, and applicants with other internationally recognised qualifications. For more information please visit the international entry requirements page. We do not require applicants to have passed the LNAT.

Access Courses: Access to HE Diploma (QAA-recognised) including appropriate subjects with Distinction grades in Level 3 units. Substantial study of Law is highly recommended.

Warwick International Foundation Programme (IFP): All students who successfully complete the Warwick IFP and apply to Warwick through UCAS will receive a guaranteed conditional offer for a related undergraduate programme (selected courses only). For full details of standard offers and conditions visit the IFP Page.

Pre-requisite Subjects: We do not require you to take any particular subjects in order to apply. However, general studies and critical thinking subjects are normally excluded from offers.

Interviews: We do not typically interview applicants. Offers are made based on your predicted and actual grades, along with your personal statement. Occasionally, some applicants may be interviewed, for example candidates returning to study or those with non-standard qualifications.

Taking a gap year: Applications for deferred entry are welcomed.

Mature Students: We will be looking for a commitment to academic study and evidence of academic potential, good time management and study skills. Most of our mature students have done a kite marked Access to Law course. Otherwise you will need to have recently completed or be taking examinations in at least two A-Level subjects.

*Contextual Offers: We are committed to admitting the most talented students from a diverse range of backgrounds and may make differential offers to students in a number of circumstances. We actively welcome and encourage applications from candidates who meet the contextual eligibility criteria. For more information on contextual offers, including full eligibility criteria and how to apply, visit our central contextual offer pages.

Transfers: We do not take students from other universities wishing to transfer directly either from another law degree or another related course.

Further information: