Law and Sociology (BA)
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.
This 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.
A qualifying Law degree means that you will have passed the first stage (academic) of training to enter the legal profession (as a barrister or solicitor). The process by which a student qualifies as a solicitor in England and Wales is due to change soon with the introduction of the new Solicitors Qualifying Examination in 2021. We still await the detail of these changes, but students starting a qualifying Law degree before the changes are implemented will be able to qualify under the existing rules. As soon as more information becomes available we will publish it here. If you would like to receive updates about the new Solicitors Qualifying Examination please complete our short form.
By successfully completing all the core Law modules, you gain a qualifying law degree through this course. 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.
Many of our modules are delivered by a combination of lectures and seminars. The lectures will introduce you to a particular topic and then you will spend time reading around the topic in preparation for seminar discussion.
We employ a range of innovative teaching methods, such as performance based learning, reflective journals and dramatised dissertations. Research training, personal development and professional development are embedded in your degree. Our contextual approach to law means that we ask for consistent work and for your full commitment throughout the course. In return, we will give you all the support and advice needed to help you realise your full potential.
Typically each module has two hours of lectures per week, plus regular seminars which offer opportunities for legal problem solving and discussion of ethical or policy issues relating to the law. Staff have regular office hours in which you can discuss issues outside of your seminars.
Typically in lectures, depending on the options chosen, class sizes are between 10-300 students. Core module lectures consist of approximately 300 students. There are approximately 16 students per seminar.
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 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.
All students have the opportunity to apply for an intercalated year abroad at one of our partner universities. The Study Abroad Team based in the International Office offers support for these activities, and the Department’s dedicated Study Abroad Co-ordinator can provide more specific information and assistance.
The Law School has its own dedicated careers consultant who provides tailored workshops and careers guidance support for all our law students including those considering a career in other fields. You will receive support with developing your career plans, researching jobs and postgraduate study and with all aspects of the application process.
Every year there is an autumn law recruitment fair, which is attended by over 60 law firms which want to recruit Warwick students. A further recruitment fair takes place during the summer offering finalists the chance to meet firms looking for immediate recruits.
Throughout the year many law firms visit Warwick to run presentations and engage with our students. Over the last year we have also invited a variety of smaller firms and other organisations offering legally related career options to meet our students. Past visitors have included:
- Allen & Overy
- Baker McKenzie
- Clifford Chance
- Herbert Smith Freehills
- Jones Day
- Norton Rose Fulbright
- Slaughter & May
- Wright Hassall
Barristers also visit campus and help with mooting (mock trials) negotiating and debating. You will have many opportunities to build contacts within the profession during your studies.
Law is an excellent foundation for careers generally as it will help you to develop your analytical, organisational and effective research skills. If you do not wish to pursue a career in the legal profession, there will be plenty of alternative professions for you to choose from. The Law School and Student Careers & Skills arrange for other employers outside of the law profession to visit the campus and offer one to one support to help you decide which career is right for you.
A level: AAB
Additional requirements: You will also need to meet our English Language requirements.
Contextual data and differential offers
Warwick may make differential offers to students in a number of circumstances. These include students participating in the Realising Opportunities programme, or who meet two of the contextual data criteria. Differential offers will be one or two grades below Warwick’s standard offer (to a minimum of BBB).
- 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 website.
We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications. For more information please visit the international entry requirements page.
Taking a gap year
Applications for deferred entry welcomed.
We do not typically interview applicants. Offers are made based on your UCAS form which includes predicted and actual grades, your personal statement and school reference.
The Modern English Legal System
This module exposes you to a critical overview of the machinery of justice at the heart of the English legal system and provides you with fluency in fundamental legal techniques. Through the study of law in context, as practised in the Warwick Law School, you will pay particular attention to sources of law, techniques for interpreting cases and statutes, legal rhetoric, making an argument and writing. You will be introduced to key sources of law and be trained in their retrieval and analysis. You will develop these skills through collaborative work and independent study, including online research.
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 Legal Theory
You will engage with fundamental questions about the nature of law, order, and justice. You will consider the impact of political, moral and social theories on ways of thinking about law. You will think, in depth, about the underlying principles of the legal system by studying questions such as the nature of rights, the permissibility of punishment, and the nature of legal obligations. You will have opportunities to develop your research, argumentation, and advocacy skills through class discussion and written engagement with central issues in legal philosophy.
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 which will allow you not only to critically engage with quantitative findings in existing social science research, but 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 (2h) both through readings, and the statistical software STATA. We will be working on real data sets, such as the World Development Indicators, but you will also conduct your own little survey 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.
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 (e.g. interviews, ethnography, discourse analysis), you’ll also examine the political, ethical and practical issues that social research inevitably entails.
History of Sociological Thought
What holds societies together? How do societies change? And how is politics in the conventional sense affected by factors such as class, status, ethnicity or religion, or the state of the economy? These are some of the questions that you will engage with when you consider the history of sociological thought. You will gain skills of research, analysis and debate by considering to what extent sociology may be considered a science and how the evolution of sociological thought has been shaped by events and the cultural, economic and political problems of the day.
Class and Capitalism in the Neoliberal World
Protest and anger characterise the contemporary era – young people taking part in militant politics, protest parties gaining more votes, and even NHS doctors taking to the streets.
In this module, we’ll explore the social consequences of the economic and political transformations associated with neoliberalism that have taken place in recent decades. We will ask why these changes might be responsible for the global rise in urban unrest and dissatisfaction.
Topics will include growing inequality and elite power, militant policing, consumerism, anxiety, debt, the destruction of industrial communities, class identity, the marketisation of education, and the diminishing spaces of public life.
Sociology of Gender
Through case studies from the gender pay gap to the politics of Christmas, this module will transform how you see gender and its impact on the world. You’ll explore the origins of gender ideas and analyse their effects on areas of social life including: language; media and popular culture; science; work; family relationships; sexuality; violence; education; politics; and feminist movements.
While gender is the focus of this module, you’ll also consider how gender connects to other dimensions of social difference and inequality, such as sexuality, race, class or disability.
Race and the Making of the Modern World
The Haitian Revolution (1804) was the first revolution by enslaved Africans asserting their rights for liberty, equality and political self-organisation against their European colonisers. But you may not have heard of it, even though it occurs around the same time as the French and American revolutions.
This module will raise tough questions about the global processes of dispossession, genocide, enslavement and appropriation. You’ll examine:
• the emergence and development of structures of race
• the sanctioned ignorance of these processes within the usual descriptions of the modern world
• how central race is to the organisation of the world today
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. Which include 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.
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 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.
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 a primarily 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.
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’ll 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
• how to engage diverse audiences
You'll also gain analytical skills to critically evaluate previous research, and develop your ability to collect and analyse data using a range of qualitative methods.
Modern Social Theory
This module will introduce you to the main thinkers and movements in critical social theory. Topics include Marxism, post-structuralism, class and culture. The changing conceptualisation of power and class is a focus throughout the module. This helps you to see how the different theoretical approaches relate to each other, and to historical and political events.
Practice and Interpretation of Quantitative Research
Quantitative methods can help you answer questions such as:
• Is income inequality in the UK growing?
• Does marriage improve health?
• Does growing up in a poor neighbourhood affect your life chances?
Analysing representative, large-scale social surveys is crucial for sociologists to understand social processes. This module will introduce you to quantitative methods and how to analyse large data sets using SPSS Statistics software. It will help you engage with published quantitative sociological research and to undertake your own basic quantitative data analysis.
General Principles of Constitutional and Administrative Law
All of us are involved in one way or another with government and administration in this country, seeking to exercise certain rights. You will learn about the principles of British public law, both constitutional and administrative, the role of Parliament and courts and many aspects of power at different levels. The emphasis will be on your ability to describe and assess the main elements of public law, drawing on a variety of evidence, and to explain and discuss the ways in which the system of government in the UK is changing and fragmenting, with particular reference to the Human Rights Act 1998, and the status, effect and primacy of European law and arrangements for Brexit.
Introduction to the Law of Property Relations
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.
Law of Trusts
You will study the law of trusts in a variety of areas, from traditional contexts to their modern operation in commercial contexts. In addition to the private law of trusts you will study the law governing the recognition and regulation of charitable (public) trusts. You will also employ critical, contextual and comparative methods to appreciate the nature and operation of trusts law across the full range of contexts in which they operate. Working as an independent researcher, you will apply your knowledge to legal problems and present your evaluation both orally and in writing. You will work also collaboratively on class-based tasks in order to demonstrate your time-management and teamwork skills.
Foundations of European Law
This module introduces you to the institutional structure and substantive laws of the European Union. You will study direct effect, supremacy and fundamental human rights, and engage with topical issues such as the democratic accountability of the European Commission, Council of Ministers, European Council and European Parliament. You will familiarise yourself with the role and function of significant European institutions such as the Court of Justice and Court of First Instance. Working independently, you will use ICT to research databases, in particular the Europa websites. There are opportunities to communicate your understanding orally and in writing, and to identify principles of EU law that apply to specific legal problems.
Examples of optional modules/options for current students
Sociology of Knowledge, Science and Intellectuals; Life of Media; Crime and Society; Sociology of Gender; Race and the Making of the Modern World; International Criminal Law; Climate Change and Law; Introduction to Competition Law; Human Rights in Practice; Medicine and the Law
Graduates from these courses have gone on to work for diverse employers including major national and international law firms (Baker McKenzie, Clifford Chance and Herbert Smith Freehills); financial institutions (Financial Conduct Authority and the Bank of England); and a variety of organisations (HMRC, Thomson Reuters and NBC Universal Media).
They have pursued careers as solicitors, barristers and other legal professionals; health and safety inspectors and compliance professionals, nursery, primary and secondary education teachers; authors, journalists, writers and translators; public relations and marketing professionals; management consultants and business analysts.
Helping you find the right career
Our department has a dedicated professionally qualified Senior Careers Consultant who works within Student Careers and Skills to help you as an individual. Additionally your Senior Careers Consultant offers impartial advice and guidance together with workshops and events, tailored to our department, throughout the year. Previous examples of workshops and events include:
- Becoming a Solicitor: the office of tomorrow and how to get there
- Warwick careers fairs throughout the year
- The journey to the Bar including the BPTC and pupillage applications
- Becoming a commercially aware lawyer
- Mooting Master Class
- Law Fair and Regional Law Firm Networking event
- What else can I do with a Law degree other than be a Lawyer (alumni presentations and networking)
Find out more about our Careers & Skills Services here.
A level: AAB
Additional requirements: You will also need to meet our English Language requirements.
Bachelor of Arts (BA)
4 years full-time
28 September 2020
Location of study
University of Warwick, Coventry
Find out more about fees and funding
Additional course costs
There may be costs associated with other items or services such as academic texts, course notes, and trips associated with your course. Students who choose to complete a work placement will pay reduced tuition fees for their third year.
This information is applicable for 2020 entry.
Given the interval between the publication of courses and enrolment, some of the information may change. It is important to check our website before you apply. Please read our terms and conditions to find out more.
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