AQA 1161 A/S Level/AQA 2161 A Level GCE Law

At A/S, candidates develop a knowledge and understanding of the legal system and an ability to evaluate its operation and performance. At A2, the specification further develops knowledge of the legal system and of substantive law.

The study of law helps develop the learner’s analytical ability and critical thinking. It also develops problem-solving skills through the application of legal rules. Study at AS/A2 level provides a useful background for the further study of law either as the main subject or subsidiary part of a degree, foundation degree or for the many professional qualifications which have a law component.


The new AQA specification refines the format of the previous specification. The AS specification is split into two modules of equal weighting. The first module develops knowledge and understanding of the Legal System, together with an evaluation of its operation and performance. The module is in two sections that reflect the previous papers 1 and 2, thus retaining choice for candidates. The second module replaces and expands the options of the previous paper 3. It introduces substantive law and requires simple application of aspects of criminal and civil law. There is now a choice of area of civil law to be studied – tort or contract.

The A2 specification develops the knowledge and skills acquired at AS. The first A2 module retains the format of the previous specification, whilst developing the content to continue to provide a good grounding in knowledge and evaluation of either criminal law or contract law. The main developments are the inclusion of evaluation of the defences in criminal law and aspects of consumer law being introduced in contract law, as well as the inclusion of discussion of possible reforms of the current law. The second module retains the choice between criminal law and the law of tort, but replaces the evaluation of the substantive law with an investigation into the concepts of the law which was a feature of the previous specification, paper 6.


In addition, the specification provides a worthwhile course for candidates of various ages and from diverse backgrounds, in terms of general education and lifelong learning. Equally, material studied would be useful for candidates intending to pursue business careers.

© AQA 2014

Units and Topics

The following units are part of the AQA 1161 A/S Level/AQA 2161 A Level GCE Law course

Unit 1 LAW01 Law Making and the Legal System

Unit 2 LAW02 The Concept of Liability

Unit 3 LAW03 Criminal Law (Offences against the Person) or Contract Law

Unit 4 LAW04 Criminal Law (Offences against Property) or Tort, and Concepts of Law

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