The Oxford Law degrees aim to develop in their students a high level of skill in comprehension, analysis and presentation. Students are expected to read a good deal, mostly from primary sources (such as cases and statutes), rather than to take other people’s word for things. They are expected to think hard about what they have read, so as to develop views not simply about what the law is, but also about why it is so, whether it should be so, and how it might be different. Students are asked to process what they read, together with their own thoughts, and to prepare essays and presentations for discussion in tutorials. The Oxford syllabus comprises topics chosen primarily for their intellectual interest, rather than for the frequency with which they arise in practice. Nevertheless, the skills of researching, thinking and presentation developed by the Oxford Law courses are eminently suited to practical application, and employers recognise this. Oxford is one of the very few leading law schools in the world where the teaching mainly consists of small group discussion (tutorials) between one, two or three students and a tutor. The modern, purpose-built Bodleian Law Library holds more books than almost any other comparable library in the UK.
There are two Law courses at Oxford: Course I is a three-year course; Course II is a four-year course which follows the same syllabus, but with a third year abroad at a university in France, Germany, Italy, or Spain (studying French, German, Italian, or Spanish law), or the Netherlands (studying European and International law). Students on Course II (Law with Law Studies in Europe) gain additional skills through exposure to different legal systems and the different approaches to teaching practised by our European partner institutions.
University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 2JD