BA Jurisprudence (Law)

Professor Louise Gullifer
Dr Kristin Van Zwieten

Harris Manchester College takes about six students a year to read for the undergraduate law course (the BA in Jurisprudence).  We do not usually admit students for the Law Studies in Europe course.  The full undergraduate course is a three year course, and can be taken by students without a degree, and by students who already have a degree.  Those with a good first degree, however, may choose to start the course in the Trinity term (beginning in April) of the first year.  This course is known as the Senior Status law course.  Competitive scholarships are available for students coming to study who already have an excellent first degree.

In the first two terms of the three year course students study Criminal Law, Constitutional Law and Roman Law.  These subjects are examined by the University at the end of the second term (Hilary term) in an examination known as Law Moderations.  Senior status students join the course at the beginning of the next term (Trinity term) and become part of the same cohort as the student who started in the previous October.  For the rest of the course, three year and senior status students study the compulsory subjects for the Final Honours School (Tort, Contract, Administrative Law, Trusts, Land Law, Jurisprudence, EU law) and two optional subjects.  However, senior status students who wish to be able to practice in England and Wales must take Criminal law and Constitutional law as their optional subjects, in order for their degree to be a qualifying law degree.  More details about the subjects studied as part of an Oxford law degree are available on the Oxford Law Faculty website.

Law is a fascinating academic subject in its own right, and law students enjoy its rigour and its intellectual challenge.  Many do choose to study it with a legal career in mind, and this is particularly true of those choosing to study law as a second degree.  The depth of analysis and the training in legal reasoning given by a law degree at Oxford  is a really excellent start to a career as a lawyer.

Most of the teaching for an undergraduate law degree is by lectures (and, sometimes, seminars) and tutorials.  For a more detailed account of what it is like to study law at Oxford, see the account on the Oxford Law Faculty website.  Law students at Harris Manchester College are taught in tutorials by the Law Fellows (unless on sabbatical leave) and by tutors from other colleges.  Lectures and seminars are organised by the Law Faculty, as are other forms of teaching, such as the Legal Research and Mooting Skills Programme.

There are two Governing Body fellows in law.  Professor Louise Gullifer ’s research interests focus broadly on commercial law and corporate finance.  In college, she usually teaches Roman law and Contract law, as well as Commercial law for those who chose this subject.  Dr Kristin Van Zwieten‘s research interests include corporate insolvency law, and law and financial development in emerging markets. In college, she teaches tort and trusts.   The college has many other distinguished legal academics connected with it, as Senior Research Fellows within the Commercial Law Centre and as supernumerary fellows.

Harris Manchester has an active student-led Law Society, which, in recent years, has mainly focused on mooting, with spectacular success.  The mooting team has won the Intercollegiate (Cuppers) Mooting competition for two years running , and individuals have had many successes in other mooting competitions.  An annual moot against Homerton has taken place for the last three years, and also one against St Andrews University.

If you would like to find out more please see Law at Oxford on Youtube