Voc Lvl 3

BTEC applied law is a two year vocational course exploring the English legal system, including both the civil law and the criminal law in depth.  The content is exciting, thought-provoking and varied, covering everything from murder, to negligence, to divorce. 

BTEC applied law is a level 3 course meaning that it is equivalent to A level and will attract UCAS points in just the same way. However, it is also practical in it’s approach and is therefore appealing to both universities and employers due to the employability skills it instills within students.  At the end of the two years, you will achieve an Extended Certificate in applied law.

BTEC applied law is a subject that will fit well with most others and could set you up for an exciting career as a solicitor, legal executive, paralegal or even into the business world.

You will study four units over the two year course.

Unit 1 - Dispute Solving in Civil Law

You will explore how civil disputes are resolved, both in the courts and by alternative means.  After learning how law is made by judges in court cases, you even get to investigate how to sue someone for negligence to get compensation! 

Unit 2 - Criminal Law and the Legal System

Learn all about how laws are made, interpreted and enforced.  This unit allows you to begin considering your future career path as you gain an insight into the world of solicitors, barristers, magistrates, judges and juries.  This unit then begins delving into criminal law, covering the non-fatal offences of assault, battery, ABH (causing the victim minor injuries), GBH (causing the victim serious injuries) and wounding.  Practice applying these crimes to scenarios to decide what sentences the criminals should receive!

Unit 3 - Applying the law

This unit covers more criminal law, in particular murder, manslaughter, theft, robbery, burglary, fraud and criminal damage.  You will also study how the defences of duress, intoxication, self-defence and insanity work to reduce a criminal’s sentence.  Finally we consider the police and how their powers of stop and search, arrest and detention should be balanced with our individual freedom. 

Unit 4 - Family Law

This very useful unit will have you studying the law on marriage, civil partnerships and cohabitation, and considering what rights we all have under these different family arrangements.  Also, what happens when a relationship breaks down?  During a divorce, how are disputes involving money, property and children resolved? 

Lessons vary depending on whether the unit you are studying is assessed using coursework or set tasks in supervised conditions. 

For coursework assessed units, each lesson will begin by your teacher giving you an explanation of the topic/work for that day.  Then you will begin writing your coursework! Yes, in lesson time!  You will learn independently by reading the textbooks and websites recommended to you.

For units assessed using set tasks, you will learn the law through independent research, class discussion, small group work and videos.  Just like a real lawyer you will then be provided with realistic scenarios to practice applying the law, to reach sensible conclusions.

You will be assessed firstly by using coursework.  This will be set and marked by your teacher and you will write this both in lesson time and for homework.  In addition, you will be assessed using set tasks completed in timed supervised conditions.  For these set tasks, you will be given the case study one/two weeks beforehand to prepare.  You may also take two A4 sides of notes into the assessment.

BTEC applied law fits particularly nicely with other vocational coursework-based subjects such as business.  In addition, the course content will complement subjects such as politics, psychology, sociology and criminology.

BTEC courses are highly regarded by both universities and employers due to the independent research and practical skills they instill within students.  Therefore both university and employment are both possible avenues for a BTEC applied law student after finishing the course.

The BTEC applied law course will prepare a student particularly well for a university course or career in law, the police, criminology or sociology.  The study of law could lead to an exciting future career as a solicitor, legal executive or paralegal.  Alternatively, the subject could lead to a career in the business world or Human Resources.  

Please see below for careers and labour market information for law - use the refresh buttons to find out about different courses and careers, and use the left and right arrows to view more detailed information.

You can find the prep work for this course at

We are so sorry that we cannot have a face to face chat with you about what studying law is all about, particularly as we all love talking about our subject!  Instead we have set out below the five most commonly asked questions at a ‘normal Open Day’ for both A level and BTEC.  If however you have any other questions, please feel free to complete the Google Form which you will be directed to at Step 8 on the College website homepage - we would love to hear from you. 

Q: What is the difference between A level law and BTEC law?

A: There are three main differences;

  • The way the courses are assessed.  For A level, it is completely exam based with students sitting three x 2 hour papers at the end of two years study.  For BTEC, over the two year course, it is approximately 40% coursework and 60% controlled assessment, where students have access to some pre-prepared materials.
  • The way the courses are delivered.  For BTEC, students receive guidance from their teacher but much of the coursework is independently researched and written up.  For A level, the lessons are a combination of teacher and student-led teaching and activities.
  • The approach to the content is different.  The BTEC course is more vocational with students developing the skills required in the workplace.  For example, students will be required to prepare emails to ‘clients’ advising them of the law or ‘newsletters’ providing legal information to the general public.  The A level approach is more academic.  Students are expected to apply the law to different scenarios and to evaluate the law and legal systems, all in essay form.

There are also similarities, the main one being content.  The topics covered on both courses are very similar.  Both courses cover the following areas of law;

  • Criminal Law (including murder, manslaughter, theft, causing actual bodily harm, certain defences including intoxication and insanity)
  • English Legal System (the court structure and how it works)
  • Lawmaking (how laws are made)
  • Negligence

The main differences are;

  • In BTEC, you will study family law and at A level you will study contract law.
  • In BTEC, you will learn about legal personnel in detail, whereas in A level you will consider the relationship between law and other concepts such as the relationship between law and morals and law and justice.

Q: Can I go to university if I do a BTEC rather than an A level?
A: Definitely yes!!  Over recent years, BTEC qualifications have risen in popularity and recognition.  Several of the top tier universities are very welcoming of students with BTEC law to study at undergraduate level.  Some universities report that the independent nature of study on the BTEC course prepares students very well for higher education. 

Q: If I don’t want to go to university, what jobs could I do with a BTEC law qualification?
A: Many.  If students wish to pursue a career in law, some join the police force, whilst others join solicitors’ firms on a legal apprenticeship scheme (which can lead to you becoming a legal executive or a solicitor).  Students may also be interested in working for the courts, a legal department in the civil service or forensics.  Alternative careers include marketing, human resources, accounting, banking, insurance and journalism to name a few.

Q: What skills will I develop during the course?
A: Due to the independent nature of the coursework, you will develop the transferable skills of; 

  • Analysis - you will develop the ability to identify key issues and apply the correct key information to reach a sustainable conclusion.
  • Writing in a logical and concise manner.
  • Being able to evaluate concepts and systems.
  • Formulating and presenting an argument.
  • Research and referencing.
  • Time management - you will develop an ability to prioritise tasks and allocate the appropriate amount of time to each task.

Q: What subjects link well with BTEC Law?
A: There are many subjects which compliment BTEC law.  Subject courses that may overlap a little in content are criminology and business (both A level and vocational).  Examples of other subjects which link well with BTEC law and are popular with our BTEC students are English, sociology, psychology, health and social care, graphic design, photography, media and film studies.  However, this list is not an exhaustive list and many of our students enjoy a diverse range of subject areas.

Exam Board

Pearson Learn More

Entry Requirements

  • You should have at least a grade 4 in GCSE English language and GCSE English literature.
  • You should have at least a grade 4 in another essay based subject, for example, history.

Year 1

  • Unit 1 - Dispute Solving in Civil Law
  • Unit 2 - Criminal Law and the Legal System

Year 2

  • Unit 3 - Applying the Law
  • Unit 4 - Family Law

Employability Skills

  • Independent research
  • Time management
  • Problem solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Communication
  • Debating
  • Analysing
  • Evaluation
  • Use of IT