Corpus Christi College Oxford

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Hey! I’m Hannah from Hampton in London and I’m a first year Law student at Corpus.

I applied to Corpus after attending a legal skills workshop at Corpus. It immediately felt like a very welcoming environment: all the tutors and student helpers were super happy to chat to a group of nervous Year 12s! This friendly atmosphere was a key component of the entire application process: absolutely everyone was warm and welcoming during interviews, the first day and the first few weeks. Being a small college both in terms of grounds and the number of students, there is little choice but to get to know people from all year groups and all subjects which makes Corpus feel like a real family. There is always something to get involved with: welfare teas, sports and societies, JCR meetings, bops (college parties) and even the annual tortoise fair. We definitely live up to our unofficial tagline of being the ‘small but friendly’ college!

Coming to Oxford to be interviewed by Oxford tutors across a few days can seem like a terrifying prospect, but they do provide a great opportunity to experience Oxford lifestyle and spend time discussing a topic you are passionate about. The interview is similar to a tutorial, allowing you to experience how teaching works in Oxford. Remember that everyone is in the same boat and prior to the actual interview the tutors met with all the interviewees and explained what would happen meaning everyone knew what to expect.

In the first two terms of the Oxford Law course you study three subjects: Constitutional Law, Roman Law and Criminal Law. These are examined at the end of the second term through moderation exams (Mods). This is a term earlier than most subjects, so you really do hit the ground running but it also means Law students can enjoy the Summer term without having to revise for exams, making it easier to settle into the more difficult parts of the course. In the summer term you study Contract Law and Tort Law.

The Mods course is really interesting as you study 3 very distinct areas of law concurrently. Roman law is historically interesting but more than this is allows you to explore a complete private legal system and see a society 2000 years ago tackled similar problems we face in the modern day. Constitutional Law is fascinating because you study how processes we often view as purely political are shaped and defined by the Rule of Law. With the Brexit proceedings at the moment, Constitutional Law has become very exciting as the parameters of political conventions and key constitutional concepts are being redefined daily. Criminal Law is perhaps what most people think of when they think of studying Law, but the constant developments and overarching theoretical debates make it a fascinating subject to study.

Teaching in Oxford is tutorial based with lectures to supplement this. This means that between each tutorial Law students have a reading list of cases and articles and use this information to write an essay. The essay is then marked and the different themes discussed in a small group with your tutor. For the Mods course, there are lectures for about an hour or two each day on all three of the subjects.

There are no required A-Levels for law and most students come to Oxford with very little legal knowledge. The important thing is that you find the idea of studying law exciting and are enthusiastic and inquisitive when learning it. Don’t worry, everyone is starting from scratch!

Beyond studying law, a real effort is made to bring all the lawyers together for some ‘law themed fun’ including a Christmas Party, the ‘Make Your Case’ Night, a law society dinner and even a trip to the UK Supreme Court.

If you have questions about anything at all please drop me an email- nothing is too trivial!

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