About the Course

The course for the Final Honour School of Jurisprudence is for three years, and consists of papers in Law only (with the one exception of Moral and Political Philosophy). The four-year courses (codes M190-194) known collectively as “Law with Law Studies in Europe” (LSE) adds a year (the third year of study) at a European University to the three-year course. Jesus College welcomes applications for both courses, details of which can be found on the Law Faculty website.  

Law as taught in Oxford is much more than the mere learning and retention of detailed rules and their operation; it is a rigorous study of an academic discipline. The object is to understand the law, to see how it has developed and how it will develop, to criticise the law where criticism is just, to attempt to relate the law to the society in which and for the benefit of which it operates, and to investigate theories of what the law is and why the law should be obeyed - or, indeed, exist.

As will be seen from the University Prospectus, entry to both the three-year course and the four-year course is highly competitive. At Jesus College, normally eight candidates are admitted each year, spread between Law and LSE. It should be emphasised that the decision as to who is admitted for the “Law with Law Studies in Europe” course is not made by the College; the College puts forward candidates which it believes to be suitable for the course, but the decision to admit to the course is made by a group of academics looking at applications from all the colleges in the University.

Law is a time-consuming subject. Virtually every first year undergraduate knows nothing of the law when he or she starts; he or she must therefore build up a body of knowledge which can be analysed and criticised. Undergraduates are normally tutored in pairs - sometimes singly or in trios - and, on average, receive three tutorials per fortnight; there are, of course, lectures (up to eight or ten a week) which it is highly advisable to attend. Seminars and classes may from time to time be given either as an alternative or in addition to lectures and tutorials. Most of an undergraduate's time is spent preparing for tutorials; a considerable amount of material has to be digested on each tutorial topic. A reading list is provided for each tutorial: and there is a considerable emphasis on the writing of essays and the answering of hypothetical problems.

The College presently has two Tutorial Fellows in Law, Dr. Jackson and Dr. Douglas, who are involved in the teaching of undergraduates. It also has the Allen and Overy Professor of Corporate Law, Professor Luca Enriques, Shaw Junior Research Fellow in Law, Mr Ewan Smith, Senior Research Fellow in Law, Professor Jonathan Harris, and Emeritus Fellow, Professor Peter Mirfield. Their interests cover a wide spectrum of subjects. For many subjects, undergraduates receive their tuition within the College, but for certain papers tutorials will be given by tutors from other Colleges. The College also has a Law Society, at which visiting speakers address the society on topics of legal interest; its members participate in moots; it also holds social functions.

Subject notes

To see the latest subject notes for Law - which contain information about our tutorial fellows, the admissions process and the course itself - please consult the below link.