There are many questions regarding Cambridge Law that I wanted answered!
How many lecturers do you have? Is the workload at Cambridge unbearable? An explanation from a third-year lawyer of the key areas of the Cambridge Law degree that you need to know about.
Beginning with the choice of subjects
In your first year there isn’t any choice of subjects, instead you study four compulsory subjects which are Constitutional, Tort, Criminal and Roman Law.
In second year of Cambridge Law there are two compulsory subjects (Contract and Land) and you get to choose three additional subjects.
In third year, again there are two compulsory subjects (EU and Equity) and you can choose three additional subjects which includes the option of a dissertation.
This means that in first year you study only four subjects but for second and third year you study five. The range of optional subjects can differ from year to year due to various reasons, such as staff availability, so it can’t be guaranteed that you’ll be able to do all of the subjects Cambridge currently lists on the website but examples include areas such as Family Law and Intellectual Property.
What about the lectures
During the term there will be two lectures per subject every week, which are roughly 50 minutes long each. There is an additional lecture each week for core subjects in the first term. Lectures are a key part of life as a law student at Cambridge and the lecture handouts form the backbone to academic work as a student. Lecturers are given by a range of academics, so you get a variety of different opinions and teaching styles.
Over the course of the eight-week term you will have four 1-hour supervisions for each subject with a revision supervision in Easter Term. These supervisions are quite intense small group sessions, but provided you are well prepared and have done all of the reading they really aren’t that scary. Supervisions are a crucial tool to enable you to ask any questions and really get to grips with the content of the course.
The dreaded essays
You will also be required to submit two essays a term for each subject to be marked your various supervisors. These essays don’t count towards your final grade, which is based purely on exams at the end of each year, but they are still important as your supervisor will write a report and give you a predicted grade at the end of each term. Also, these essays are a direct way of giving you feedback which can be very helpful for the exam.
I will admit that there is a significant amount of work and it can seem overwhelming at first, but efficiency is key and it really does get easier once you adjust and become aware of how you work best. There is certainly time to participate in extracurricular activities, you just may need to choose a couple of things that you really want to do rather than spread yourself too thin.
This should give you a good insight into what studying Law at Cambridge is really like, but remember, everyone has a different experience!
It can be completely dependant on the college you go to, the friends you make and how you manage your time. I just recommend you make the most of it!