The Law School at Somerville provides students with challenging courses of legal study in a friendly and supportive environment.

We encourage talented students from all backgrounds to apply, and do not have a preference for any particular A-level subjects (although we do not accept General Studies in making offers for the law courses). Students can study for the three year BA degree, or the four year BA Law with Law Studies in Europe. More details on these courses can be found in the University’s undergraduate prospectus.

Teaching

Somerville’s Law Tutors are dedicated to high quality teaching in Law. The College has two Tutorial Fellows in Law, Associate Professor Julie Dickson and Associate Professor Christopher Hare. Julie works in general jurisprudence or philosophy of law, and especially on methodological issues, such as the aims, aspirations, and criteria of success of theories of law. Christopher’s teaching and research interests lie broadly in the law of obligations and the corporate and commercial law fields, with particular focus on domestic and international banking law, corporate finance, and shareholder remedies. Our Lecturer, the barrister Michael Ashdown, teaches Land Law to Somerville Undergraduates.

Students will experience a variety of teaching methods – lectures, seminars, tutorials, presentation work, legal problem solving – during their time at Somerville. Subjects taught in Somerville include Roman Law, Land Law, Trusts, European Union Law and Jurisprudence or Philosophy of Law. Other subjects are taught by specialist tutors in other Colleges, with whom the Somerville Law Tutors have reciprocal teaching arrangements. Law is also one of two subjects at Somerville in which we offer free residential induction courses just before you start your degree to ensure parity of knowledge for all students.

College scholarships and exhibitions are available to Somerville law students who perform at a high level in their studies. There is a dedicated prize for the best results in first year university exams sponsored by the law firm Hogan Lovells, and a prize for the best performance in second year college exams sponsored by the Somerville Lawyers Group.”

The College has an excellent undergraduate library, housing one of the best College collections in Oxford. The library has a dedicated Law Reading Room, for the use of students reading law at Somerville.

Community

The Somerville Law School community comprises undergraduate and postgraduate students and the tutors who teach them and guide their studies. The College admits around 6 undergraduate students each year to read for either the three year BA in Law or the four year Law with Law Studies in Europe. In addition, a number of graduate students are admitted to read for higher degrees such as the BCL and MJur masters courses (around 5-6 per year), and for the MPhil, MLitt and DPhil research degrees. The graduate school is extremely international, with recent students coming from Australia, India, Iran, Ireland, Sweden and the Czech Republic.

Somerville has a flourishing Student Law Society which organizes moots, debates and speaker meetings. This society is run by second year undergraduate students, and all students, whether undergraduate or postgraduate are encouraged to get involved. The Law School also benefits from strong relations with alumni. Somerville Lawyers is a group of Somerville alumni working in a variety of legal careers, mainly in London. The group brings together present and former Somerville students with an interest in law, and has been successful in raising funds to support the study of law at Somerville, and in organizing events at which careers and other advice can be provided to current law students.

Next Steps 

Further information regarding admissions procedures and studying law at Oxford can also be obtained from the Law Faculty’s admissions website.

Fellows and Lecturers
  • Dr Michael Ashdown

    Practitioner Non-Stipendiary Lecturer in Law
  • Achas Burin

    Lord and Lady McNair Early Career Stipendiary Lecturer
  • Julie Dickson

    Fellow & Tutor in Law; Professor of Legal Philosophy
  • Christopher Hare

    Fellow & Tutor in Law; Travers Smith Associate Professor of Corporate and Commercial Law; Dean
  • Vilija Vélyvyté

    British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellow
  • Stephen Weatherill

    Professorial Fellow; Jacques Delors Professor of European Law and Deputy Director for European Law in the Institute of European and Comparative Law
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