Postgraduate Factfile: Legal Practice Course LPC
Modes of study: Full time (1 year), Part time (2 years)
Start date: September
- The Programme
- Supporting info
- Entry requirements
- Finance / fees
- How to apply
- Employment / careers
- LJMU and Liverpool
At a glance
- Teaching will be delivered in the new £38million Redmonds Building
- Validated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)
- Long established employer network offers extensive networking and work-placement opportunities, including Solicitor Mentor Scheme
- Course emphasises the development of essential lawyers’ skills
- High levels of student support
- Pre-requisite to qualification as a solicitor allowing you to pursue a training contract with the legal profession
The programme produces highly skilled, commercially aware and effective Trainee Solicitors, who are prepared for the rigours and demands of a Training Contract. The core subject areas and skills are highly relevant to legal practice in general and the choice of vocational electives will enable you to focus on your chosen career path. Graduates can enjoy the continued support of our established network of local lawyers who provide opportunities for student work experience and inform our practice.
Many of our students come straight from a Law degree (LLB) or Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and do not necessarily have any practical experience beyond work placements. However, they do get a chance to join the Solicitor Mentor Scheme and there is excellent careers advice available. Some of our Legal Practice Course (LPC) students have extensive experience working in a legal environment and some may combine a part-time LPC with a part-time training contract. Others are Legal Executives or Magistrates Courts Clerks with years of experience and who are not required to undertake a training contract at all. The age, background, life and work experience of our students varies considerably and we believe that this diversity adds a richness and interest to our LPC and gives it a particular flavour of its own.
Much of the course is taught through small group, skills-based teaching, supplemented with large group sessions, directed reading and self-study exercises and preparation. Considerable emphasis is placed on practice and you will acquire a range of essential lawyers’ skills by carrying out realistic transaction-based tasks. Part of the programme will also involve taking part in role-plays, simulations, case studies and electronically recorded exercises and assessments.
The part-time course is offered in day release or evening modes. Students will attend all day Tuesday in year 1 and all day Wednesday in year 2, or Tuesday and Wednesday evenings in both years.
The LPC consists of two stages.
Stage 1 runs from September to March and Stage 2 runs from March to June.
During stage 1 you can expect to study the following elements
- Litigation (Criminal & Civil)
- Property Law & Practice
- Business Law & Practice (including Taxation and Business Accounts)
- Professional Conduct & Regulation (PCR)
- Wills and Administration of Estates
- Interviewing & Advising
- Practical Legal Research (PLR)
- Solicitors’ Accounts
During stage 2, students need to complete and pass 3 vocational electives in order to complete this stage. LJMU offers 8 vocational electives as follows:
- Advanced Criminal Litigation
- General Commercial Law
- Commercial Property
- Employment Law
- Family Law
- Private Client
- Client in the Community
- Advanced PI
Our Law School staff are a blend of research active lecturers, qualified and former practitioners of law and criminal justice services and internationally established leading experts in their field.
Both the University and this School have a long tradition and strong commitment to professional legal education. We believe that our experience in this area allows us to understand the particular demands this course places on students. We have effective systems in place to provide good support mechanisms and one of the considerable strengths of the course is the support offered to students. The course is very demanding and the workload is high with a focus on student centred learning.
Why study this course at LJMU?
Both the University and this School have a long tradition and strong commitment to professional legal education - the School of Law runs a successful and thriving full-time and part-time LLB Law degree.
We are fully committed to the provision of professional legal education and believe that our experience in this area allows us to understand the particular demands this course places on you. We also believe that we have effective systems in place to provide good support mechanisms. One of the considerable strengths of the course is the support offered to you. The course is very demanding and the workload is high with a focus on student-centred learning. It is at postgraduate level and therefore you are expected to take responsibility for your own learning and are expected to attend sessions fully prepared.
Staff are a mixture of full and part-time members of the academic staff of the School. They are qualified practitioners and run the course with support and assistance from local practitioners and occasional guest speakers.
Teaching staff are approachable, enthusiastic and committed to both full-time and part-time provision. Staff strive to be available to give help, give feedback and support. All teaching staff maintain their links with the legal profession in a number of ways including consultancies and placements, sitting on local law society committees, writing for the legal periodicals etc.
They also regularly update their knowledge by attending and/or delivering CPD courses and conferences. A number of the part-time staff remain in practice on a part-time basis.
Who studies the LPC?
Our full-time students primarily come straight from a LLB or GDL and do not necessarily have any practical experience beyond work placements. However, they do get a chance to join the Solicitor Mentor Scheme and there is excellent careers advice available. Some of our LPC students combine a part time LPC with a part-time training contract. Others are Legal executives or Magistrates Courts Clerks with years of experience and who are not required to undertake a training contract at all. The age, background, life and work experience of our students varies considerably and we believe that this diversity adds a richness and interest to our LPC and gives it a particular flavour of its own.
We encourage the sharing of this experience and these skills and believe that students and staff all benefit from the variety. Students wishing to attend the full-time course traditionally join the course straight from completion of undergraduate studies. It is something of a culture shock joining a course which demands some compulsory attendance 12 to 15 hours per week; lasts from the start of September until June and allows only four weeks' break. All staff offer support and guidance in the early stages of the course to assist students with time management, file organisation and guidance on preparation.
When does the course begin?
The course begins in the week commencing 1st September 2014 and runs over one academic year of approximately 35 weeks, ending in June 2014 for full-time students and June 2016 for part-time. The Course does not follow the standard University calendar and runs from the beginning of September until June with only two week's vacation at Christmas and two week's vacation at Easter/Spring Holiday.
The teaching staff are approachable, enthusiastic and committed. Staff strive to be available to give help, give feedback and support. All teaching staff maintain their links with the legal profession in a number of ways including consultancies and placements, sitting on local law society committees, writing for the legal periodicals etc.
They also regularly update their knowledge by attending and/or delivering CPD courses and conferences. A number of the part-time staff remain in practice on a part-time basis.
What is it like to be a student on the LPC at LJMU?
We encourage you to develop a learning atmosphere, which is friendly, supportive and non-competitive. You are actively encouraged at a very early stage in the course to form study groups and support networks. We circulate contact details and suggest you team up with other students in your area. We also operate a student mentor system.
Teamwork is an important part of the LPC ethos here at LJMU, both between students and between students and staff. The Course Leader and LPC teaching team operate an “open door” policy and you are supported by a Pastoral Tutor, Careers Tutor and Personal Tutors. Help and guidance are at hand and student care and welfare is a high priority.
We encourage you to approach us with concerns at an early stage and welcome feedback on all aspects of the course so that we continue to develop and improve the course.
How is the course taught?
Much of the course is taught through small group (maximum group size 20) skills-based teaching, supplemented with large group sessions, directed reading and self-study exercises and preparation. Considerable emphasis is placed on practice an you acquire a range of essential Lawyers’ Skills by carrying out realistic transaction based tasks. You are required to take part in role-plays, simulations, case studies and electronically recorded exercises and assessments.
Introduction to the School
The School of Law at LJMU offers a range of opportunities for students to play an active part in an evolving, dynamic, and engaging postgraduate culture. Situated within the Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies, one of the largest and most diverse faculties within the LJMU structure, the School has a long-standing reputation for providing professional, practitioner, and work-related learning opportunities for undergraduate and postgraduate students alike.
The Law School staff group ensure the Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies plays host to the most advanced knowledge and expertise that the University has to offer in the realms of business, commerce, law, criminal justice.
The School offers a range of post graduate programmes:
- Legal Practice Course
- LLM International Business, Corporate and Finance Law
- LLM Legal Practice
- LLM European Law
- LLM Global Crime, Justice and Security
- MA in Criminal Justice
The vast majority of teaching input on these programmes is delivered by full and part-time members of the School of Law team. This staff group are a blend of research active lecturers, qualified and former practitioners of law and criminal justice services, and internationally established leading experts in their field.
Through these programmes of study and the enthusiastic support and guidance of a dynamic and dedicated staff group, the School of Law offers a stimulating and rewarding environment for postgraduate study. Within a culture of teaching and learning that keep work related skills development in clear focus. The School, staff and programmes delivered seek to help maximise the ability, strengths, and ambitions of all its students.
Staff research interests
School of Law – Research Profile
Members of staff at the School of Law carry out research in two different fields: Law and Criminal Justice.
Research in LawResearch in Law includes the following areas: criminal law, legal history, corporate governance, banking and finance, global finance law, obligations, media law, comparative private/public law, EU law, international law, commercial law, sports law, German public law, Italian public law, medical ethics, bioethics, legal theory, human rights, terrorism, police powers, transnational crime, family law, law and religion.
Research in Criminal Justice (CJ)
Research in CJ includes the following areas: organisation and governance of the National Probation Service and HM Prison Service, community penalties, surveillance and social control, multi-agency approach to crime prevention, international politics of crime control, application of criminological theories to practice, justice in England and Wales, youth justice bail service, crimes of the powerful (including corporate crime and state crime), sentencing policy and practice, criminal justice policy and relationship between policy and research, relationships between the police and the public, sex offenders, drug users, effectiveness in probation intervention, mentally disordered offenders.
How will I be assessed?
Assessment of the Compulsory and Elective Subjects
Assessment of both Stage 1 and Stage 2 subjects is by supervised assessments. Assessment in Stage 1 take place in February/March and Stage 2 examinations in May and June, for both full-time and part-time study routes.
Open Book examinations
All examinations (except Solicitors’ Accounts) are open book with designated materials and manuals being permitted in examinations.
Course Skills are separately assessed in exercises throughout the course. In the case of the oral skills of interviewing and advising and advocacy, these assessments are recorded. We provide plenty of opportunity for students to practice these oral skills on DVD before the assessment.
What do past and present students say about the course?
“The LPC is an enjoyable and challenging course and an exceptional opportunity not to be missed. You study on a very practical basis and learn by doing. You will get a taste as to what it is actually like to work in practice on a daily basis, working on realistic transactions that one would be presented with as a trainee solicitor. The standard of teaching is extremely high with all the students having strong working relationships with the dedicated and helpful staff.”
Kelly McPolin and Kerry Doran – class of 2011
Other related courses
Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)
LLM in Legal Practice
Academic merit normally evidenced by the possession, actual or predicted of a qualifying law degree or the Common Professional Examination/Graduate Diploma in Law
Normally a minimum second class honours or an average of at least 50% actual or predicted in the Common Professional Examination/Graduate Diploma in Law.
The factors which are taken into account when making decisions on individual applications are:
- Academic merit normally evidenced by the possession, actual or predicted of a qualifying law degree or the Common Professional Examination/Graduate Diploma in Law
- References - In the case of applicants who have taken or passed the examinations of the Institute of Legal Executives particular attention is given to academic references
- The need to study in the area for strong personal reasons
- Evidence of successful attendance and completion of courses in the past
- Evidence of motivation to be a Solicitor (significant evidence of which may be provided by, among other things, prior or current relevant work experience, and/or application for at training contract, but may be provided in other ways)
- As between applicants who are equally qualified in accordance with the paragraphs above, LJMU may give preference to those who are or have been students of LJMU
- In all cases the admissisons process will comply with LJMU’s equal opportunities policy, which prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation and disability.
Application and Selection
LJMU's Admissions policy is in line with the University's Equal Opportunities Policy and applications are welcome from all candidates who fulfil the entry criteria. The University has a commitment to equality of opportunity and welcomes application from everyone regardless of age, disability, race or sex.
Will I be interviewed?You will be informed on application whether an interview will be required
Tuition fees for full-time home and EU students for the academic year 2014-2015 are £8,585. Part-time fees for Home and EU students are £4,300 per annum. Home and EU student fees can be paid in full or by instalments throughout the academic year.
Tuition fees for International students for the academic year 2014-2015 are £11,350. Students residing in the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey are classified as international students for fee purposes.
International students fees are payable in full on registration or you can choose to pay 50% with the balance paid in full four months later.
Further information for international students about finance, fees and scholarships can be found here.
The fee includes The Law Society registration fee, the course materials and LPC Manuals. However, students will be required to pay a fee to become student members of the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
Securing funding is one of the main hurdles you may have to face when considering Postgraduate study. However there is help available and you may be able to apply for funding from the sources below.
This will normally be from a bank. The most popular of these is a Professional and Career Development Loan (PCDL). These loans are from £300 to £10,000 in value and can be used to cover up to 80% of your course fees. Further Information from www.direct.gov.uk and look for PCDL
Charities and Trusts
Trusts and charities can offer assistance to some students. Eligibility for these trusts and charities vary enormously. Your local library will have a section of books and directories of grant making trusts.
Research councils may provide support for recognised postgraduate courses. Their websites offers useful information regarding the support and funding opportunities on offer. Competition for this type of funding can be very strong. For more information about Research Councils visit: www.rcuk.ac.uk
You need to be aware that most PG courses do not attract statutory funding. The ones that do attract statutory support (grants and/or loans) that we offer at LJMU are:
- PGCE courses , for more information please vist www.directgov.co.uk and www.tda.gov.uk
- MA social work for which an NHS bursary is payable to some students. For more information please visit www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk
- PG dip in Architecture
Advice and support at LJMU
LJMU offers a Postgraduate bursary of £500 to students who go from an undergraduate course to study a taught PG course. For further information and eligibility see http://www.ljmu.ac.uk/feesandfunding/117585.htm
LJMU employs a team of staff that are experts in fees and funding who can offer advice based upon your personal circumstances. You can contact them on 0151 904 6056/6057, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance and support.
How to apply
Central Applications Board
LJMU offers an extensive support system through its international office and study centre. An equivalence to the normal entry requirements is needed for entry. Students must also demonstrate a proficiency in communicating through English, for example with an IELTS tests or equivalent. Please note that because of UK visa restrictions, International students are only permitted to study on a full-time basis. Please contact LJMU’s International Team by visiting www.ljmu.ac.uk/international for more information and advice.
If you have any queries relating to LJMU or university life in general please contact:
Tel: +44(0)151 231 5090
Employment and careers
The Legal Practice Course is a pre-requisite to qualification as a solicitor in England and Wales. Once you have completed your LPC you will be required to complete a training contract working within the legal profession. The training contract period is for two years although it can be reduced by up to six months if you have suitable and relevant previous legal experience
As a postgraduate student you will be able to take full advantage of the extensive range of advice and guidance available in our World of Work Careers Centre, including our Ready for Work training courses, which cover everything from interview skills to preparing for assessment centre tests.
LJMU also has a dedicated Centre for Entrepreneurship, offering business advice and start-up funding, to students and graduates interested in setting up their own companies or working freelance.
Our World of Work Programme – endorsed by FTSE 100 companies and leading business organisations – offers you the chance to get an additional certificate proving to potential employers that you have the skills and experience they are looking for. No other university in the UK or internationally, offers students the chance to develop these skills and organisations backing the scheme include the Confederation of British Industry, United Utilities, Sony, Siemens, Peugeot Citroen and Marks and Spencer.
LJMU offers a superb environment for postgraduate study and top level research.
Whether you are studying on a taught master's course or embarking on a research degree, LJMU offers you a supportive, flexible academic environment, well-structured programmes and round-the-clock access to extensive resources.
Our research environment is rated as 'world-leading' in a majority of our subjects and all of our postgraduate programmes are taught by academics actively involved in research or consultancy projects with business and industry.
It is this combination of academic expertise and 'real world' experience that ensures LJMU's courses have real currency with potential employers and why over 95% of our postgraduates are in work or further study six months after they graduate (HESA 2010).
We believe this expertise – coupled with world-class academic standards – 75% of LJMU's research is rated as internationally important – puts us in a league of our own.
To find out more about our postgraduate courses and research opportunities plus the range of facilities and support we offer, click on the links opposite.
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The city recently won Trip Advisor’s Best Nightlife Destination Award 2011, beating Manchester, London, Glasgow and Brighton. The city has also achieved Purple Flag accreditation, commending Liverpool as a safe place to enjoy a night out.
Liverpool is also a city that is very supportive of all the students who live, work and study in its universities. With such a warm and hospitable culture – Liverpool is the perfect 24-hour student city.
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