Studying part-time can be an inspiring journey

Image of three Law students in a discussion group.

The idea of studying while bringing up a family and holding down a job is not everyone’s idea of an easy life. Many people leave college or university and never re-enter education while others go on to study for a postgraduate degree or continuous professional development – a pre-requisite for many professions.

For Siobhan Tallon, a midwife and mother to four children, going to university was an exciting and challenging prospect. Ultimately, Siobhan has ambitions to enter the legal profession and become a solicitor specialising in criminal or medical law.

Siobhan graduated from the part-time LLB while juggling her other commitments, and in 2010 she qualified for her professional legal practice qualification (Legal Practice Course) and also spent some time as a sessional lecturer at the School of Law teaching EU Law.

“I am currently applying for training contracts to become a solicitor,” said Siobhan. “Now my children are grown up I decided that I wanted to pursue my career ambitions and train to be a legal professional. My experiences at LJMU were so positive now my daughter, Stephanie is in her second year of her LLB, so we’re keeping it in the family.”

“Clearly Siobhan has the talent, the drive and the vision to succeed,” said Dr David Lowe, programme leader for the part-time LLB Law programme. “We do our utmost in the School of Law to ensure our part-time students are supported and can attend lectures, particularly if they have busy home lives and need to juggle priorities.”

David trained and served as a police officer for over 25 years in Merseyside Police before retraining on LJMU’s well-established part-time LLB. “I am a good example of someone who has benefited from the part-time law programme,” said David. “The degree gave me a good grounding in British law and allowed me to study while working, and inspired my passion in this fascinating and diverse subject.”

After graduating, David studied for an MPhil and PhD before becoming a lecturer and ultimately the programme leader for the LLB programmes.

“During my time running the part-time degree, I have met some wonderful people with great stories and lots of ambition who are truly inspiring in their outlook” 
Dr David Lowe

One student who is nearing the end of her part-time degree is Emmeli Sundqvist. Originally from Sweden, Emmeli has lived, studied and worked in Liverpool since 1997. After graduating with a degree in Philosophy from University of Liverpool, Emmeli worked with vulnerable young people and families alongside Liverpool Youth and Community Service and Liverpool Youth Offending Service. Emmeli would like to pursue a career as a barrister practising criminal and family law. By completing a part-time LLB degree she will be one step closer to reaching that goal.

“I love living in Liverpool and so really wanted to study in the city. When I researched the part-time degrees available in the area, LJMU’s part-time LLB really stood out and when I came in to talk to staff, their friendliness, openness and expertise made me confident that this was the right University for me,” said Emmeli.

Now in her final year, Emmeli found studying alongside her work and volunteer commitments to be quite a challenge but the facilities available at her disposal makes it a lot easier. “24 hour access to library facilities at LJMU makes it possible for me to work later so I don’t miss deadlines for handing in coursework, and because they are so close to my building, I am able to go straight from lectures to the library.”

The diversity of the 50 students currently studying across all degree levels is as inspiring as the course and teaching staff. David is proud of the diversity and commitment of his part-time students. “We have students who have retired and decided to take up learning a challenging subject. One of my students is a former asylum seeker from Iraq who escaped a dangerous country and is now in his final year of the degree. We have ex-police officers, working mums and others who have not taken the conventional route to studying for a degree. Each and every student is able, can cope with the demands of the curriculum and brings with them their own unique experience which enriches the experience for others on the course – particularly for mature students,” said David.

So if you were interested in studying for a law degree but don’t fancy taking the conventional full-time route, what could you expect to study and how could you fit studying around your other commitments?

Alexandra Pimor is a senior lecturer in the School of Law and lectures on the part-time LLB. “The course is similarly constructed to the full-time LLB, although it can take up to six years to complete rather than the standard three years for the full-time degree.

“In your first year we will teach you the basic Foundations of UK law and you will study core subjects such as Criminal Law and Legal Research,” said Alexandra.

 “From the second year onwards we will teach you core modules such as Land Law, Public Law, Obligations B, EU Law and Equity and Trusts. From the second year we also open up the world of option modules and one of our School’s unique selling points is the wide and diverse range of modules we offer students; from Sports Law and Sex, Crime and Security, to Employment Law and Mooting. This choice is important as it allows students to focus on a defined area of law or experience a wide-range of legal areas,” added Alexandra.

The choice of modules and the flexibility of the course aren’t the only benefits.

Lecturers in the School of Law come from a variety of backgrounds and have a wealth of experience at students’ disposal. Most lecturers are well published academics who bring their own primary research into the classroom. 

“Our students really will benefit, first-hand from our academic team’s excellence in research,” said David. “If you decide to take the Crime and Security in the EU option module, this is informed by my own current research and so if this is an area you have an interest in, you will greatly benefit from being taught by me.”

Students will also benefit from attending events focused on bringing in employers, legal practitioners and other experts, who give talks and share experiences. The LJMU Student Law Society runs employability events and students are encouraged to take part and join in. 

“All students need a degree of extra support and the School runs a mentor scheme for those who would like guidance and would prefer to speak to a fellow student rather than staff member,” said David.

The facilities available to students are first-class and a big benefit. The School of Law is now based in the £38 million Redmonds Building in the heart of Liverpool city centre’s Knowledge Quarter. It boasts state-of-the-art teaching rooms, IT suites, a mock court room, interview rooms, great social spaces and panoramic views over Liverpool. Students are only a short walk away from the Aldham Robarts Library, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and, as demonstrated by Emmeli, is a lifeline for part-time students.

Paying for studies

For some people, the perceived financial barriers can prevent part-time study.  The tuition fees for the LLB part-time programme are £6,750 per year; however loans are available to cover tuition fees.

As long as you meet the eligibility criteria for student finance you will not have to pay your tuition fees up front. Instead you can take out a non-means tested loan to cover the cost of your tuition fees. This will be repaid via the tax system once your income goes over £21,000. You will repay at the rate of 9% of any income over £21,000. This means for example that on a £22,000 income you will repay £7.50 per month.

  • To apply for a tuition fee loan and find out more information visit
  • You can also contact the LJMU Student Advice team for more information on 0151 904 6056/6057 or email:
  • If all this makes you want to study for a part-time degree in Law, the School would love to hear from you. Applications for starting the LLB Law part-time are still open for a September start and staff would welcome enquiries. We would even give you a tour of the Redmonds Building if you fancied a look around the School’s facilities.

Contacting us

If you would like to speak to someone about the course and LJMU as a place to study, contact our admissions team on 0151 231 5175, email or see our courses

Further information:


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