Legal Practice (LLM)

The programme is open to students who have successfully completed the LPC, BPTC or BVC qualifications. This is a dissertation-only programme, entailing research within an area of law related to professional practice.

The LLM in Legal Practice is open only to students who have successfully completed either the Legal Practice Course (LPC), Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) or its predecessor course, the Bar Vocational Course (BVC), whether at Cardiff University or another recognised institution.

The course is designed to further develop legal knowledge and skills beyond the requirements of the LPC, BPTC or BVC qualifications. For those pursuing the LLM after experience of legal practice, the course provides an opportunity to extend your knowledge, reflect upon professional practice and fulfil professional development requirements.

With the support and guidance of a dissertation supervisor, you will be encouraged to develop an independent, critical and thorough treatment of your research topic. You will write a sustained, critical exposition of the relevant law and present your analysis, findings and reasoned conclusions clearly, logically and coherently.

Distinctive features

  • Distance learning programme.
  • Assessment by dissertation only.

Key facts

Next intakeJanuary 2019
Duration2 years
ModePart-time - distance learning
Admission Tutor contact(s)

Admissions criteria

  • Academic Criteria: An Honours degree (normally Class 2:2 or above), and
  • Successful completion of the LPC, BPTC (or its predecessor the BVC) at a recognised institution within 3 years prior to entry.

Applicants whose LPC, BPTC or BVC qualifications were completed outside the three year period set out above may also be admitted to the programme provided the applicant is able to provide evidence of recent experience in the practice of law which demonstrates their suitability for the programme.

Students whose first language is not English or Welsh will also need to obtain an IELTS score of at least 6.5 for direct entry to the programme with a minimum of 6.5 in the skill of writing and a minimum of 6.0 in all of the sub-skills. Alternatively, successful completion of the LPC or BPTC within 3 years of entry to the programme will satisfy the English Language requirements.

Early application is strongly advised. Applications for each January should be received before the end of the preceding October.

There is no attendance requirement. You will access online introductory sessions and prepare a research proposal within the first six weeks of the course.

The course proceeds by way of self-directed learning with support from a dissertation supervisor.

You are expected to agree a schedule of meetings with your dissertation supervisor (either face to face or equivalent levels of contact via electronic communication) up to a maximum of four hours spread over the year.

The dissertation must be submitted within 52 weeks from the official start of the course.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2018/19 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2018.

Year one

Year two

Module titleModule codeCredits
LLM in Legal Practice Dissertation JanuaryCLT96160 credits
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

The course does not include taught sessions. You will have access to online guidance materials and a range of electronic legal resources including legal databases. You will be assigned a dissertation supervisor. 

How will I be supported?

Supervision is set at four designated intervals during the year (February, April, July and October).


In addition to receiving feedback on your research proposal, you will have the opportunity of obtaining feedback on a 1,000 word extract (to be submitted in July) and a 2,000 word extract (to be submitted in October). 

How will I be assessed?

 A dissertation of not more than 15,000 words.

What skills will I practise and develop?

In addition to intellectual and knowledge specific skills, you will:

  • engage in independent research;
  • use, interpret and analyse research sources;
  • structure written material in a clear and effective way;
  • communicate complex ideas accurately, effectively and lucidly in written prose at a standard appropriate for academic purposes with a legal focus;
  • acquire a detailed and systematic knowledge of the research topic as it relates to professional practice including a critical awareness of current issues and developments in the subject and the profession;
  • work independently, demonstrating organisational skills and an ability to manage your time effectively.

Successful completion of the course will demonstrate a range of intellectual and practical skills which have direct relevance to legal practice. 

As this programme is three years or over in duration and has a one year full time equivalent you will not be eligible for a postgraduate loan. The UK Government has more information about eligibility for postgraduate loans.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2018/19)

Fees for entry 2018/19 are not yet available. Please get in touch if you want to be notified when they become available.

Students from outside the EU (2018/19)

Fees for entry 2018/19 are not yet available. Please get in touch if you want to be notified when they become available.

Additional costs

The course fee does not include the cost of binding your dissertation, which you will need to pay separately.  

Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?

Apart from access to a computer, you do not require any specific equipment for this course.