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Legal Practice (PgDip)

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Mode: Full time

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Why study this course

Acquire the skills, knowledge and attitude to prepare you for the start of a legal training contract.

The Legal Practice Course (LPC) offers intensive, post graduate-level study to those who wish to qualify as a solicitor in England and Wales. To become fully qualified after completion of the LPC, you will need to undertake a two year training contract, which is a period of recognised work-based training.

The LPC will ensure that you acquire the skills, knowledge and attitude to prepare you for the start of the training contract. It will equip you to deal with the demands that are likely to be made of you in practice, and lay the foundation for your future practice as a solicitor by encouraging habits of competence, confidence and professionalism.

Note: If you are worried that you may have a “character and suitability” issue which may prevent you from qualifying as a solicitor, you can ask the SRA to assess this before you start the Course. Please visit the SRA website for further guidance. 

Distinctive features

  • Our Legal Practice Course has a long tradition of excellence, having been established in 1993.
  • We offer a guaranteed work placement for all students without training contracts or substantial work experience.
  • There is flexibility within the full-time course to study both Stages in combination, or apply to do only the core elements (Stage One) or one or more elective subjects (Stage Two) at different times.

Accreditations

Where you'll study

School of Law and Politics

Our vibrant student body combined with highly qualified academic staff provides the perfect environment to explore the dynamic and fast-paced fields of law, politics and international relations.

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  • Telephone+44 (0)29 2087 6106
  • MarkerMuseum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX

Admissions criteria

Applications for this course must be made via the Central Applications Board (“CAB”) website.

Suitable for graduates with a UK Qualifying law degree (usually a 2.2 or above) or with a non-law degree (usually a 2.2 or above) and the GDL/CPE. Subject to those, the following criteria will be taken into account:

  • academic record
  • the applicant’s personal statement
  • reference from the applicant’s referee
  • degree of commitment to the legal profession (shown, by example, by placements with solicitors’ firms or equivalent experience)
  • general work experience
  • reasons for wanting to study the LPC at Cardiff
  • date on which the application is received by Cardiff University
  • order of preference of institution and
  • any special personal reasons affecting ability to study elsewhere.

English Language Requirement: IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with 6.5 in writing and no less than 6.0 in all other subscores, or an acceptable equivalent.

Application deadlines 2020/21 entry

Although applications to the CAB close on 31 July 2020, Cardiff University operates an initial deadline of 30 April 2020 due to competition for places. It is strongly recommended that you ensure that your application is received by Cardiff University in advance of this date. Applications open on 1 October 2019 and the earlier you apply the greater your chance of receiving an offer. Offers will be made up to such time as we have filled our places. This may be before 30 April 2020. Please note that Cardiff University has, in recent years, filled all its places by the initial deadline. Applications received after the 30 April may be considered for entry if places are still available.

Please note that applications are only received by Cardiff University when they have been released to us by the CAB. The CAB will only release applications to us once the application form has been submitted, a reference received by the CAB (where required by the CAB) and the application fee paid. It is therefore recommended that all these things are completed well in advance of 30 April in order to meet the initial deadline. In particular, please contact your referee to ensure both their willingness and availability to provide a reference in good time.

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements

Criminal convictions

You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course.

If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • access to computers or devices that can store images
  • use of internet and communication tools/devices
  • curfews
  • freedom of movement
  • contact with people related to Cardiff University.

Course structure

The LPC is divided into two stages: Stage1 and Stage 2. These stages may be studied separately but nearly all students study Stage 1 and Stage 2 combined. Stage 1 begins in September and finishes in March. Stage 2 begins in March and ends in June.

The course begins with a Foundation Course designed to set the stage for the rest of Stage 1. In the Foundation Course you are introduced to course skills, to core practice areas and to other elements of the LPC, such as Professional Conduct and Regulation. In addition to the standard elements of the LPC, we also offer a short, optional course on Advocacy in Welsh (Eiriolaeth yn y Gymraeg).

In Stage 1 you will study three core practice areas:

  • Business Law and Practice
  • Property Law and Practice
  • Litigation

along with:

  • Professional Conduct and Regulation
  • Solicitors’ Accounts
  • Wills and the Administration of Estates
  • Taxation 

You will also study and practise the Course Skills:

  • Practical Legal Research
  • Writing
  • Drafting
  • Interviewing and Advising
  • Advocacy

In Stage 2 you will study three vocational electives. We keep our range of elective courses under review and offer a range of subjects to choose from. 

 

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2020/21 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2020.

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.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

Teaching is conducted in large and small group lessons. Large groups take the form of lectures to all students and each large group lasts one hour. Most large group lessons are pre-recorded and accessed online, but some large groups are delivered live and are scheduled on the timetable.

Small group teaching will be timetabled in groups of up to 16-18 students although you may be organised into smaller groups for the purpose of some lessons. Small group lessons are usually scheduled to take place for two hours, although some may be of two and a half or three hours duration. Attendance at small group sessions is compulsory.

A distinctive feature of the LPC is that a substantial part of the time devoted to classroom practice overall will involve you in the exercise of the Course Skills.

How will I be assessed?

The LPC assessments are designed to be fair, rigorous, realistic and provide sufficient depth and/or breadth of coverage of the skills and subjects assessed. Individual assessments will cover a representation of the outcomes in the particular subject or skills area. A practical emphasis will appear throughout.

There are formative assessments for each of the Stage one subjects and skills. These formative assessments help you to adjust to the different requirements of the assessments on a vocational, as opposed to, an academic course.

There are 14 summative assessments, assessing all of the compulsory Stage one subjects and skills and the three vocational electives. All assessments are supervised, except for the assessment in Practical Legal Research, which takes the form of written coursework.

Most of the supervised assessments are open book written examinations but there are supervised oral skills assessments in Advocacy, Interviewing and Advising and Wills and the Administration of Estates.

How will I be supported?

Your learning will be supported through e-learning; all modules are supported by Learning Central, a virtual learning environment that is available on and off campus through which you will access a wide range of materials for your modules. We provide most of the lesson materials in electronic form as well as in hard copy. We also make available recordings of large groups via Learning Central.

You will receive dedicated pastoral support through our personal tutor scheme. We offer an extensive programme of careers lectures and workshops with a specialist Careers Advisor. A designated Disability and Diversity Officer ensures that reasonable adjustments are made for students with disabilities. The University also has a range of services to support you, including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service and excellent libraries with specialist law librarians and resource centres.  

Feedback

Feedback is regarded as a priority and is intended to raise your levels of competence.  You will have formative assessments in the Stage one subjects and comprehensive feedback on those formatives, to help you prepare for the summative assessments.  You will be given feedback for all oral skills practices.  You will also receive feedback from your tutor in the small group sessions as the course progresses and feedback from your fellow students.

What skills will I practise and develop?

Within the curriculum, you will develop your ability to undertake independent learning and team-working skills. Communication skills are developed in small groups, where you will be required to work collaboratively on problems and tasks. The emphasis on the course is on the application of legal knowledge to simulated factual situations, giving advice to the client and undertaking tasks according to the client’s instructions.

The LPC is a practical course and you need to analyse the facts to identify the relevant issues on which the client needs advice; identify the relevant law and procedure; apply the relevant law and procedure to the relevant facts and advise the client, clearly and fully, taking into account the rules of professional conduct and the commercial and business needs of the client. 

Outside the curriculum you will have the opportunity to develop wider employability skills through participation in the school’s Law in Action pro-bono schemes run with partner organisations, in which student volunteers assist real people in their dealings with the law. Some examples of the schemes currently available to students include: 

  • Law in Justice: the Innocence Project (dealing with alleged miscarriages of justice);
  • Law in Healthcare: the NHS Continuing Healthcare Scheme (helping families claim back care home fees that arguably should have been covered by the NHS);
  • Law in Sport: the Rugby Union Project (providing legal advice and legal newsletters to rugby clubs);
  • Law in Court: the Personal Support Unit (PSU) (offering practical support and assistance to people at court, in family and civil matters); and
  • Law in Mental Health: the Hafal Appropriate Adult Scheme (students are trained to support vulnerable adults being interviewed after having been arrested).

Other activities include mooting, negotiating and client interviewing competitions.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2020/21)

Tuition feeDeposit
£14,700£1,000

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

EU students entering in 2020/21 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course. Please be aware that fees may increase annually in line with inflation. The Welsh Government has not yet confirmed fees and funding for EU students starting in 2021/22. We will provide further details as soon as we can.

Students from outside the EU (2020/21)

Tuition feeDeposit
£18,200£1,000

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Additional costs

The course fees cover the cost of the books and materials that you will need for the course, and these are provided to you. You do not need to purchase any other books for the course.

For oral skills assessments and for advocacy practices you are required to wear suitable office clothing (such as a business suit).

There are referral fees and re-enrolment fees for students who fail assessments and who have to take referrals as external resit students.

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

We provide you with commercially published LPC manuals for most subjects. In those subjects for which there is no commercially published manual you will be supplied with sets of notes that we have prepared. These manuals and notes comprise most reference needs, with other resources being available in the Library or online. You are not expected to buy other texts. The manuals (or notes) set out the basic law and procedure in the areas they cover. In addition to the books you are given, you will be given other materials prepared by the course teams. These include timetables, lesson plans, lesson handouts and assessment material.

Career prospects

After completion of the LPC, you will be able to undertake a training contract/period of recognised training, in preparation for qualification as a solicitor.

The LPC may also lead to legal work in some other capacity, e.g. paralegal, with the option of obtaining a training contract at a later date.

Funding

Postgraduate Master’s Finance

If you’re starting your master’s degree in September 2020 or later, you may be able to apply for postgraduate student finance to support your study at Cardiff University.

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