- Course summary
- Course detail
- Entry requirements
- Fees and funding
- How to apply
- During the course
- Teaching staff
- What our students say
- Jobs and placements
- Career and study progression
The Legal Practice Course (or 'LPC') is the first stage of a solicitor's professional training. It is an intensive, practical course designed to equip you with the law, procedure and legal skills you will need in order to work as a solicitor or trainee solicitor.
At UWL we are now offering the LPC as part of a Masters' degree – the LLM Legal Practice Course. This incorporates both stages 1 and 2 of the LPC – the professional qualification you will need to become a solicitor. You can, however, choose only to do stages 1 and 2, without the additional LLM elements. You will then exit with the traditional Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice.
Why choose this course?
We are validated and monitored by the Solicitors Regulation Authority ('SRA') and receive excellent feedback from our students, so you can feel confident in the quality and standards of our course.
You will receive the training and support you need in order to become an effective trainee solicitor. In addition you will be able to access legal work experience opportunities as well as guidance and expertise from previous LPC graduates who are now working as trainees or qualified solicitors.
The LLM Legal Practice course offers LPC students an optional Masters module on top of the modules required for the traditional professional Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice. Students will be given the opportunity to study Research Methodology and to research and write a 15,000 word dissertation on an area related to legal practice. This is not a requirement for training as a solicitor and students can choose whether to do this additional module or whether to exit with the standard Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice.
This course is run by the School of Law and Criminology to provide you with both the high-quality teaching and the personal attention you need to make the most of your University education.
The LLM Legal Practice staff includes:
Jane Stevens, who has peer reviewed proposed publications relating to property practice on behalf of Oxford University Press. Jane’s professional practice as a solicitor included property and landlord and tenant work, which are her main specialisms on the LPC.
Sue Boyall, who is a commercial property solicitor with over 20 years' experience in central London private practice, including over 10 years at Forsters LLP. Currently in practice as a solicitor with Excello Law - a national dispersed model law firm.
Karen Shury, who is a family law solicitor with over 25 years' experience in private practice. She is actively involved with Brentford and Chiswick Citizens Advice Bureau and as a Mediator at Barnet County Court.
The Guardian University Guide 2012 ranked us as the top modern London-based law school.
The professional qualification
To complete the professional qualification you must pass stages one and two of the LPC within five years. Most students do both stages together (the Postgraduate Diploma) but you can do stage one (the Postgraduate Certificate) then do stage two later (provided this is within five years). This means you spread the cost of the course over several years rather than paying the fees in one year.
If you have been unsuccessful in stage 1 at another institution then you can repeat stage 1 with us. If you pass this and your elective subjects, you can be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma. There is also an opportunity for you to be accredited by the University for any electives you have successfully passed within the five year time limit at another institution authorised to run the LPC.
Stage one modules are compulsory:
- Criminal and Civil Litigation
- Property Law and Practice
- Business Law and Practice
- Professional Conduct and Regulation
- Wills and Administration of Estates
- Legal Skills: Advocacy, Interviewing and Advising, Drafting, Practical Legal Research and Writing
- Solicitors Accounts
- Taxation (taught and assessed in context)
For stage two, you will study three options (“vocational electives”), usually from the following:
- Commercial Leases
- Employment Law and Practice
- Family Law and Practice
- Housing and Residential Landlord and Tenant Law
- Immigration Law and Practice
The optional Masters qualification
If you study your LPC with us, you can also choose to do the additional Research Methodology and Dissertation module. If successful in this and all other elements of the course, you will exit with the LLM in Legal Practice, rather than the Postgraduate Diploma.
Stage one of the course starts in early September with a full week's foundation course. We use workshops to introduce you to the skills of interviewing and advising clients, legal writing, drafting, taxation, and professional conduct and regulation.
After this week, you will start your stage one studies. If you are studying part-time, you will do the first part of stage one from September to February in your first year, and the second part from September to February in your second year.
In year one, part-time students usually attend on a Tuesday between 10am and 5pm for stage one. In year two this usually swops to a Thursday between 10am and 5pm, with another class on a Wednesday evening from 6pm to 8pm.
Attendance in stage two is half a day per elective studied, from March - May, followed by exams in June. Elective subjects are spread over Tuesday - Thursday in each week and run subject to availability and demand.
If you choose to take the Research Methodology and Dissertation module you will do this in year 2 from March - May together with your remaining electives, and then complete your dissertation over the summer.
All applications for the part-time course can be made direct to the University of West London online via our website.
Applicants should have one of the following:
- A qualifying law degree, usually 2:2 or above
- A Common Professional Examination/Graduate Diploma in Law pass, usually with an average of at least 50%.
Character and Suitability Requirements
The route to qualification as a solicitor in England and Wales also requires successfully meeting the requirements expressed in the SRA's Suitability Test.
This test is to ensure that any individual admitted as a solicitor has the honesty, integrity and professionalism expected of a solicitor and does not pose a risk to the public or the profession. You are assessed before you can start a period of recognised training and when you apply for admission as a solicitor.
If you believe that you have a character and suitability issue, for example a finding of plagiarism made against you while at university, or a criminal conviction, you are advised to disclose this and to be assessed before you embark on a Legal Practice Course as it could affect your chances of qualifying later on. Every case is considered on its merits. The SRA will ask for written confirmation of the relevant issues, and you may be asked to appear before a Solicitors Regulation Authority adjudicator to explain your situation.
To have your character and suitability assessed early you need to complete the application for Eligibility to commence a period of recognised training. There is a fee payable to the SRA.
Failure to disclose convictions and other issues is a serious matter, and may result in refusal of admission as a solicitor in England and Wales.
For more advice regarding the SRA's requirements, please consult the information on the SRA website: www.sra.org.uk/students.
Full-time LPC, Stages 1 and 2 Combined £10,950
Full-time LPC, Stage 1 only £8,200
Full time LPC, Stage 2 only £2,750
Part-time LPC Year 1 only (2017-2018)
Part-time LPC, Stage 1 part 1 £4,100*
Part-time LPC, Stage 2 - per elective £950*
Fees for completing the LPC in year 2 (LPC Stage 1 part 2 and remaining stage 2 electives) will normally be subject to an inflationary increase.
A range of loans, bursaries and scholarships are available to help you fund your studies.
Students on some Masters courses may be eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Loan of up to £10,000 as a contribution towards their course and living costs. Find out how to apply for a Postgraduate Loan on GOV.UK
Other loans available to postgraduate students include Professional and Career Development Loans, which also allow you to borrow up to £10,000. Find out more about Loans on GOV.UK
Additional funding is available to some types of students, such as disabled students. Find out more about funding opportunities
Within the university, we offer a range of scholarships and bursaries. In the 2017 - 18 academic year, they included:
- The William Brake Bursary: a £1,000 award for candidates on undergraduate or postgraduate degree courses
- The Mollie Clay Scholarship: a £2,500 scholarship awarded to an outstanding student
- Exclusive alumni discounts: a £2,000 discount on taught postgraduate courses or a 10% discount on research courses, exclusive to students who graduated from the University of West London.
Other scholarships are also available, including awards for specific subjects. Find out more and check your eligibility.
Please note fees are paid for each year of study unless otherwise stated. You will be required to re-enrol and pay fees at the beginning of each academic year. Fees may be subject to government regulations on fee increases. Future inflationary increases will be applied to each subsequent year of the course, subject to government regulations on fee increases.
How to apply
Part-time LPC applications should be made directly to UWL. All applications for the full-time course must be made through the Central Applications Board online at www.lawcabs.ac.uk.
- You should set out clearly on your application form how you meet the SRA and University of West London's entry criteria.
- In your personal statement you should explain why you wish to become a solicitor and set out any legal or other work experience you have undertaken and the skills you believe you have acquired through previous study and work experience.
- You need to apply to the course during the academic year preceding entry. You should be aware of the SRA requirements on character and suitability which the SRA will check prior to you commencing a period of recognised training and before qualification. For more information please check the character and suitability information in the student information pack on the SRA’s website.
- The LPC starts at the beginning of September and you should be ready to enrol before the end of August.
- It is important to accept your offer promptly to secure your place and to ensure that you are in time to receive the pre-course reading pack and other important information.
During the course
You will have opportunities to meet and network with local solicitors and trainees through our close connections with the Middlesex Law Society and our LPC graduates who are now in practice. You will also have opportunities to apply for a range of legal work experience opportunities and to take part in the Law School's free legal advice clinic, run jointly with Ealing Equality Council.
Our Careers and Employment Service provides careers workshops tailored for our LPC students, as well as practical, individual help with applications and interviews for a training contract. You will have this support available to you for up to three years after you complete the LPC, and indefinitely if you join the Alumni association.
There is a large dedicated LPC teaching room equipped with PCs and a specialist Legal Practice area in the Paul Hamlyn Library, for private study. The library is modern, large and well-equipped for private and group study and provides access to PCs, electronic resources and practitioner texts. You also have remote access to a comprehensive range of electronic legal research and course resources via the internet.
Our teaching is very practice-based and delivered mainly through small group sessions. These give you experience of both legal tasks and legal skills that closely simulate the work of a real legal office. You will act for specific 'clients' and see their cases through from beginning to end.
The LPC is a very intensive course. Throughout, we aim to give our students considerable support, both formally through the personal tutor system and informally, through the regular and frequent contact students have with members of the teaching team and the course administrator. We give a high priority to detailed feedback on the exercises and tasks you undertake. All assessments and class based activities are followed by feedback, to help you understand what is expected of you and to help you progress to the required level of attainment.
What our students say
Maria Sorica - LPC
'I chose UWL because it’s rated as one of the best for LPC and the reviews from former students really convinced me that it was the place to go. It’s lived up to my expectations.
The School of Law and Criminology is an organised and friendly place. I’ve made friends for life and I couldn’t have asked for anything more in getting a professional qualification.'
Charlie Rose - LPC
'UWL has been really good for networking, there are many work experience opportunities you can take part in and you can meet practising solicitors, barristers and legal professionals one-to-one at events on campus.
I particularly enjoyed the practical side of the course. It's been a good way of understanding the law beyond what you read about in books. The LPC builds upon the knowledge you gain from undergraduate studies and I've enjoyed the more active side of learning. The lecturers are really helpful in taking the time and discussing different career paths with you. They're all approachable and happy to help you at any time.'
Jobs and placements
We know how important it is for your future career to get good quality legal work experience on your CV and therefore we provide opportunities for you to participate in legal work experience with firms, qualified alumni and with charities from the legal sector such as the Personal Support Unit, which provides help to people representing themselves in the Civil and Family courts.
In addition you will have the opportunity to become involved with the Law School's Community Advice Programme – a free legal advice clinic run in conjunction with Ealing Equality Council. Other legal work experience opportunities are advertised by employers directly with our Careers and Employment Service and these are posted electronically for you on our LPC Community site.