The Accelerated Legal Practice Course at BPP University Law School
If you secure a training contract with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Herbert Smith Freehills, Hogan Lovells, Norton Rose Fulbright or Slaughter and May (the Consortium), you will study the Accelerated Legal Practice Course (LPC) at BPP University Law School, one of the UK's leading providers of professional legal education.
The Legal Practice Course (LPC) is the vocational training programme for those intending to practise as solicitors. At BPP University Law School, we view the LPC as not only a qualification, but also the start of your career as a solicitor.
Why is the Accelerated LPC special?
The Consortium's Accelerated LPC was the first accelerated LPC to be launched in the country, but it is now not the LPC being taught at a faster pace. What makes the Consortium's Accelerated LPC special?
- It has been designed exclusively for students joining the Consortium firms and the content of each session has been specifically tailored to the needs of trainees at these firms.
- The Accelerated LPC has been designed to help students to develop a professional, work-like approach which will ease the transition from student to professional life.
- It is the only accelerated LPC where students are able to study in groups with students sponsored by other firms. Groups are made up of students sponsored by each of the five firms enabling students to build a network of contacts at similar firms to their own at the start of their professional careers.
- The programme started in August 2009 and has a long track-record of success.
- High satisfaction levels amongst students. To see quotes from former students click here.
- The programme is rigorous and challenging, yet the teaching and assessments are completed in just 6½ months (there is some pre-programme work to be completed) compared to the traditional LPC, which is completed over a period of 10 months.
- The partnership between BPP and the Consortium provides students with unrivalled links between their education and future legal careers.
If you are interested in studying at BPP University Law School but not intending to train at one of the five firms listed above, please refer to our main website (http://www.bpp.com/postgraduate-course-details/d/postgraduate/LPC/146) to see details of our other LPC programmes.
With two start dates available for (the last week in July/first week of August or the last week in January/first week of February), you can either begin the Accelerated LPC after your degree or GDL, or take time out before you start studying. The two start dates will also provide for the possibility of starting your training contract earlier once you have finished the programme (although this will be a matter to be decided by your firm).
Please note that the Accelerated LPC is not the same course as BPP's Fast Track or January start LPCs. Information regarding these LPCs is available on the BPP website (particularly course dates) does not apply to the Accelerated LPC. It is also not the same as the accelerated LPC we run for Allen & Overy and Clifford Chance sponsored students. The only information on the website that relates to the Consortium's Accelerated LPC is found in these pages. If you need more information, please contact [acceleratedLPCenquiries@bpp.com]. Please do not contact any of the general BPP enquiry lines as you may be given information which relates to BPP's other LPCs.
Whilst the contact teaching begins in August or February, you will be required to undertake significant study in July or January. However this can be done remotely at a time that fits in with any holiday/travel arrangements you may have. This material will be released in early June and December.
Please note that BPP are unable to reserve a place for you or decide which cohort you will be studying on. You will need to discuss your programme start date with your firm.
Full details of your term dates will be made available to you prior to your programme commencing. Please do not make any arrangements until we have confirmed your term dates with you. For a general guide to the course timelines, please see below:
|Pre-programme Study||Stage 1 teaching begins||Stage 1||Stage 1 exam period||Stage 2 teaching begins||Stage 2||Stage 2 exam period|
*Two week Christmas break falls in December during Stage 2.
|Pre-programme Study||Stage 1 teaching begins||Stage 1||Stage 1 exam period||Stage 2 teaching begins||Stage 2||Stage 2 exam period|
*Two week Easter break falls in March/April during Stage 1.
Since 2001, BPP has been closely involved with the Consortium of five firms in developing and delivering the LPC for their students. Since 2006, BPP University Law School has been the sole provider of the LPC for these firms. The Accelerated LPC has been designed in partnership with the Consortium to provide their future trainees with the best possible preparation for the start of their careers. BPP and representatives of the Consortium meet regularly to discuss the development and specific details of the programme, ensuring that the programme meets your needs as a trainee when you join.
Although the course is shorter, there is no significant reduction in content. The material is specifically tailored to the work you will be doing at your firm.
The Consortium firms design their in-house training programmes to dove-tail with the Accelerated LPC at BPP. This is to ensure a smooth transition into practice. Specialists from the firms regularly review each session to ensure the content is relevant and current to the work of their trainees. Through this feedback process, the Accelerated LPC could not be better suited to help prepare you for your training contract. For support, you will have consistent contact with your firm throughout your time at BPP University Law School. BPP will also provide Student Support [Link to section] during your studies.
The Accelerated LPC at BPP University Law School is split into two stages.
The Stage 1 modules use specifically designed client portfolios and simulated transactions to reflect the realities of practice. The three Core Practice Areas are studied in the context of these clients. Essential legal skills are practised in the context of and alongside relevant subjects and not as a self-contained block. This approach emphasises the relevance of these skills to the work of a lawyer.
Stage 2 is more specialised, with the modules specifically tailored to the work of the Consortium firms.
Core Practice Areas
- Business Law and Practice
- Property Law and Practice
- Litigation (with a focus on Civil Litigation)
- Practical Legal Research
- Interviewing and Advising
- Professional Conduct and Regulation
- Wills and Administration of Estates
- Corporate Transactions
- Debt Finance
- Equity Finance
As well as developing your knowledge of black-letter law, the programme is designed to enhance the skills (such as writing, drafting and advocacy) that you will need to succeed in practice.
We also place an emphasis on developing legal research skills - vital for dealing with an ever-changing body of law and when asked to research an unfamiliar legal area.
You will find a strong focus on commercial awareness during the delivery of the programme. This will provide you with grounding in business and finance which is essential for working life in a City practice.
How is the programme taught?
Your working week
During your studies at BPP University Law School we will help you to develop a professional, work-like approach. Unlike other LPCs, you will be expected to treat the course as a full working week and so you will be expected to attend five days a week. As a guide, you will be given 5 lectures and 6 small group sessions per week, generally delivered between 9am and 6pm. The sessions will vary in length as the needs of the subject matter dictates. Your timetable will vary week to week, again as required by the nature of the subject matter being covered in that week. Due to the nature of your workload, you should not take on any significant commitments during the course including any part-time work.
The programme is taught with a heavy emphasis on face-to-face teaching, which we and your firms believe is essential for success on the programme. You will be taught primarily by way of small group sessions (maximum 18 students). Small group sessions are based on student-centred learning in which students carry out activities based on the work of a trainee solicitor. In addition to these sessions, you will benefit from a comprehensive lecture programme, which is delivered by way of live lectures.
In addition to the face to face teaching, you will receive multimedia resources which will help you to reinforce the skills and knowledge that you acquire in class. For example, lectures will additionally be available to download, enabling you to access the recordings for consolidation and revision purposes.
The programme is assessed using a combination of written examinations and oral skills assessments spread throughout the programme. Formal assessments take place throughout the programme, with two main exam periods at the end of Stages 1 and 2.
We provide you with the following programme materials so you are fully prepared:
- mock assessments
- revision packs
- multiple choice practice questions
- consolidation activities
Feedback is also given throughout the programme to help you achieve success and maximise your potential.
Unlike other firm-specific courses, on the Accelerated LPC you will be mixed with trainees from all five of the Consortium firms both in lectures and small group sessions. This approach allows you to mix with students undertaking their training contracts at similar firms (not just your future colleagues), enabling you to gain invaluable contacts for your future legal career.
You will benefit from a high level of individual guidance and support to assist you in realising your full potential. You will be allocated a personal tutor and will have the opportunity to speak to a mentor.
The Accelerated LPC will be taught only at our Holborn Law School in London, which is the largest of our law schools.
Application Process - Law School
If you accept a training contract with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Herbert Smith Freehills, Hogan Lovells, Norton Rose Fulbright or Slaughter and May you are guaranteed a place at BPP UNIVERSITY Law School (Holborn branch) to study the Accelerated LPC. However, you must still go through the usual application procedure to take up your place at law school and this must be done via the Central Applications Board (CAB). This can be done online at www.lawcabs.ac.uk.
If you have any questions in relation to filling in the application form or generally about BPP University Law School, please contact Elizabeth Snewing (see paragraph 8 below for contact details).
When filling in the application form via CAB, please note the following instructions:
- Choice of institution - please put BPP University down as your first (and only) choice.
- Choice of branch - please put down London (Holborn).
- Reason for choice of teaching institution - please tick the 'Training Contract' box. Please specify (where indicated) that your training contract is with one of the Consortium Firms.
- Fees - please select the option marked 'Training Contract provider' and indicate your Sponsor from the drop down box.
- Please ignore the fact that the LPC is listed as LPC (LLM or MA LPC with Business) on the CAB online application form. Once you have applied you will be allocated by us to the Accelerated LPC.
- Other Information - BPP University will reserve you a place on the Accelerated LPC on the basis that you have a training contract with one of the Consortium Firms. You do not therefore have to give any further information here to support your application in this section.
- You do not need to provide a reference with your application although it is important to follow the instructions set out at this paragraph. The CAB application system may require you to provide the name of a referee and will forward your application on to them to complete a reference. You should therefore put Andrew Allen (Admissions Manager at BPP University) as your referee email@example.com as the email address and 020 3131 4739 as the phone number. As soon as your application form is received by BPP, Andrew Allen will exempt you from providing a reference and forward this on to CAB for immediate processing.
- You should fill in all other sections of the form, as requested.
- Questions - if you have any questions about the process of applying for the Accelerated LPC or generally about BPP University Law School please contact Cait McDonagh at BPP on 02078 557 130 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that as the Accelerated LPC is a bespoke course it does not appear on LawCABs. Please apply for the Law (LPC with Business) and our Admissions Team will transfer your application to the correct course.
Character and suitability issues
The SRA require disclosure of issues relating to character and suitability before a trainee commences a period of recognised training, and again on admission as a solicitor. If an individual does have character and suitability issues to assess, they should apply to the SRA at least six months before they start training, to avoid any delays. Training cannot commence until the assessment has taken place.
Students who have character and suitability issues may want an early assessment, before they embark on the CPE or LPC, and the SRA have retained the power to undertake these early assessments.
Head to the SRA website for further details.
Frequently asked questions
Do I need to study the GDL before I start the LPC?
If you have studied a qualifying law degree (QLD), no. If you are not sure whether your degree is a QLD, the SRA maintains the list of QLDs at http://www.sra.org.uk/students/courses/qualifying-law-degree-providers.page. It is your responsibility to check with the SRA that your law degree is a QLD. If you have studied some modules of the Law of England and Wales (or of law of other jurisdictions that are equivalent to English Law) but have not studied all seven core modules from a QLD then you may be exempt from some modules of the GDL.
If you have not studied a QLD but believe that you are entitled to a full exemption from the GDL, then you need to apply to the SRA. Please see http://www.sra.org.uk/students/resources/equivalent-means-information-pack.page for more details. If you need to study the GDL but wish to apply for an exemption from specific modules, you will need to apply to BPP.
Can I take on a part-time job during the course?
Due to the nature of the course, you should not consider taking on part-time work.
I will need to be absent from the course for a period of time. Will this be possible?
Any proposed absence from the course should be discussed with the sponsoring firm.
How do I apply?
You will need to apply for the course through the Central Applications Board. .
Will I need a visa?
If you are a non-EU/EEA national you will need a visa that allows you to study in the UK. Most students will apply for a General Student Visa (Tier 4 visa under the Points Based System (PBS)) to study in the UK. Under the PBS, you must be sponsored by an institution such as BPP University, which is registered with the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as a Highly Trusted Sponsor. Students who hold a Tier 4 visa cannot normally switch to another institution without first applying for a new visa.
There are other visa types (for example Dependent Visa, Post Study Work Visa), which will also allow you to study in the UK. If you are already in the UK and hold a visa, the international office at BPP University will advise you if your status will allow you to study with us or if you have to apply for a TIER 4 visa.
For information on visas, how to apply, guidance notes and application forms, please visit the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) website
Anyone who applies for a TIER 4 visa to study in the UK must include with their visa application a unique Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number, linking them to the institution where they intend to study. If you are a non-EU/EEA national and will be studying on the Accelerated LPC, BPP University will issue you with a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) in order to enable you to apply for a Tier 4 General Student Visa. You will only be issued with a CAS number once you have accepted an offer of a place.
Will I be able to select a morning or afternoon timetable?
Due to the nature of the course, this is not possible. Students are provided with a copy of their timetable on the first day of the course and you should assume you will be required in the Law School Monday to Friday between the hours of 9am and 6pm.
I am concerned that I may have a character and suitability issue. How can I check?
This area is regulated by the SRA. More details can be found here. http://www.sra.org.uk/students/student-enrolment/character-suitability-guidance.page
If you are not sure, then you should take a cautious approach and assume that it is. Please contact the SRA for further details.
I am a BPTC graduate. Can I claim exemptions from elements of the Accelerated LPC?
BPTC graduates cannot claim exemptions from modules of the Accelerated LPC. The Accelerated LPC modules are tailored to the requirements of the Consortium firms, and contain content not covered on the BPTC. It is important that all Accelerated LPC students study all the modules developed in conjunction with the firms.
I have read all this information but still have a question. Who do I ask?
Please contact [acceleratedLPCenquiries@bpp.com]. Please do not contact any of the general BPP enquiry lines as you may be given information which relates to other LPCs at BPP.
Quotes from former students
- Working with individuals from five different firms means you go into the city with diverse group of friends. The consortium works brilliantly.
- Whilst the programme has been jam packed, I am really glad of the timescale within which I have completed it. The pace was absolutely fine and I did not find myself bored at any point.
- It was intense but very efficient and works well in 7 months.
- Feel more confident about what activities I will undertake as a trainee and feel that I have more commercial knowledge
- The quality of teaching was at a very high standard and every single one of the tutors I had was fun and made each subject a pleasant learning experience
- The most positive aspect of my Accelerated LPC experience is knowing that what I learn in class every day is directly applicable to my future career. It is reassuring to know that the course has been specifically designed in conjunction with my law firm, so I am aware of the kinds of things that will be expected of me and the type of work I will be doing when I start my training contract. The tutors have been very helpful in providing advice regarding the role of trainees day to day.
- The tutors have all practised and the practical information has been invaluable. Also we have got to form meaningful working relationships and friendships with other people in the consortium firms.
- I feel that to learn a substantial amount of material in a concise and challenging environment is good preparation for the time pressures of a Training Contract.
- I enjoyed the course a lot more than I thought I would when I started it in July. It was very engaging and I have learnt a lot. I am still nervous about my first day in the office, but a lot less nervous than I would have been had I started in July without the LPC.
- Glad I did it in 6 months. Lots of work but achievable.
- The course has been really stimulating and enjoyable. I would much rather do this than the full time LPC.