MA in Legal Practice (Legal Practice Course) structure

MA in Legal Practice (Legal Practice Course) can be studied on a full time basis over 1 year or on a part time basis over 2 years.

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Full-time study

The full-time MA in Legal Practice (Legal Practice Course) is taught in two vocational stages followed by a dissertation*, and lasts one year if you take Stages 1 and 2 together. The course starts on the first Monday of September until the following August including assessments, with timetabled sessions currently running Monday to Thursday (for stage 1).

At certain times of the year you will be expected to attend additional sessions on Fridays and outside of your normal workshops.

You can expect to have on average 10 hours per week of formal contact time in workshops. We also expect you to spend time on independent study preparing for workshops and assessments. 

Stage 1 (September - February)

Stage 1 consists of the core practice areas of:

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

Within the core practice areas, you can choose options so you can tailor your course to meet the requirements of the size and type of practice you want. You can choose options that are suitable for either commercial practice or general practice as the case may be.

In addition to the core practice areas, you will also cover:

Practical legal research Interviewing and advising Writing
Drafting  Advocacy Solicitors’ Accounts
Professional Conduct and Regulation Wills and the Administration of Estates Research training in preparation for your dissertation
 
Stage 2 (March - June)

This consists of three elective subjects from a choice of ten. The electives have been designed to introduce you to the needs of specialist practice. There is a wide range of electives so you can enter the size and type of practice you want.

Type of Practice

Your choice of electives may depend upon the type of practice you wish to join. It is possible to choose commercial electives to tailor your MA in Legal Practice to suit a large corporate practice, or to choose electives that you are more likely to encounter in a small to medium-sized firm.

Similarly, you may choose to group your electives into categories that fit the style of work or type of clients that you would like to deal with. For instance, if you like the idea of conducting advocacy in the courts or tribunals, the table below will give you an idea as to the electives that you should consider.

You will be given plenty of opportunities to speak to your tutors about your elective choices, but the best advice we can give at the moment is to choose what you think you will enjoy.

Advisory Individuals and their problems Advocacy Commercial
Acquisitions and Mergers Commercial Law Commercial Litigation Acquisitions and Mergers
Commercial Law Commercial Property Criminal Litigation Commercial Law
Commercial Property Criminal Litigation Employment Law Commercial Litigation
Corporate Finance Employment Law Family Law Commercial Property
Private Client Family Law Personal Injury Corporate Finance
  Personal Injury    
  Private Client    
Dissertation (Submitted in August)

Your dissertation can be up to 12,000 words in length, and you can pick any topic that interests you as long as it is related to an aspect of legal practice. Further guidance will be given in the research methods seminars.

You will be paired with your dissertation supervisor. They will be available to answer queries by email and are also available to meet you on three occasions.

*Should you decide not to complete the dissertation but complete the remainder of the course successfully, you will be awarded the PG Diploma in Legal Practice (which satisfies the vocational requirements).

Stage 1 and Stage 2 together or separately?

You can choose to take Stages 1 and 2 of the full-time MA in Legal Practice together, so they follow on from each other, or you take Stage 2 separately from Stage 1. Whilst we anticipate most people will take Stages 1 and 2 together, you can take Stage 2 later if you would prefer.


Part-time study

If you decide to take the course part-time, you will study for both stages 1 and 2 over the two years. Each year of the course runs from early September to June, with year one starting on the Friday before the first Monday in September (this is usually the Friday of the August Bank Holiday week).

During the course you will generally be required to come in for one day a week, which allows you the rest of the week to gain valuable work experience to enhance your CV and employability. In addition to this you will be expected to undertake private study and e-learning exercises through the course.

There are some assessments throughout the two year period that you will have to attend that are timetabled on a different weekday but you will be notified of these in advance.

Workshops are timetabled between 9:00 and 17:00.

Year One

Stage 1

You will study the core practice area of:

  • Property Law and Practice
  • Litigation

You will also cover:

Drafting Professional Conduct and Regulations
Interviewing and advising Practical Legal Research
Advocacy Research training in preparation for your dissertation

Stage 2

You will study one elective from the following:

Commercial Property Employment Law
Criminal Litigation Personal Injury
Commercial Litigation Family Law
Year Two

Stage 1

You will study the core practice area of Business Law and Practice.

You will also cover:

Writing Wills and the Administration of Estates
Solicitors’ Accounts  

Stage 2

You will study two electives from the following.

Commercial Law Commercial Property  Criminal Litigation
Employment Law Personal Injury Commercial Litigation
Family Law Acquisitions and Mergers Corporate Finance
Private Client    
Type of Practice

Your choice of electives may depend upon the type of practice you wish to join. It is possible to choose commercial electives to tailor your MA in Legal Practice to suit a large corporate practice, or to choose electives that you are more likely to encounter in a small to medium sized firm.

Similarly, you may choose to group your electives into categories that fit the style of work or type of clients that you would like to deal with. For instance, if you like the idea of conducting advocacy in the courts or tribunals, the table below will give you an idea as to the electives that you should consider.

You will be given plenty of opportunity to speak to your tutors about your elective choices, but the best advice we can give at the moment is to choose what you think you will enjoy.

Advisory Individuals and their problems Advocacy Commercial
Acquisitions and Mergers Commercial Law Commercial Litigation Acquisitions and Mergers
Commercial Law Commercial Property Criminal Litigation Commercial Law
Commercial Property Criminal Litigation Employment Law Commercial Litigation
Corporate Finance Employment Law Family Law Commercial Property
Private Client Family Law Personal Injury Corporate Finance
  Personal Injury    
  Private Client    
Dissertation (Submitted in August of your second year)

Your dissertation can be up to 12,000 words in length, and you can pick any topic that interests you as long as it is related to an aspect of legal practice. Further guidance will be given in the research methods seminars.

The tutor who teaches the research methods seminars will also be your dissertation supervisor. They will be available to answer queries by email and are also available to meet you on three occasions.