lpc students in a classroom

Legal Practice Course (MA in Legal Practice)

Overview
Start date: September
Duration:

1 year full-time (FT)
2 years part-time (PT)

Course code: LAWT71 (FT)
LAWT72 (PT)
Course fees:

See Postgraduate Taught Fees Look Up


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There was a wide variety of elective modules to  choose from, and I picked those which particularly interested me and will be directly relevant to the type of law I hope to practise in.

EMMA SWEETMAN, LPC

The LPC trains you to Masters standard, allowing you to develop an excellent academic understanding in an area of law and practice whilst also providing you with the vocational qualification you need in order to go on to practise as a solicitor.

Why choose our Legal Practice Course?

  • Unique - Sheffield is the only Russell Group University in England to offer the LPC.
  • Expert - teaching is designed and delivered by qualified solicitors.
  • Support - a personal tutor provides individual support throughout your studies.
  • Flexible - full-time or part-time study, plus a range of options and electives to tailor the course to your interests.
  • Academic - not only the first stage of your professional qualification, our LPC is also a Masters programme.
  • Practical - hone your practical legal skills by helping us deliver workshops, competing in client interviewing contests, and hearing directly from the leading firms with whom we have strong links.
  • Alumni discount - 10% fee discount for self-financing Sheffield alumni.

Our LPC is respected by the profession and consistently recommended by notable leading national firms for the quality of its teaching. The course is part of a top-ranking Russell Group university within a vibrant city, and yet is small enough to remain personal.

The MA in Legal Practice is very much a hands-on course, using case studies and files based on those used in practice. We ask you to research and acquire knowledge, put that into context, identify issues and place the client at the centre of the problem. Upon completion of this vocational aspect of the course, you then go on submit a dissertation* .

If you decided to take the course part-time, you would only be required to come in for approximately six hours per week - allowing you the rest of your time to gain valuable experience, something which is highly regarded by employers.


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Find out more about the LPC, meet staff and students and tour our facilities at one of our open days.

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*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).

Course structure

Course structure

Full-time study

The full-time 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 at the beginning of September until the following August including assessments, with timetabled sessions currently running Monday to Thursday.

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:

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 LPC 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

Acquisitions and Mergers
Commercial Law
Commercial Property
Corporate Finance
Private Client

Individuals and their problems

Commercial Law
Commercial Property
Criminal Litigation
Employment Law
Family Law
Personal Injury
Private Client

Advocacy

Commercial Litigation
Criminal Litigation
Employment Law
Family Law
Personal Injury

Commercial

Acquisitions and Mergers
Commercial Law
Commercial Litigation
Commercial Property
Corporate Finance

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 Legal Practice Course 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.




We continually review our courses and reserve the right to discontinue or amend programmes/entry requirements. Course structures may be subject to change in future years. Content of our courses is reviewed annually to ensure it’s up-to-date. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers.

In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

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. Depending on the academic year, your first year of study may start on year A or year B.

During the course you will only be required to come in for approximately six hours of teaching time per 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 A, Stage 1

You will study the core practice areas of:

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.

You will also cover:

  • Practical legal research
  • Drafting
  • Wills and the Administration of Estates
  • Solicitors’ Accounts

Year A, Stage 2

You will study one elective from:

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

Year B, Stage 1

You will study the core practice area of:

You will also cover:

  • Writing
  • Professional Conduct and Regulations
  • Interviewing and advising
  • Advocacy
  • Research training in preparation for your dissertation

Year B, Stage 2

You will study two electives from the full range available.

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 course 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

Acquisitions and Mergers
Commercial Law
Commercial Property
Corporate Finance
Private Client

Individuals and their problems

Commercial Law
Commercial Property
Criminal Litigation
Employment Law
Family Law
Personal Injury
Private Client

Advocacy

Commercial Litigation
Criminal Litigation
Employment Law
Family Law
Personal Injury

Commercial

Acquisitions and Mergers
Commercial Law
Commercial Litigation
Commercial Property
Corporate Finance

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.




We continually review our courses and reserve the right to discontinue or amend programmes/entry requirements. Course structures may be subject to change in future years. Content of our courses is reviewed annually to ensure it’s up-to-date. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers.

In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Course team

Meet the team

All the teaching staff on the Legal Practice Course at Sheffield have significant experience of private practice.

Over a third of the teaching team practised at partnership level and the tutors have experience over a wide range of practice from national commercial firms to high street practices to local authority work. Some of the tutors continue to practice alongside the course. The overwhelming majority of the teaching staff also hold a teaching qualification and are Fellows of the Higher Education Authority.

Director of this course

Photo of Clare FirthClare Firth

Clare joined the LPC at the University of Sheffield in 1994 having qualified as a solicitor in 1984. Before joining the LPC, she was a partner in a private practice firm and was head of the wills, probate and trust department and the financial services department. Immediately after qualification she advised clients in all areas of law, later specialising in private client work.

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Teaching team

Julia Belshaw

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Gareth Bramley

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Andrew Callaghan

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Kate Campbell-Pilling

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Rachel Cooper

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Katie Steiner

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Louise Glover

Louise Glover

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Paula Hatton

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Tina McKevitt

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Mike Lambarth

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Emma Marshall

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Sarah Robson-Burrell

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Pauline Laidlaw

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Careers

Careers help and advice

Louise Glover is our dedicated careers adviser for the Law School based in Bartolome House, working closely with the University Careers Service and local firms of solicitors and organisations linked with the legal profession. Louise is a qualified solicitor with City and regional experience and has also taught law and legal practice at the School of Law.

Louise assists students with:

  • Tactics for obtaining training contracts.
  • Preparing CVs and covering letters.
  • Applications to firms and other organisations employing solicitors.
  • Interviews and ways of ensuring that diplomates can in due course become solicitors.

Louise arranges practice interviews with local solicitors for those who request them.

Over 80% of students start on the LPC without having secured training contracts, with the help of our careers adviser, we provide advice, assistance and guidance to our students for up to 3 years following completion of the course. The latest figures show that 2½ years after the end of the course 70% have secured training contracts and a further 19% are doing paralegal work. 3½ years after the end of the course 80% are trainees and 8% are paralegals.

You will also have use of the University's extensive careers advice website and events. Each year the university hosts one of the north's largest and most successful law fairs which is also open to you.

More information on careers and employability

Entry requirements

Entry Requirements

All applications are considered on an individual basis based on an applicant's merit and satisfactory references. We may wish to interview you before offering you a place.

If you are studying your undergraduate degree, you can apply for postgraduate courses at any time with your predicted results. We may make you a conditional offer.



For all LPC applications you must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a good second class honours or above in a qualifying law degree; or

  • a good non-law degree, together with CPE/Postgraduate Diploma in Law; or

  • to be a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx)

  • In certain circumstances we may consider candidates who do not meet these minimum requirements.

English language requirements:

Our minimum English requirement is:

  • IELTS 7.0 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component or for alternative English language requirements please see here

  • Please note that the IELTS test must have been completed within the two years preceding the start of the course.

Subject to the above, if you put us as your first choice in your list of Legal Practice Course providers, we guarantee you an offer of a place*.
*Applies to applications made before 30th April of the year you intend to commence the course.

Please note:
We continually review our courses and reserve the right to discontinue or amend course programmes/entry requirements.




How to apply

The application process for the Legal Practice Course is slightly different depending upon the pathway you have chosen. Full details plus information on funding and scholarships are available in the next tab 'How to apply' above.

If you need any further information, please contact us.

How to apply

Application process

The application process for the Legal Practice Course is slightly different depending upon the pathway you have chosen, please check the relevant pathway below for for information. 

Full-time pathway/Stage 1 Only

You should apply for Stages 1 and 2 of the full time Legal Practice Course or Stage 1 only through the Legal Practice Course Central Applications Board.

Details of how to apply are on the Central Applications Board website at: 

www.lawcabs.ac.uk

Part-time pathway

To apply for the part-time Legal Practice Course, please download the: 

Please return completed forms to:

Marketing and Communications
The University of Sheffield
School of Law
Bartolomé House
Winter Street
Sheffield S3 7ND
United Kingdom

or by email to law@sheffield.ac.uk

Stage 2 Only/Elective Subjects

Our electives are also offered on a standalone basis for those wishing to learn a new area of practice, or to update their knowledge. 

For anyone wishing to take Stage 2 only, or any of the elective subjects, please contact us at:

Email: law@sheffield.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)114 222 6771

If you need any further information, please contact us.




Application deadline

There is no institutional deadline for the submission of applications for postgraduate taught courses. However, if you’re not going to be able to start your studies on time, you may be asked to defer to the following academic year so please allow plenty of time to make your application. Remember, if you are successful, there are other arrangements to be made before coming to university.





Funding and Scholarships

We are pleased to be able to offer a 10% discount on the course fees to students of any discipline who have graduated from The University of Sheffield. This applies to both the full time and part time pathways for the 2016/2017 session. Please note only self-financing students qualify for this discount. For more information see Postgraduate Alumni Rewards.

You can also apply for the Postgraduate Masters Loan.

If you are an international student, you can find out about the scholarships available to you. This information is provided by our International Office: Scholarships for International Applicants

For information on further funding opportunities, please visit the Postgraduate Student Funding Table