The LPC is the key qualification to becoming a solicitor. It’s an intensive course that focuses on the practical aspects of being a lawyer, building on the more academic training of the undergraduate legal courses. At The University of Law we offer a wide range of study modes for the LPC, each designed to suit individuals in different situations and with different requirements.
By Editorial Team. Published 26 March 2018. Last updated 14 September 2022.
But which is the best for you? We got some insightful advice from LPC Programme and Student Lead Judith Mooneeram on the variety of course options available so you can decide which would be the best for you.
The full-time LPC remains the most popular option for studying to become a solicitor, mainly because it’s the natural progression for someone who has just completed their LLB or PGDL. It’s a ten month course (eleven if you choose to expand to gain a Masters qualification too) starting in September, so it’s possible to complete your studies in four years from the start of your undergraduate LLB.
If it suits you better, you can even start the full-time course in January (finishing in October) at some of our campuses. The full-time course is definitely full-time, though: you’ll need to commit to 45 hours of study a week, which includes attending workshops and undertaking self-study. You could possibly get some minimal part-time work while studying, but the recommendation is that you don’t exceed two days of paid work as an absolute maximum.
We have three types of part-time LPC available to students, each with some similarities but also their own unique benefits. Let’s start with the similarities: All our part-time LPCs start in September and are studied over a period of two years with an estimated maximum of 22.5 hours of study time required per week. The other similarity to be really mindful of is that whether you’re studying the weekday, evening or weekend version of the course your assessments will take place on weekdays.
Now let’s take a look at the unique characteristics of each study mode…
The weekend part-time LPC has four or five workshops of two hours each spread over a full weekend but it will only be approximately one in every three weekends that you’ll have workshops. This means you’ll have one intensive weekend of workshops and then a couple of weeks to do your own private study at home before the next lot. It’s an ideal solution if you really want to study on a campus but it would be too far for you to get there on a daily basis. As the workshops are all on the weekend, it also allows you the opportunity to work during the week.
The most successful approach for this course seems to be engaging in part-time work while studying, but you could work full-time Monday to Friday if you wanted to. A word of caution though: doing so leaves you very little time to complete your private study. And don’t forget that your assessments are still going to be scheduled for weekdays, so you’ll need to either have a supportive employer who allows you the time off or to hold back at least five days of your annual leave to take off for assessments (and probably more for revision).
The evening part-time LPC is ideal if you work and/or live close enough to a campus that you’re able to get to workshops in the evening. Your class study time is split over two evenings per week, with a two hour workshop on each night. The nights of the classes vary at different campuses, and your exams and assessments may be scheduled during the daytime for different days to when your classes usually are. With that in mind, you’ll need to be sure that your employer is willing to be flexible, or that you’ve kept some annual leave back for when your assessments are due.
The weekday part-time LPC involves one full day of study on campus per week, with two hours of classes in the morning and another two hours of classes in the afternoon. This is a perfect option if you’re working at a firm that will offer you day release for your studies, or if you’re not working while studying but need to minimise your time away from home for family or other reasons. Remember that your assessments could be scheduled for different days to your usual campus study day too, so you’ll need to have some flexibility come exam time.
Full-time accelerated LPC
Our full-time accelerated LPC does exactly what it says on the tin. You study the full LPC course but in just six months. Unlike our other LPC offerings, the Accelerated course starts in January or July. If you opt for the Masters extension, unlike with other LPC options, this part of the course is done in the three months after you complete the LPC. It’s a massively intensive course, with 55 hours of study time per week, so the recommendation is to only consider the accelerated course if you’re able to do it without working at the same time.
It’s a great option if you’re currently working as a paralegal and want to speed through your qualification so you can get back to work sooner, or if you’ve got an offer for a training contract – this way you’ll have your LPC finished before the training contract begins in September.
Online i-LLM LPC
Our online LPC with Masters allows you to study from anywhere in the world, making it a great choice for international students who don’t want to move to the UK while they study or for those living a long way from any of our campuses. You have up to two years to complete the course, with around 20 hours of study time expected per week, meaning that you can comfortably fit your studies around your lifestyle or job. You’ll still get plenty of one-to-one support from your personal supervisor, and have access to all the online resources that our on-campus cohorts use. It’s worth noting, though, that you will need to visit the UK a few times during the course. There’s an induction at the start of the course which will be three or four days on campus, and you’ll also need to come to the campus for one weekend in each year of study.
The assessments are also based in the UK, but you can usually make arrangements to sit them abroad if you’d prefer. The only thing you really miss out on with online study is the group work that on-campus study provides, meaning that a high level of self-motivation and discipline is needed to stay on track. Online students do often meet in forums or other online mediums to support each other though, so you can start to build up a network of fellow students if you’d like to.
No matter what your circumstances, there are plenty of options to study your LPC with The University of Law. Find out more about the details of each by visiting our website.