Frequently Asked Questions
- How much does the course cost?
- What are the selection criteria for the LPC at Sheffield?
- How "full time" is the full time course?
- What are "learning by doing" and "student centred learning"?
- What electives do you offer?
- What help do I get with finding accommodation?
- Can I get involved in pro bono work while I am on the LPC?
- What support will I be given on the LPC?
- How many graduates start the course without training contracts and how successful are they in obtain
- What happens if I start the course without a training contract?
- What happens if I finish the course without a training contract?
- How might I fund my LPC?
How much does the course cost?
The fee for students starting the LPC at Sheffield in September 2013 is £9,950, and we are very pleased to offer a 10% discount to students who obtain a degree in any discipline from The University of Sheffield. This is for applicants to both the full and part time courses, and the same fee applies to both.
A student who wishes only to sign up for just Stage One of the LPC will be charged £8,353, and a student who wishes only to sign up for Stage Two of the LPC will be charged £3,088. So the fees are significantly lower for those who commit to both Stages One and Two from the outset. A student who wants to take just one elective subject at Sheffield will pay £1,153.
Students who achieve a commendation or distinction with us will be able to opt to take a top-up Masters in Legal Practice. There will be an additional fee of £1,680.
The fees for non-EU students are higher, for all of our LPC courses, by approximately 22%.
The Virgin alternative guide to British Universities rates Sheffield´s costs as low and the most recent Royal Bank of Scotland student living index reports Sheffield as having the cheapest housing rent in the UK.
What are the selection criteria for the LPC at Sheffield?
A second class honours law degree or a non-law degree, together with CPE/Postgraduate Diploma in Law or to be a Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives.
Subject to the above, if you put us as your first choice in your list of LPC providers in the first round of applications, we guarantee you an offer of a place. We will also consider the strength of your application form and reference.
How "full time" is the full time course?
Compared with undergraduate law courses, the LPC is intensive. In Stage 1 LPC, we recommend you spend at least 40 hours per week on the course and your preparation. You can work part time alongside the course but you must be able to prioritise your studies.
You will be expected to attend workshops 4 half days a week and associated lectures during Stage 1 LPC. In Stage 2 LPC you will need to attend 3 workshops a week.
What are "learning by doing" and "student centred learning"?
The emphasis at Sheffield is on learning by doing. Most of the time spent in teaching sessions will require you to put your legal skills and knowledge into practice in a series of practical tasks and activities. More than 90% of your teaching time on the LPC at Sheffield will be spent in workshop sessions in groups of up to 18, where you will typically be split into small groups of 3 to 4 and asked to undertake such tasks as brain-storming, team-working, problem-solving, role-playing and presenting. In these sessions you will be asked to place the client at the centre of the problem, understand the client's concerns and provide practical solutions. You will be continually challenged to apply your legal skills creatively.
What electives do you offer?
We offer a range of electives to permit you to enter the size and type of practice you want from commercial based firms to high street practices. If you Stages 1 and 2 LPC together you do not have to choose your electives until some way into stage 1 when you are more familiar with the core practice ones.
Details on our Electives
What help do I get with finding accommodation?
There is a lot of accommodation available for students in Sheffield and it is very rare for students to be unable to find accommodation.
Once you are registered on the course (which you can do as soon as you are able to declare your results) the University's Accommodation Services can help you find accommodation. They offer lots of information about the various options available and more information on their services can be found at:
Can I get involved in pro bono work while I am on the LPC?
There are three pro bono schemes run at the School of Law that you could get involved in. They offer you the chance to see how legal problems occur and often give clients access to advice. They also equip you with many of the personal skills law firms look for in potential trainees.
The first pro bono scheme is the Freelaw project where students operate on a roster basis to offer a weekly free legal advice session for local residents. The project works on a drop-in basis, and is essentially a legal first aid post. Advice is given on a vast range of legal problems - from housing to consumer problems and from family to employment difficulties.
In this scheme student volunteers also research the legal issues that may affect clients of advocacy charities. This scheme is supported by the law firm Irwin Mitchell which provide training and supervisory support.
The second pro bono scheme currently operating at the School of Law is the Innocence Project where students investigate potential miscarriages of justice. Part of a national scheme, students are allocated cases to identify fresh evidence or investigate other grounds for appeal as an unsafe conviction.
What support will I be given on the LPC?
As an LPC provider with a reputation for approachable and friendly tutors, we offer a wide range of support.
With a staff/student ratio of 1/12.5 we offer more contact with tutors than some of the larger providers. There are also a number of pastoral support mechanisms. Students have their own personal tutor with whom they can discuss any problems. In addition, all tutors are available to all LPC students to discuss problems with them. Finally, as students are taught in the same workshop groups throughout Stage 1 LPC, many problems can be resolved in the strong networks which quickly develop within the groups.
Sheffield also offers an excellent careers support service. A dedicated careers adviser is available to students on the LPC and can provide help and guidance on CVs, job applications and interviews. His help is available for up to three years from leaving the course.
How many graduates start the course without training contracts and how successful are they in obtain
Over 80% of students start on the LPC before starting their training contracts. 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.
What happens if I start the course without a training contract?
Brian Read, the dedicated careers adviser for LPC students, provides lots of help if you do not have a training contract when you start the course. Brian holds sessions on strategies, CVs, covering letters and interviews that are open to all LPC students. He also arranges an informal meeting with trainees from the Sheffield area and encourages participation in local Junior Lawyers' discussion events.
Brian is available for individual discussion with each student about their own needs, including ways of improving CVs and covering letters. Practise interviews with representatives from local firms of solicitors are offered to any student who wishes to have one. All students are told about vacancies received by the Careers Service, including press advertisements. Brian also makes enquiries to a database of about 600 firms about possible vacancies.
What happens if I finish the course without a training contract?
You can still benefit from our careers advisory service for up to three years after leaving the course. If you let Brian know what help you need – he will email, phone or write to you with advice and support. The Careers Service Vacancy website also remains available.
How might I fund my LPC?
Most people fund their LPC themselves perhaps using loans or with the support of their families or drawing on the grants that might be available. Some, who have secured a training contract with a larger firm before they start the course, may have sponsorship from their firms to cover their fees and, perhaps, a maintenance grant. Others work alongside the course but must be prepared to focus on their studies.