Westminster offers cheaper alternative to LPC

The University of Westminster is to launch a brand new course combining an undergraduate law degree with the Legal Practice Course (LPC).

The University of Westminster is to launch a brand new course combining an undergraduate law degree with the Legal Practice Course (LPC).

The four-year course the first of its kind in London has been approved by the Solictors Regulation (SRA) to be offered from September 2009 subject to internal validation, which is expected to be completed by next month (May).

The only other universities that offer exempting law degrees are the universities of Huddersfield and Northumbria and most recently Nottingham Trent University. As first reported by the Lawyer2B.com in January 2009 Nottingham is planning to combine a four-year sandwich course in law with the LPC.

According to David Roberts, principal lecturer at Westminster University’s school of law, the new course will give students greater client exposure than the average law degree. “Students will have the benefit of working with real clients for the last two years of their degree, which will prepare them for legal practice,” claimed Roberts.

Westminster University is the only law school in the capital that runs an SRA-validated elective in conjuction with the Citizen’s Advice Bureau. It is also hoping to run a similar elective with the Independent Panel for Special Education Advice.

The exempting law degree at Wesminster University should also work out cheaper than studying the LPC separately as the law school plans to charge students the cost of the top up fee only.

Roberts said: “The great thing about exempting law degrees is that it makes law more accessible to students who might not have the necessary financial means to fund the courses themselves. But it isn’t just the cost that makes our course more attractive. Our students will spend a lot of the the third and fourth year doing clinical work, which will make them more atttractive to future employers.”

Westminster University is planning to enrol a cohort of 30 students in the first year of the course, which it hopes to double to 60 in year two.

The entrance requirements for the exempting degree is AAB or 320 UCAS points, which is the same as for the three year undergraduate LLB.