Number of places: 108 FT
Pro: over double the amount of required advocacy sessions
Con: not recruiting sufficient numbers to run a part-time course
With Manchester Metropolitan's law school located in a £16m purpose-built building adjoining the new £75m Business School and Student Hub, BPTC students have access to wealth of fabulous facilities. These include dedicated resource areas and base rooms, as well as a mock courtroom fully kitted out with DVD-recording technology. Students can also access specific postgraduate areas in the Business School and the university's 750,000-book library.
The full-time course is taught across four days. Students are initially split into nine 'mini-chambers' of no more than 12 people, and then further divided into groups of six to practise oral skills. These chambers are then rotated at the elective stage. Students alternate weekly between civil and criminal litigation, and teaching focuses on knowledge at the beginning of the week before building up to the relevant skill – advocacy, for example – at the end. The school employs a variety of e-learning methods, such as podcasts, to aid teaching, while some of the lectures can also be found online. Man Met prides itself on the experience of its teaching staff and counts Deputy District Judges, pupil supervisors, tribunal chairs and a number of people still in practice among its ranks.
Although the BSB requires only 12 advocacy sessions throughout the BPTC, Man Met goes "over and above" this and offers "a minimum of 24 sessions." Students can even take advantage of additional advocacy sessions delivered by practitioners. One big change at Man Met has seen the law school now offer anyone who studies the BPTC the chance to add an independent professional qualification in mediation at no extra cost.
A dedicated careers adviser is on hand to offer students guidance on finding a pupillage or another route into the profession, while a practitioner from the Northern circuit is assigned to act as mentor to each 'mini-chamber'. In addition, students can take advantage of the university’s careers service, which is quick to advertise any job vacancies that arise. At the start of the academic year, BPTC students enjoy a two-hour pupillage forum hosted by an ex-Manchester Law School graduate, who discusses how to prepare for the pupillage application and interview procedure. In term three there are a number of recruitment events, which can be especially useful for those who have been unable to secure a pupillage. Pro bono is also a big deal here, and there are opportunities with the Personal Support Unit at Manchester Civil Justice Centre and the Manchester Mediation Service. There are also a range of mock trial, interview and negotiation competitions in place to help you hone your skills further.
Candidates who put Manchester Law school as their first or second-choice provider are eligible to receive a scholarship worth £4,000.