Number of places: 108 FT, 48 PT
Fees (2014/15): £13,250
Thanks to its strong links to the Northern Circuit, this course is a solid choice for someone looking to do the rounds of barristers' sets in Manchester and beyond. “Virtually the whole teaching team is made of barristers with a significant number of years of experience each,” course director Joanne Lewthwaite tells us. “We recently worked out that we have 187 years call between the 12 of us.”
The brigade holds course sessions four days a week for full-timers. In the past the part-time option has been cancelled due to lack of interest, but when it does run it involves a full day of teaching one Monday a fortnight, supplemented by pre-recorded lectures and podcasts. Lectures take place in groups of 12, which are then split into groups of six for the advocacy training. This sees barristers who are still in full-time practice help students prepare for getting on their feet. They also have the chance to get extra experience acting as witnesses in the Northern Circuit's pupil training programme.
There are six electives on offer: advanced crime, family, personal injury, advanced civil, employment and business.
The location and facilities
Manchester Met's law school is in the city centre, close to the train station and plenty of cultural activities. The school has mock courtroom facilities, resource rooms and new DVD recording equipment for advocacy and conference classes. Students have access to the university's broader facilities, including its substantial law library and student union.
Manchester Met has ties with the Personal Support Unit at Manchester Civil Justice Centre and the Manchester Mediation Service. Mediation monkeys can take their interest further still by gaining a professional mediation qualification at no extra cost. There's also an imaginative scheme that hooks aspiring barristers up with trainee police officers for some realistic advocacy practice.
Careers services and prospects
Students have access to both the law school and the university careers services. There are personal tutors to help with pupillage applications.
Most students who secure a pupillage end up at sets around the North West, although a few go to London each year. Manchester Met wouldn't reveal what proportion of their alumni end up with pupillages, but you can bet competition's stiff for the relatively small number of North West spots. According to Lewthwaite, many grads who stay local continue to be involved in the school years on.
The Chambers Student verdict
This small operator is a good bet for students keen on advocacy-focused training and hoping to break into the North West legal circuit.
Manchester Metropolitan University
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We offer the following postgraduate courses, on a full and part-time basis:
Scholarships are available for the GDL, LPC and BPTC, visit law.mmu.ac.uk/scholarships for details.
For further information on our programmes visit www.law.mmu.ac.uk