Bristol Law School at UWE - True Picture

Number of places: 84 FT, 48 PT

Fees (2014/15): £12,965 FT, £6,483 PT (year one) 

Awards: 15% discount for UWE graduates

The course

BILP's full-time BPTC involves 16 hours of contact time spread over three to four days a week, with Fridays kept free for pro bono or private study. Part-time students, meanwhile, have a four-day induction period followed by 11 study weekends a year. Teaching groups are small, with about six to ten students in each. Electives include clinical negligence, criminal, employment, competition, commercial, family, international trade, and refugee and asylum law.

Students here have the opportunity to qualify as commercial mediators at no extra cost. They can also qualify as family mediators at a discounted rate. It's worth bearing in mind the law school doesn't offer one-to-one advocacy training like pricier providers such as City.

The location and facilities

BILP's BPTC is run on the university's Frenchay campus, four miles outside Bristol. Barristers in training have access to a 24-hour law library, a canteen for cheap nosh and the university's vast fitness and sports centre, complete with an indoor climbing wall.

BILP's Community Legal Advice and Representation Service (CLARS) – which sees students team up with practitioners on the Western Circuit to assist during hearings at Bristol's civil courts – is the centrepiece of its pro bono offering. Back on campus the law school puts on regular practice trials involving professional actors in its mock courtrooms, which are fitted with recorded equipment. (Of course, the subject matter is likely to be more 'alas, you got nicked' than 'alas, poor Yorick'.)

Careers services and prospects

BILP's links with the Western Circuit extend to advocacy master classes and practice pupillage interviews with local practitioners. Local chambers sponsor three advocacy competitions and a mooting competition through the year. These links certainly come in handy when pupillage applications roll round, though it's worth remembering there are only a handful of pupil places a year to fight for in Bristol's smallish legal scene.

The Chambers Student verdict

With its rural location and close ties to local sets, this school is a good bet for those interested in forging a career in the Western Circuit. 

Bristol Law School at UWE

Bristol Institute of Legal Practice,
BS16 1QY

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Institute Profile

 The Bristol Institute of Legal Practice (BILP) at UWE Bristol is a leading provider of professional legal education with an established track record of excellence. We offer flexible study, a choice of timetabling options, superb facilities and are large enough to provide a range and depth of quality provision. Our courses are designed and taught by experienced solicitors/barristers teaching within their own subject areas. The emphasis is on practical learning within a supportive environment and on providing students with the skills and knowledge to ensure they are ‘practice ready’.

Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL/CPE) full and part time

 Our GDL enables non-law graduates to progress with confidence to the LPC/BPTC and is supported by a dedicated team of tutors who understand the demands of the GDL. Teaching is not shared with undergraduates. The curriculum is divided into two teaching blocks with assessments after each block.

Legal Practice Course (LPC) full and part time

 We are one of very few providers nationally to have consistently achieved the highest possible grading of ‘excellent’ from our regulator. Students are offered a broad based Stage 1 designed to prepare them for the full variety of practice followed by a selection of 13 elective subjects.

Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) full and part time

 Our BPTC equips students to excel at the Bar and beyond. We provide outstanding opportunities in advocacy, research, conference and mediation skills, which will help in securing pupillage. We also have exceptional links with the local Bar.