Nottingham Law School - True Picture

Number of places: 120 FT

Fees (2014/15): £13,800

Awards: Four £3,000 scholarships, plus a progression discount for former Nottingham University students

The course

This course has a reputation for getting a sizeable proportion of its students pupillages – a sizeable proportion by super-competitive BPTC standards, that is. With about four times as many applications as places, getting a place on it doesn't come easily. Principal Ian Fox tells us recruiters look for not only stellar academics but “a genuine commitment to the profession. We ask for three weeks of legal work experience – these could be mini pupillages, law firm vacation schemes or marshalling with a judge – plus evidence of contested advocacy over and above what's required on the GDL or LLB.”

Applicants who make the cut join a smallish programme taught from Monday to Thursday, with Fridays left free for prep. There are 10 to 12 hours of contact time a week, which is slightly lower than other providers – students are expected to cover much of the factual side of the course during independent study. They attend advocacy and oral skill classes in groups of six, and seminars in groups of 12. These are largely focused on skills like opinion writing and drafting statements of case. There are also one or two lectures a week.

The location and facilities

The low cost of living is Nottingham is often a draw for students here, as is the city's accessibility. As the law school's website proudly boasts, 89% of England and Wales' population resides within two hours' drive of Nottingham, so the location often proves handy for commuters or those attending pupillage interviews out of town.

The law school is based in Nottingham Trent's City campus, in the historic heart of Britain's most haunted city. Although Nottingham has buildings that date back to the 1100s, the law school is up to date, with newly built mock courtrooms, a nearby law library, and ample intranet and tech facilities. The school recently started offering iPads to all students.

In other developments, the school has just opened a new legal advice centre with specially built facilities. Students can train here to become Free Representation Unit (FRU) representatives, or take part in programmes like The Innocence Project or ones that work to rehabilitate prisoners. Further CV-boosting opportunities are available in the form of mooting competitions sponsored by nearby barristers' sets.

Careers services and prospects

The careers service offers assistance with pupillage applications and interview preparation, and there's a mentoring scheme that offers places to all applicants. The school has close relationships with local sets and often arranges for judges and barristers to participate in open days or visit the campus to deliver talks.

Fox estimates that around 30% of students will have scored a pupillage by the January after graduation – a reasonably healthy proportion for a profession with a notoriously fraught path to entry.

The Chambers Student verdict

Nottingham gave rise to the legend of Robin Hood, but you won't need to raid the sheriff's coffers to get a place on this top-flight course.

Nottingham Law School

Centre for Legal Research (CLR),

  • Contact Nottingham Law School Burton Street Nottingham Trent University Nottingham NG1 4BU
  • Tel: (0)115 848 4460
  • Email:
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School profile One of the largest and most diverse law schools in the UK, we are committed to retaining strong links to practice. We seek to ensure that all our clients, from students to experienced practitioners, receive the best practical legal education and training. You will be taught by a unique mix of qualified lawyers with a proven track record in practice and legal education. Nottingham Law School has an excellent reputation for graduate employability. Our focus on practical skills, award-winning pro bono scheme and dedicated careers and recruitment service has helped to keep our training contract and pupillage rates consistently high. We also have a number of competitive scholarships for our postgraduate and professional courses.

Graduate Diploma in Law (full time or distance learning)

 This conversion course is designed for any non-law graduate who intends to become a solicitor or barrister in the UK. The intensive course effectively covers the seven core subjects of an undergraduate law degree in one go. It is the stepping stone to the LPC or the BPTC and to a legal career thereafter. It is possible for the Law School to award a Graduate LLB degree to students who have achieved the LPC or BPTC after completing the GDL with us.

Legal Practice Course (full or part time)

 At Nottingham Law School (NLS) we are confident that our LPC will provide you with the best training currently available. Our careers expertise and experienced and supportive teaching staff will help you get your career off to a flying start. Our LPC has recently been enhanced so that the successful completion of all its elements will result in the award of a Masters degree: LLM Legal Practice Course. As well as providing you with an internationally recognised qualification, you will leave NLS with enhanced insight into the legal profession and better equipped to succeed. Students who do not wish to study for the full masters award can still study for the award of a postgraduate diploma, that is, the “traditional” LPC award. However, all students will benefit from the enhanced the LPC.

Bar Professional Training Course (full time)

 Nottingham Law School designed its BPTC to develop to a high standard a range of core practical skills, and to equip students to succeed in the fast-changing environment of practice at the Bar. Particular emphasis is placed on the skill of advocacy. The BPTC is taught entirely by qualified practitioners, and utilises the same integrated and interactive teaching methods as all of the school’s other professional courses. Essentially, students learn by doing. Students are encouraged to realise, through practice and feedback, their full potential.

Masters in Law (LLM)

 Our taught masters in Law programme offers a wide range of subject pathways taught by tutors whose research is nationally and internationally recognised. Subject areas include: Corporate and Insolvency, Health Law and Ethics, Human Rights and Justice, Intellectual Property, International Trade and Commercial, Sports, and Oil, Gas and Mining Law. 

LLM Legal Practice (distance learning)

 This new LLM award is for those with professional legal qualifications, for example the BPTC or LPC (or their precursors). Credit points are awarded for these professional qualifications and students can then ‘top-up’ these points with a dissertation or publishable article to gain this LLM.