Cardiff Law School - True Picture

Number of places: 84 FT

Fees (2014/15): £13,000

The course



Most students on this course are drawn in by the opportunity to study at the only Russell Group university to run a BPTC. It doesn't hurt that Cardiff guarantees its aspiring barristers a two-week placement scheme and offers more contact time than rival providers, either. Students here attend 14 hours' worth of sessions a week, which take place between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Thursday. These mix knowledge and writing skills seminars, which take place in groups of 12, with advocacy classes in smaller groups of six.

The two-week placement includes a mini-pupillage at a local barristers set and a stint marshalling with a district or circuit level judge. Optional extras include a day-long expert witness handling seminar, a day of arbitration training and a Welsh advocacy course for fluent students.

The



location and facilities



BPTC students attend class in two buildings on the university campus, which is just outside Cardiff city centre, near Cathays Park. The park plays host to civic buildings like Cardiff Crown Court and the National Museum, as well as rolling lawns and formal gardens. When students aren't lolling on the grass, they benefit from teaching rooms equipped with electronic whiteboards and recording facilities; they also have access to the substantial university library opposite the law school. The university recently replaced its dedicated legal practice library with a computer-laden study space for postgraduate law students.

Pro bono opportunities include work for Welsh rugby clubs, the NHS continuing healthcare scheme and children's charity Cerebra. Students also have the chance to train with Cardiff's Personal Support Unit, which sees them advise litigants.

Careers services and prospects



Cardiff's careers services group runs a mixture of large group sessions on CV writing and pupillage applications, and one-to-one sessions for advice and mock interviews.

Course leader Jetsun Lebasci tells us only a handful of students here secure pupillages by the end of their BPTC year, although more may go on to do so later. The course's high proportion of international students is likely a contributing factor, as is the fact that Cardiff lacks the established reputation of rival operators.

The Chambers Student verdict



This course is worth crossing the border for if you want to undertake the BPTC at a well-known university. There's no need to speak Welsh to study in Cymru's capital, either. 

Cardiff Law School

Cardiff University,
Cardiff,
CF10 3UX
Website www.cardiff.ac.uk/claws/cpls

  • Contact  
  • GDL: Julie Steed Tel (029) 2087 9021 Email law-gdl@cf.ac.uk
  • LPC: Kerry Lester Tel (029) 2087 4941 Email law-lpc@cf.ac.uk
  • BPTC: Lucy Burns Tel (029) 2087 4964 Email law-bptc@cf.ac.uk
  • LLM in Legal Practice: Julie Webb Tel (029) 2087 4964 Email law-cpls-llm@cf.ac.uk
  • Other postgraduate law courses: The Postgraduate Office Tel (029) 2087 6102 Email law-pg@cardiff.ac.uk
  • Website www.law.cardiff.ac.uk/cpls

University profile



 Cardiff Law School is one of the most successful law schools in the UK and enjoys an international reputation for its teaching and research, being ranked 7th in the UK for research. Cardiff offers opportunities for students to pursue postgraduate study by research leading to the degrees of MPhil and PhD and a broadly based Masters (LLM) programme which is offered in full and part-time mode. Cardiff also has a Pro Bono Scheme which gives students an opportunity to experience the law in action, work alongside volunteer legal professionals and develop transferable skills to add to their CVs. The Law School is the leading provider of legal professional training in Wales and is validated to offer the GDL, LPC and BPTC. Students are taught by experienced solicitors and barristers who are specifically recruited for this purpose. The Law School prides itself on its friendly and supportive teaching environment and its strong links with the legal profession. Placements with solicitors’ firms or sets of chambers are available to students pursuing the vocational courses.

Graduate Diploma in Law (full-time or part-time)



 The GDL is a one-year (full-time) or two-year (part-time) course for non-law graduates to convert to law. This intensive course covers all of the essential topics of a qualifying law degree. Completion of the GDL allows you to progress to the professional stage of training – the LPC for solicitors and the BPTC for barristers.

Legal Practice Course (full-time or part-time)



 Cardiff has delivered its LPC since 1993 and is highly regarded by both students and employers. Cardiff offers the LPC both full-time (3 days a week) and part-time (1 day a week). Through both courses the Law School provides an excellent learning experience which includes a high degree of hands-on teaching. Placements with solicitors’ firms are available to some students without training contracts or recent legal work experience.

Bar Professional Training Course



 Cardiff delivers a top quality, highly regarded BPTC. There is a relatively small student cohort and the course provides a truly supportive learning environment with high levels of individual tutor feedback on all skills performances. The learning mostly takes place in small groups. There is a focus on the development of advocacy skills, with two hour classes in groups of six or fewer almost every week across all three terms. Students are offered two weeks of placements, giving them the opportunity to marshall with both a Circuit Judge and a District Judge in addition to undertaking a mini-pupillage. 

LLM in Legal Practice



 Cardiff offers a one year LLM in Legal Practice which can be taken part-time or by distance learning. The LLM is open to students who have successfully completed the LPC, BPTC or BVC, whether at Cardiff or another recognised institution. Assessment takes the form of a practice-based dissertation.

Facilities



 The Law School has dedicated accommodation for the vocational courses which houses a postgraduate study space, a suite of classrooms with interactive teaching and audio visual equipment and extensive computer facilities. In addition, the main law library contains one of the largest collections of primary and secondary materials within the UK. The Law School is housed in its own building at the heart of the campus, itself located in one of the finest civic centres in Britain.