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University of Hertfordshire suspends its LPC over concerns it may not be ‘valid in 2018’

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Law school will offer restructured LLB incorporating new SRA proposals

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The University of Hertfordshire has suspended its Legal Practice Course (LPC) over concerns that it may not be “valid in 2018”.

A spokesperson for the university confirmed that the action was in direct response to proposed changes to the solicitor qualification route, backed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

If given the green light, the centralised assessment, dubbed the ‘super-exam’, will effectively combine the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and the LPC. The exam, which would have to be undertaken by all those wishing to qualify as a solicitor, would controversially also be open to those who have not attended university.

At the risk of LLB students being examined twice on core subjects, the SRA indicated last month that the exam could be incorporated into a standard undergraduate law degree, rendering the LPC surplus to requirements.

Despite just being proposals at this stage, the law school’s management has opted to suspend its LPC offering for 2016/17 academic year, over fears the course will be redundant as of 2018.

Confident that the SRA proposals will get the go-ahead, a spokesperson for the University of Hertfordshire told Lawyer2B (registration required):

We don’t feel we can charge £12,000 for a course that might not be valid in 2018.

The university will offer a “revalidated” LLB that will embrace SRA led proposals and prepare students for the super-exam, instead. With details still thin on the ground, the university confirmed the repackaged law degree will adopt “multiple professional body requirements”.

More sceptical readers might argue that the university — that has approval for 80 LPC students according to the SRA’s website — is using the regulator-backed proposals as an excuse to exit a highly competitive LPC market. Last summer, Kaplan Law School revealed it was to close at the end of 2016, ditching its LPC and GDL courses.

With the more traditional law schools unlikely to combine the SRA super-exam proposals into their LLBs, the move would suggest that Hertfordshire University is repositioning itself for when the route qualification changes.

A spokesperson for Hertfordshire Law School told Legal Cheek:

The SRA’s response to the Legal Education and Training Review offers us a unique opportunity to address the ongoing rumblings of dissatisfaction with legal education and training processes. It is an opportunity for every law school to reflect on the future shape and form that law degrees, as well as legal education and training in a broader sense.

15 Comments

Anonymous

Sounds like a good excuse to drop a course that wasn’t doing very well.

(13)(3)

Ronald McDonald

Good on them – this provides an ideal excuse to cut the fat on an already loss-making, unremarkable law school.

I expect others – e.g. University of Derby (lol), Leeds Beckett University (mega lol) or Central Lancashire University (lol^2) to follow suit and use this ‘but we’re not sure if it’ll exist in 2018’ precedent to shutter their LPC course doors too.

After all, the LPC fee gold rush is well over and it’s time to wake up.

(26)(4)

My testes are sehr gross

Does the Bishop Grossetesticle University also offer the LPC? #ballsackuni

(1)(1)

Anonymous

I had honestly never heard of this Bishop Grotesque University before you wrote that post.

(2)(1)

Anonymous

I think Bishop scrote is just a teacher training college fellas

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Great…take the piss out of UCLAN. ..nothing wrong with it it’s a good school and the same GDL as anywhere else you elitist knob.

(6)(11)

Mein testes sind sehr gross

“It’s a good school”

Loooooooooooooool that killed me. Get back to your Instagram followers Francesca, you ballsack 😂

(11)(5)

Confucius

I’m still confused, what position will this leave a recent llb graduate who hasn’t started the LPC ? I, for example, was intending to do the LPC in 2018 (for various reasons). But, if by this point it is considered redundant, I would have to sit the “super exam” meaning I’d still be examined twice on topics covered by the gdl and llb.

Can anyone explain?

(10)(0)

Anonymous

I think it’s fairly safe to say that no one knows at this point. They have indicated that they want to bring in the new system in 2018 (Whether that means September 2018-June 2019 academic year?) on that basis, I doubt anywhere will be offering the LPC for that year.

They will release information as the year goes on. I for one am hoping that passing the new exam is a prerequisite to training rather than qualification, or, that they have some kind of ‘cooling off’ period. I am doing the LPC next year, and will be half way through my TC by the time the change comes into effect…I would rather not be dealing with the stress of revising for an exam while on secondment.

(1)(0)

jemima

Where does this leave BPTC graduates who want to transfer? Will we just be able to switch over, without sitting anything, as it would be duplicate?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

They both have their perks at the end of the day tbh! But i’d rather the ‘super exam’ to the endless wait of getting a training contract!! KMT! I hope the LPC is scrapped for all I care

(3)(4)

Anonymous

You muppet.

(2)(0)

Mzee

ugh, FFS – after the LLB (2017) I think I will just go and sit the NYC Bar try to become an AaL and then come back here to see what’s good and see if its all sorted out and seek a transfer course…I cant be arsed with all the stress and confusion I went through major changes with my other O.U. degree, but this mess is way to expensive to get wrong KMT!

(0)(1)

Comrade Corbyn

Good luck with the NY Bar son – I mean, its not like any NYC BigLaw firm don’t already have thousands of uber-qualified Harvard, Columbia and Yale grads rapping at their doors or anything…

(4)(0)

Mzee

…I wonder how funding will work? Pricing? Timing seems to be everything in this game…mmm.

(0)(0)

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