Law school where less than 15% of students got pupillage launches new ‘BPTC LLM’

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By Alex Aldridge on

Apparently there is demand


Nottingham Law School has unveiled a new Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) — this time with a masters attached.

The course at the legal faculty of ex-poly Nottingham Trent takes a year to do. In addition to the standard BPTC modules, students have to do a dissertation and undertake compulsory legal work experience.

Pricing has yet to be announced, but the standard Nottingham BPTC costs £14,100.

In December it was revealed that just 14.5% of students graduating from Nottingham’s BPTC in 2011, 2012 and 2013 had secured pupillage.

That success rate placed the course below the BPTCs operated by BPP, ULaw and City — where London students had a 27% of bagging a pupillage at the former, and a 21% chance at the latter pair.

But in fairness to Nottingham, it is by no means the worst BPTC performer. That honour goes to Northumbria, where a mere 3% of students — or seven out of 225 — from 2011-13 bagged a pupillage within the timeframe of the survey. UWE, Manchester Met, ULaw Birmingham and BPP Manchester also had a lower success rate than Nottingham.

There were under 400 available pupillages last year, and over 1,500 students doing the BPTC.

Helen Hudson, Nottingham Law School’s head of postgraduate professional programmes, said:

In a changing legal education environment it’s important that we review and innovate our courses to meet the needs of students and employers. We gathered feedback from a number of sources which indicated that students consider the ability to acquire an LLM alongside their studies for the BPTC very attractive. The course provides students with an internationally recognised qualification and gives them an enhanced insight into the law and the legal profession. There are a number of options open to them, such as undertaking pro bono activity through our Legal Advice Centre, working for the Citizens Advice Bureau or carrying out placements within a professional legal setting.

Last autumn Nottingham Law School became the UK’s first “teaching law firm” after it secured an alternative business structure license. This means its students can offer legal services while being supervised.