BPP students’ frustration over exam clash with winter vac scheme dates

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By Aishah Hussain on

Exclusive: Law school says it’s ‘unfortunate’ and they ‘have the opportunity to attend a 2021 scheme’

BPP Law School students have expressed their frustration at exams being scheduled during winter vacation scheme season.

The law school said in response that although the timetabling is “unfortunate”, students have the opportunity to attend a scheme next year.

Students on BPP’s law conversion course will sit public and tort law exams during the week commencing 7 December, and contract and company law exams the following week, beginning 14 December. The winter vacation scheme period is generally one week at most City law firms and falls between 7–11 or 14–18 December, though these dates can vary.

The clash affects students enrolled on BPP’s new PGDL law conversion course, which launched at the start of last month, and runs until April next year. Legal Cheek understands that exams on BPP’s old conversion course, the GDL, were held at the end of the academic year.

Some students have raised concerns about the clash, telling Legal Cheek that 2020 winter vacation schemes are their “gateway” to a 2022 training contract. Law firms tend to target finalists and graduates for these schemes, and because they recruit two years in advance, this allows students to complete the GDL and LPC before starting their TC.

The 2021 Legal Cheek GDL Most List

We reached out to graduate recruiters at City law firms that offer winter vacation schemes to see whether they could reasonably accommodate students with exams. Some said the situation is “not ideal”, that “students should prioritise their exams”, and that given the typically shorter length of the winter vacation scheme, it would be difficult to accommodate students that have to take time out for revision and exams, which could be detrimental if the scheme is assessed.

They recommended students apply for the next scheme they’re able to attend, which in this case would be a spring or summer programme in 2021.

A BPP spokesperson said:

“We recognise the importance for students to attend a vacation scheme. Whilst it is unfortunate that BPP PGDL examinations do fall across the winter scheme dates, students do have the opportunity to attend a 2021 scheme.”

The spokesperson continued: “Students who attend a summer vacation scheme have a longer period of time to gain the valuable experience required to prepare for their future legal career.”

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