Right next to Durham, Sunderland is a city with a coastline and some of the cheapest rents in the UK. It’s got a stretch of sandy beaches as well as a student city buzz. Law students can complete the LPC at the University of Sunderland for under £10,000. It’s particularly good for pro bono opportunities: “Live clinic = very good”, reports one student.
Another student tells us that the LPC experience has been “good” – it “bridges the gap between the LLB and LPC” pretty well. While a further student we heard from rates the preparation for practice in the real world: “I like how it’s open book and supposedly tested like a typical day in the office”.
But like on any LPC, time pressures may affect students’ learning experience: “I think the time constraints still make it a memory test – memorising where the answers are, rather than the actual answers”. It’s no secret that any LPC requires a lot of cramming as exams come around fast.
On the brighter side, our LPC spies assure future students that the “teaching staff are incredibly helpful and are willing to go the extra mile to help out”. Small group tutorials have a maximum of 18 students. There have, however, been a couple of hiccups: “Issue with books – I say no more”. Mysterious…
The choice of electives follows a more rigid structure than at most LPC providers. Students can choose the ‘commercial route’ or the ‘high street route’. If you go down the commercial road, you’ll be doing commercial contracts, commercial property and employment law. If you choose the high street route, you’ll be doing family law, housing law, and advanced personal injury litigation. You’ll be doing a more tailored course with a specialised focus. But if you don’t want to take one of the prescribed routes, you can still mix and match electives.
What about value for money? We ask a Sunderland LPCer: “£8.5k? Shocking amounts of coin. Cheaper than others. But given job market and prospects of a training contract – how can any uni justify the price?” The fees are now up to £9,500. Still, despite its price tag, another LPCer says they would recommend “everything” about the Sunderland law school. One way to avoid breaking the bank is to secure a training contract before you start the LPC.
A big perk for postgrads is having access to the facilities at a wider campus university. And at Sunderland, they’re pretty swish. Beyond a 24/7 library, LPCers can enjoy a 3D cinema, climbing walls, gyms and even an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Nightlife in Sunderland is a highlight too, with £1 drinks and £3 trebles – three shots with a mixer – being the student tradition. Apparently, you can go out for a tenner.