The Postgraduate Diploma in Law (PGDip)/Common Professional Examination (CPE) is a conversion programme enabling graduates in any non-law subject to convert to a career in law. You can take the course at the end of your degree or use it as a bridge from one graduate career to another.
The course provides you with a sound knowledge of:
- the English legal system and process
- those areas of law considered to be fundamental (the seven 'foundations of legal knowledge')
- at least one other area of legal study as a project - you will choose the topic.
You will develop practical skills in legal research, problem-solving, critical analysis and communication. Classes are taught in small groups of exclusively postgraduate law students by enthusiastic, expert lecturers, who are committed to research and teaching excellence.
Brighton Business School has strong links with the local legal profession. You will benefit from guest lectures by local practitioners and judges, as well as sponsorship and placement opportunities. In addition, you will have the opportunity to participate in a range of extra-curricular activities, such as mooting, client interviewing and pro bono work. These aid your employability and career development.
You can take the course at the pace that suits you, either full-time (two days per week over one year) or part-time (one day per week over two years).
The programme is recognised by The Law Society and the General Council of the Bar as a Common Professional Examination (CPE) course. This is the principal route by which non-law graduates may complete the academic stage of training to become solicitors and barristers.
There is a significant demand for non-law graduates to enter the legal profession. Their maturity, motivation and expertise in another discipline are regarded as important qualities by potential employers.
On successful completion of the Common Professional Examination (CPE), you will be awarded a postgraduate diploma in Law. The diploma satisfies all the requirements of the Joint Academic Stage Board for completing the academic stage of professional legal training. You can progress onto the Legal Practice Course to become a solicitor, or the Bar Professional Training Course to become a barrister.
The course is highly relevant to a range of other occupations within the justice sector and those with a significant law aspect, such as consumer, housing and welfare advice work, social work, the prosecution service and the police.
We realise that careful career planning is crucial from the outset of your course, especially for students who wish to practise as a lawyer, where competition can be fierce. You will be able to attend workshops on qualifying as a lawyer and we hold an annual legal careers forum.
Brighton Business School has strong links with the local legal profession. You will benefit from guest lectures by local practitioners and judges, as well as sponsorship and placement opportunities. Many of our students now work for local firms.
Students who aspire to qualify as lawyers are encouraged to undertake short law-related work shadowing placements during vacation periods, in solicitors firms and the Crown Prosecution Service, mini-pupillages in barristers chambers, and internships with judges. All students have access to the range of services offered by the Careers Service, including individual counselling sessions, CV checking, and mock interviews.
Our simulated magistrates court project provides you with the opportunity to examine and cross-examine trainee police officers about real cases before local magistrates in an authentic court room environment. We run workshops in mooting and advocacy skills, and you will have the opportunity to take part in national mooting competitions.
Why study with Brighton Business School?
You will have access to a range of online legal research services, such as Westlaw, Lawtel, Lexis Nexis Butterworths and HeinOnline. These online resources can be accessed whether on or off campus. We also have an outstanding library which houses the tools of the lawyers' trade: primary sources of law such as statutes and cases, and secondary sources such as books, periodicals and journals.
Other student support services include the University's careers centre, welfare service, a counselling service, chaplaincy and childcare provision.
The University of Brighton boasts a thriving Student Law Society, established and run by students for the purpose of organising social events, arranging talks by visiting speakers and facilitating debates and mooting. Educational events have included visits to Lewes Crown Court, Brighton Magistrates Court, the Houses of Parliament, and national law fairs. The society provides excellent opportunities for personal development.
The part-time course is based on an average study commitment of 20 hours per week, 15 hours per week of which is private study. Full-time students will be expected to devote 30 hours per week to study outside class time. Before you start this course you will be expected to complete a programme of preliminary reading.
The programme begins in September with a module on the English legal system, method and skills. This provides participants with the foundation needed to underpin their legal studies.
The seven modules which cover the 'Foundations of Legal Knowledge' are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and workshops. All the teaching is scheduled into blocks of 3 hours. Assessment is by means of coursework and/or examination.
The independent research module (the project) involves researching for and writing a 5,000 word dissertation on an area of law that you are particularly interested in.