The Law Conversion Course - Legal Studies Common Professional Exam (CPE) is an accredited conversion course for non-law graduates aiming for a professional career in law. It satisfies all the requirements of the professional bodies including the Bar Standards Board and Solicitors Regulation Authority.
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Steps to becoming a solicitor or barrister
On successfully completing the CPE you are eligible to enter the Legal Practice Course (for intending solicitors) or the Bar Professional Training Course (for intending barristers), which has some additional entry requirements including an aptitude test and English language proficiency.
The course is taught by an experienced team of tutors most of whom are solicitors or barristers which provides you with invaluable insight into the details of legal principals and real case examples.
See the website http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/courses/course-finder/law-conversion-legal-pgdip-cpe
You'll study seven modules required by the professional bodies for students intending to apply for the Legal Practice Course (LPC) or Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC):
- Introduction to the English legal system
You'll be introduced to the basic structure of the English Legal System and the essential aspects of civil and criminal litigation. You'll explore sources of law and key skills such as statutory interpretation, reading of law reports and the concept of judicial precedent. This introductory course will assist you in the study of the core modules, where legal skills will be developed further.
- Law of the European Union
Law of the European Union reflects the importance of EU law in the English Legal system. It is important to the management of the UK economy and relevant to the financial practitioners in the City. Business leader's decisions are influenced by EU competition law. It is important to migrants and practitioners of immigration law, to consumers and trading standards officials, to all employees through employment law and to all of us in relation to the environment.
- Obligations 1 (law of contract)
This module covers the principles of English contract law, sources, development, application in context and reform and includes reference to European developments. Contract is treated from formation to discharge and remedies with underlying concepts, rationales and influences and its relation to other forms of liability. Through the subject treatment, particularly examination of judicial reasoning and legislative technique, knowledge and skills are taught and/or developed. Skills include problem-solving, critical evaluation, reasoned argument and communication.
- Obligations 2 (law of tort)
You'll learn about civil liability in tort, focusing on an in-depth analysis of negligence, employers' liability for accidents at work, occupiers' liability for dangerous premises, manufacturers' liability for dangerous products, defences and vicarious liability. You'll develop your legal skills by reading and critically analysing cases and will apply your knowledge to complex, yet everyday, problem scenarios. You'll be encouraged to become critical and independent thinkers, and to communicate your ideas and awareness of the role of policy and the need for reform in the law of tort. In addition to its importance as an area of academic interest, tort is of practical significance to the intending practitioner, featuring heavily in the case scenarios of Legal Practice and Bar Professional Courses, as well as in everyday legal practice.
- Public law
You'll study the fundamental laws, practices and principles of Public law which define and influence the relationship between the individual and the state as characterised by various governmental institutions in the UK. Detailed consideration is given to the fundamental mechanisms by which human rights are protected and government is subject to legal and political accountability. Various skills are developed including those of analysis, critical evaluation and problem solving.
- Land law
Land law is a study of relationships. You'll study the relationship between the land and the rights which can exist in or over it, the relationship between the various persons who own an estate or interest over the land or want to defeat the competing interests in or over the land. You'll look at the rights and duties of each party to that relationship, how these relationships co-exit and what happens when the relationships come into conflict. Land Law governs the relative priorities enjoyed by two or more interests concerning the same piece of land. Land Law creates clear rules and formalities as to how the owner of an interest in land can acquire, transfer or extinguish that interest in land. You'll study the interests over land which Land Law is prepared to recognise and how these interests must be protected to ensure enforceability against third parties.
- Criminal law
This module aims to develop your ability to analyse and critically evaluate problems in Criminal Law so that you become independent and reflective legal practitioners able to contribute to public debate on legal issues. The main areas taught are: murder, manslaughter, non-fatal offences against the person including sexual offences and a variety of property offences including theft and fraud, accomplice liability and inchoate offences. You'll have additional support by way of on-line quizzes and narrated summaries.
- Equity and trusts
Principles of Equity are vital in the administration of justice. The 'trust' is a legal doctrine developed from those principles of equity which is fundamental to the commercial, business and employment worlds (pensions) and to individuals in the gifting of their property (personal trusts; wills).
- Project module
The project module satisfies the requirement of the academic stage of legal education that one other area of legal study must be successfully undertaken in addition to the seven modules which constitute the "Foundations of Legal Knowledge." It comprises the completion of a 4000 word extended essay, under the supervision of a member of the academic staff, based on the analysis of legal literature which takes differing interpretations over an issue related to law or its underlying theories. Its aim is to foster the development of the key elements of legal reasoning and legal method, research methods used in the conduct of autonomous research in law or law related topics as well as the development of skills in relation to the review and evaluation of journal articles, advanced texts and other secondary legal material.
Dissertation for the award of LLM
- Dissertation (LLM only)
This is an optional module as it is not required to complete the academic stage of legal education and so is not required to obtain the postgraduate diploma in legal studies and the common professional examination. Its successful completion is required to obtain the LLM. A prerequisite to undertake this module is the successful completion and award of the postgraduate diploma in legal studies and the common professional examination. It comprises the completion of a 15,000 word Master's level dissertation under the supervision of an appropriate academic member of staff. It requires the student to independently conceive, plan and execute an appropriate piece of research based on firm academic and theoretical foundations. The module builds upon the research skills already acquired in the successful completion of the postgraduate diploma in legal studies and common professional examination.
Most modules are assessed by exams, exams plus coursework or presentations.
X8 modules = PgDip + CPE
X8 modules and dissertation = LLM
- Solicitor or Barrister
This course can lead to one of many careers in law from a professional qualification as solicitor or barrister to a wide variety of careers in both public and private sectors.
While our graduates may go on to join professional courses leading to qualification as a solicitor or barrister, the Diploma is also useful for numerous jobs that value skills in analysis, clear communication, efficient organisation and reasoned persuasion.
- BSB and SRA
This course is fully recognised by the Bar Standards Board and Solicitors Regulation Authority and constitutes completion of the Academic Stage of Training for the purposes of further study on either the Legal Practice Course (for intending solicitors) or the Bar Professional Training Course for intending barristers (with additional entry requirements including an aptitude test and English language proficiency).
Unlike a Graduate Diploma in Law our PgDip Legal Studies plus CPE is a postgraduate level qualification. After successfully completing the course you'll accumulate sufficient postgraduate credits to be eligible to submit for the further award of LLM by dissertation.
The LLM is an optional qualification additional to your Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Studies. To obtain the LLM you must successfully complete a supervised 15,000 word dissertation for which preparation has already been undertaken by your successful completion of the project module forming part of the programme leading to the PgDip Legal Studies plus CPE. The Masters dissertation is usually submitted in the semester following completion of the PgDip Legal Studies plus CPE. You'll not be required to attend classes when researching and writing your dissertation and you'll therefore be able to enrol on the Legal Practice Course or Bar Professional Training Course in the September following the successful completion of the PgDip in Legal Studies.
LSBU Employability Services
LSBU is committed to supporting you develop your employability and succeed in getting a job after you have graduated. Your qualification will certainly help, but in a competitive market you also need to work on your employability, and on your career search. Our Employability Service will support you in developing your skills, finding a job, interview techniques, work experience or an internship, and will help you assess what you need to do to get the job you want at the end of your course. LSBU offers a comprehensive Employability Service, with a range of initiatives to complement your studies, including:
- direct engagement from employers who come in to interview and talk to students
- Job Shop and on-campus recruitment agencies to help your job search
- mentoring and work shadowing schemes.
Teaching and learning
The primary aims of the course are to ensure that you achieve a sound understanding of English law covered in the seven foundation subjects, which provides a solid grasp of the structure and operation of the English legal system.
Classes consist of a mixture of lectures and smaller group meetings where exam technique and problem solving approaches are practiced. The course is well supported by online materials and search resources, which can be accessed off-campus.
You'll have free access to OUP Law TROVE to access books for all foundation subjects.