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BPP or University of Law

by Charles Nwabueze
Reading Time: 5 minutes

BPP and the University of Law are undoubtedly the biggest and most well-known providers of the LPC and GDL.

Along with the University of Law, BPP is one of the trusted education partners for leading organisations across the globe. Some of the organisations that partner with them include the Ministry of Justice, NatWest, Santander, Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Hogan Lovells, the NHS and Eversheds Sutherland. BPP claims that it educates professionals in 9 out of the top 10 professional services firms; educates professionals from 86% of FTSE 100 companies; exclusively educates professionals in 4 out of 5 magic circle law firms and trains employees in 9 out of the top 10 UK banks.

On the other hand, the University of Law (UoL) is also one of the UK’s longest and largest established specialist providers of legal, business and professional education. According to the 2021 national student survey, UoL ranked first amongst universities in England for teaching and in the Top Five for the last three years. UoL claims that within 15 months of graduating from their postgraduate courses 94% of their participants were in highly skilled occupations. UoL claims that it delivers legal training to 94 of the top 100 law firms and enjoys exclusive relationships with 60 of the top 100 UK law firms. It says some of its partners include Ashurst, Farrer&Co, Gowling WLG, Burges Salmon, Milbank, Akin Gump and RPC.

Locations

BPP provides several study centres within and outside the UK where students can receive excellent tutoring with modern resources. The locations are London City (next to ‘The Gherkin’), London Holborn, London King’s Cross, London Waterloo, London Shepherd’s Bush, London Portsoken Street, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham, Doncaster, Nottingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Reading, Southampton, Jersey and Guernsey.

UoL has 15 locations across the UK, online and internationally where students can take part in their courses. They have campuses in Birmingham, Bristol, Guildford, Hong Kong, Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham, Newcastle University, Berlin at GISMA Business School, University of Chester, University of East Anglia, University of Exeter, University of Liverpool, University of Reading, University of Sheffield, Bloomsbury and Moorgate (these last two are in London). 

The Costs

For those seeking to take part in the LPC at BPP, the fees for the academic year of 2022-2023 are as follows:

  • Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge and Online: £13,930 
  • Leeds and Manchester: £13,038
  • London Holborn: £17,706

If you get an offer you’ll need to pay a deposit of £350 within 48 hours of accepting such an offer to secure your place.

Meanwhile, for those taking the LPC at UoL, the fees are as follows: 

  • Chester, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield – £13,200
  • Birmingham, Bristol, Exeter, Guildford, Norwich, Reading – £14,150
  • London (Bloomsbury and Moorgate) – £17,950

If given an offer, a deposit of £250 is payable upon accepting your place.

Examination Styles

At BPP you will be assessed through a range of methods, including written and oral examinations. They do not practise a closed book policy and as such there are no closed book assessments on the LPC or LLM Legal Practice Course, including examinations taken online. This means that you are allowed to freely use your statute books, codes of practice and copies of procedure rules during all LPC exams. Furthermore, the assessment is structured in such a way that the majority of legal knowledge required for passing their LPC will come from those permitted sources, as opposed to case law. The reason behind this is to encourage their students to focus their revision more on when and how to apply the law, rather than trying to memorize the law. 

On the other hand, UoL assesses their students through a range of assessments which includes oral assessments in Interviewing and Advocacy, open book and closed book exams. Though the UoL practises a closed book policy exam, the exams that are closed book are quite small compared to the open book exams. About 20% of the exams you take at UoL will be closed-book based while the rest will be open-book based. 

Available Electives

At BPP, you can make three choices of electives from Advanced Commercial Litigation, Advanced Commercial Property, Commercial Law & Intellectual Property, Corporate Finance, Debt Finance, Employment Law, Equity Finance, Insurance Law, Family Law, International Trade and Transactions, Medical Negligence and Personal Injury, Private Acquisitions and Private Client (Wills, Probate and Estate Planning). 

Your choices at UoL are not too dissimilar to that of BPP. At UoL, you get to choose from Advanced Criminal, Advanced Real Estate, Banking and Debt Finance, Commercial Dispute Resolution, Commercial Law, Competition Law, Employment Law, Family Law, Immigration, Insurance, Intellectual Property, Mergers and Acquisitions, Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence, Private Client and Public Companies.

From the above, you will see that BPP offers electives that are tailored toward the commercial and corporate sectors while the offerings of UoL are more of the traditional range. 

Flexibility of Study

Both providers offer the options of taking their courses (LPC) full-time, part-time and online. 

BPP’s full-time LPC can be completed in nine months via face-to-face or online learning. Full-time students will typically receive 10-12 face-to-face contact hours per week and need to devote around 40+ hours a week to study (45+ hours a week over nine months). BPP also offers a fast-track LPC which can be completed in 7 months with a similar amount of face-to-face contact (an additional two hours is required). The fast-track is only available at their London Holborn centre. The part-time LPC takes between 18-24 months to complete, depending on your model of choice. Part-time students will typically receive 4-5 contact hours per week and will need to devote 23+ hours a week to study for over 21 months.

At UoL, you can choose to study their LPC full-time, part-time, day, evening and weekend courses, as well as online. For the full-time LPC, it’s expected that you dedicate a total of 45 hours every week to independent learning and preparation for workshops and consolidation following workshops (35hrs); test and feedback exercises (2hrs) and workshop sessions (8hrs). Meanwhile, the accelerated LPC at UoL lasts for six months with 55 study hours (including independent study hours) per week. The part-time LPC is not that intense as it is spread over 22 months, as such requires only a total of 22.5 study hours.

Funding Options

BPP students who intend to fund their studies are provided with the opportunity of spreading the payment of their tuition fees across up to 16 instalments to make the payments a bit more manageable. BPP also hosts various scholarship schemes that offer payment of the full tuition fees of the various courses. This is in addition to various other scholarships and bursaries that award a part of the monetary value of the tuition fees. 

UoL understands that it may be difficult for students to pay their fees so it has provided certain schemes. UoL provides various options for both their full-time and part-time students to spread out their tuition fee payments. Single instalments and three termly instalments are available for both types of students. Ten consecutive monthly instalment plan is available for full-time students. In the case of part-time students, it’s twenty consecutive monthly instalments. UoL also has a £2 million scholarship fund under various scholarship and bursaries schemes accessible to students that satisfy the necessary criteria.

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Charles is a writer, practising lawyer and personal trainer who loves learning and developing himself. He graduated from Middlesex University, London with eight first-class grades in the second and third years of his law degree, and received a postgraduate offer from Cambridge University. He loves strength training, boxing and encouraging people to succeed in their pursuits (legal ones)
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