The University of Wolverhampton

LLM (Common Professional Examination)

Why choose this course?

The LLM [Common Professional Examination] is ideal for non-law graduates wanting a fast-track route to a professional law qualification and obtaining a Master’s degree into the bargain!

If you are looking for the chance to change career direction, this course provides the same opportunities open to those who have graduated with a qualifying LLB degree – exemption from the academic stage of training and to enable you to proceed to undertaking the Legal Practice Course (“LPC”) and Bar Professional Training Course (“BPTC”) exams. It is also of interest if you are wishing to undertake an intensive study of the core elements of English Law.

Drawing on the expertise of law staff within the School, the course keeps up-to-date with the latest requirements from the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (“SRA”), providing you with the knowledge and skills to succeed in the field. The course is approved by the Joint Academic Stage Board (“JASB”), on behalf of the SRA and Bar Standards Board (“BSB”).

The CPE is taught over one year full-time or two years part-time, in which case attendance usually involves two evenings per week. You will experience a variety of teaching methods including framework lectures, group-led discussions and debates, workshops, oral presentations and independent research. Assessment will be through examinations in January and June.

Throughout your time spent studying for the LLM [Common Professional Examination] course, you will undertake lectures, seminars, workshops, use on-line learning facilities and other forms of technology-supported learning to gain knowledge of the legal system, familiarity with its institutions and procedures understand the principles and values in a range of topics extending beyond the core subject areas and have in-depth knowledge of chosen specialist areas.

You should be able to apply knowledge to problem situations and demonstrate the ability to provide solutions; be able to evaluate law both independently and in relation to other perspectives.

Through learned research techniques you will be able to identify and use primary legal sources and journals relevant to topics under study and be able to act independently in planning and managing tasks and demonstrate proficiency in the use of ICT and technology supported learning.

Read more about Law at the University of Wolverhampton.

What happens on the course?

The induction which is studied over two weeks provides a background of the English Legal System, including topics on court structure, common law and equity, the anatomy of a statute, the anatomy of a case, and civil and criminal procedure.

The LLM [CPE] course consists of seven compulsory foundation modules. These are prescribed by the JASB, ensuring that you have the relevant knowledge base in each of the following areas: Constitutional and Administrative Law; Criminal Law; Equity and Trusts; European Union Law; Land Law; Law of Contract and Law of Tort.

You will also have the opportunity to carry out an independent research project in an area of law other than that studied within the foundation modules. This will allow you to follow your own interests and deepen your knowledge.

Why Wolverhampton?

The LLM [Common Professional Examination] is a very popular course within the School of Law and is based on the study of the essential modules for entry into one of the legal professions.

In the recent Research Assessment Exercise (“RAE”) the School's average ranking was the joint highest ranking of all new universities within the Region with 65% of law staff ranked at an international level or above.

Mooting and other legal skills competitions provide the opportunity to experience what it is like to be a lawyer. Also, a purpose built courtroom gives you a taste of life in a real court with purpose-built legal equipment and special acoustics.

There are also regular visits to The Inns of Court, Houses of Parliament as well as career talks from local firms, police and other relevant organisations.

What our students think

We pride ourselves on our supportive culture with a large team of support staff to provide excellent pastoral care and support with a welcoming academic environment in which to undertake your degree.

Student comments:-

"I chose to study law at Wolverhampton because I visited the School and was impressed by the helpfulness and enthusiasm of all the staff." "There are many good points about the course including the excellent teaching, the support provided by staff and the international mix of students. The facilities are also very good especially the Learning Centres."

Career path

Successful completion of the LLM [Common Professional Examination] gives you exemption from the academic stage of solicitors’ and barristers’ professional exams. You will be able to progress onto the LPC to train as a solicitor, or the Bar Professional Training Course if you want to train as a barrister. Completion of the LLM [Common Professional Examination] at Wolverhampton leads to priority placing on our Legal Practice Course .

You could also undertake further study towards a MPhil or PhD .

What skills will you gain?

1. Demonstrate a systematic knowledge, understanding and application of the doctrines and principles underpinning the law of England and Wales.

2. Demonstrate a critical awareness of the sources of law and how that is made and developed; of the institutions within which that law is administered and the personnel who practice law.

3. Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the intellectual, practical and electronic skills and techniques applicable to legal research together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in law, and apply these skills in order to make personal and reasoned judgments in the areas of law studied, including through self-direct.

4. Deal with complex legal issues systematically, making sound judgements and communicate your findings clearly and accurately in English using appropriate legal terminology.

5. Demonstrate knowledge and conceptual understanding of a range of legal concepts, values, principles and rules of law, critically evaluating the relationships between them.

6. Demonstrate transferable skills for employment requiring the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility, independent learning, and the exercise of initiative in complex and unpredictable situations.

Who accredits this course?

The JASB is made up of representatives of the BSB and the SRA, who oversee the course and provide stringent regulations in addition to those of the University requirements to quality control the LLM [Common Professional Examination] since it provides graduates with the necessary qualification to further study to become a solicitor or a barrister.

Entry requirements

Applicants for the CPE/LLM must satisfy the requirements of the Solicitors Regulation Authority & Bar Standards Board academic stage to gain entry to the CPE/LLM

1. Applicants must therefore;

(I) hold a degree (other than an honorary degree) conferred by an institution in England or Wales empowered by the Privy Council to award degrees or by a university in the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland or by the Council for National Academic Awards before its dissolution on 31st March 1993 or a licence awarded by the University College of Buckingham before that college was granted university status;


(II) hold a degree (other than an honorary degree) conferred by a university outside the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland which the Society considers to be of a

standard at least equivalent to that of a degree conferred by a university in the United Kingdom; or

(III) be accepted by the Society for admission as a mature student; the applicant for such acceptance must:

(a) have had considerable experience or shown exceptional ability in an academic, professional, business or administrative field;

(b) have attained the age of 25 years;

(c) have attained such standard of general education as the Society may consider sufficient;

(d) have satisfied the Society as to character and suitability to become a solicitor; and

(e) have a good knowledge of written and spoken English; or

(IV) be a Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Legal Executives ; or

(V) be a Member of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives who has three years’ qualifying employment; or

(VI) have attained the age of 25 years and hold such qualification in Magisterial Law awarded after successful completion of a relevant course as shall from time to time be recognised by the SRA or BSB; or

(VII) have attained such academic and vocational qualifications as the SRA or BSB considers to be equivalent to a first degree under paragraph (i).

2. In exceptional circumstances notified to and accepted as such by the Master of the Rolls, the SRA and BSB may accept such other evidence of academic eligibility as it thinks fit in the case of a person who completes a course of study for a degree at an institution referred to in paragraphs (i) and (ii).

Students who wish to qualify as a solicitor should obtain a Certificate of Academic Standing from the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Students who wish to qualify as a barrister should obtain a Certificate of Academic Standing from the Bar Standards Board.

A Certificate of Academic Standing issued by one professional body is not binding upon the other professional body

The university will normally require an undergraduate degree 2:2 or above from a UK university. Candidates from other institutions will be considered on an individual basis. Candidates must also have IELTS level 6.5. This is in line with the University requirement at postgraduate level.

There is normally no restriction on the subject matter of your degree. Exemptions are possible from some subjects depending on previous study.

Course fees and finance

2016/7 Home/EU International
Full time £5,900 £12,200
Part time £2,950

These fees are applicable for new entrants in 2016/7. Fees are for the academic year only, any subsequent years may be subject to an annual increase, usually in line with inflation.

Postgraduate Loans: A new system of loans for taught and research Masters courses for students resident in England is being introduced from September 2016. For more information and how to apply online visit:

Professional and Career Development Loan: The University is a Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDL) registered Learning Provider, registration number [4413]. A PCDL is a commercial bank loan that you can use to help pay for work-related learning. For further information on financial assistance to support your learning, please visit the GOV.UK website or contact the National Careers Service on 0800 100 900.

Charitable Funding: You might also want to explore the possibility of funding from charitable trusts; please see the following websites, or Most charities and trust funds offer limited bursaries targeted to specific groups of students so you will need to research whether any of them are relevant to your situation.

University Postgraduate Loyalty Discount: The University also offers a postgraduate loyalty discount ( If you have completed an undergraduate degree at the University of Wolverhampton, you may be eligible for a 20% discount on the first year of a taught postgraduate programme.

Financial Hardship: Students can apply to the Dennis Turner Opportunity Fund ( for help with course related costs however this cannot be used for fees or to cover general living costs.

If you are paying for the fees yourself then the fees can be paid in 3 instalments: November, January and April. More information can be found at


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