University of Northumbria, Newcastle-upon-Tyne (North) - LLB Courses
LLB (Hons) / LLB (Hons) Solicitors Exempting / LLB (Hons) Barristers Exempting
This programme offers the choice of studying for 3 years to obtain an LLB (Hons) qualifying degree or 4 years to achieve either a Solicitors Exempting degree or an Exempting Bar Vocational award.
The programme builds on the School of Law's reputation for innovative teaching, in particular on its philosophy of combining academic development with practice experience. Students are given the opportunity to advise real clients in the School’s Student Law Office gaining hands-on experience and the skills required in an increasingly competitive environment.
All of the routes provide the opportunity to participate in a range of activities including moots or mock trials performed in one of the School’s courtrooms. Each courtroom is equipped with state-of-the-art video cameras and an editing studio, allowing students the chance to review individual performance.
All three routes follow the same programme for the first 2 years. Students choose their preferred route during Year 2 although admission to barristers route is not guaranteed but is dealt with on a competitive basis.
This route integrates the undergraduate stage of legal education with the Legal Practice Course (LPC), the vocational qualification for prospective solicitors. It is the only course of its kind in England and Wales and qualifies graduates to go straight into a law firm as a trainee solicitor.
Year 1 is spent studying property, contract and a combined module of crime, litigation and evidence designed to give students a deep understanding of how the criminal justice system operates. Students are also introduced to the English legal system and that of the European Union.
Year 2 includes a continuation of property, public law, tort and an optional subject from a wide range of specialist areas. Again, the academic law of tort is studied as an integrated package with litigation and evidence to enhance understanding of the civil law process.
The third year combines undergraduate subjects with those from the Legal Practice Course. Areas of study include, Property law and practice, Law of business associations, Jurisprudence and one half LLB optional subject. Participation in the Student Law Office training programme develops legal and transferable skills including advocacy, research and drafting and provides a basis for advising real clients.
Final year students undertake a research project
plus two options and a short module in probate and administration.
A major element of the final year is participation in the Student
The first 2 years of this programme are common to the LLB (Hons) Exempting degrees. The final year involves jurisprudence, an optional research project and 2 LLB options.
Students who wish to become solicitors or barristers must enrol on a further study programme to satisfy the vocational requirements of their chosen profession.
The Barristers Exempting programme integrates the undergraduate stage of legal education with the requirements of the Bar Vocational Course (BVC), the vocational stage for prospective barristers.
This programme provides the opportunity to develop the skills essential for practice at the Bar. There is opportunity for contact with the practising Bar via moots, mock trials, court visits and social events. In addition, lectures are given by distinguished visitors. This degree again follows the same modules as the Exempting degree for the first two years.
In Year 3 and 4, undergraduate subjects are combined with those from the BVC. Modules include jurisprudence undergrad options, remedies and sentencing plus the BVC case skills modules and the Student Law Office module. The BVC case skills modules include opinion writing, advocacy, conference skills, negotiation and drafting. The Student Law Office modules culminate in Year 4 with students acting in firms and advising real clients. The programme as a whole develops legal skills in the context of academic legal studies.
Choice of Routes:
The Exempting degree is recognised for funding purposes as a 4-year programme. Confirmation of choice of route is usually made during the second year. Entry onto the Barristers Exempting route is competitive and only a limited number of places are available. In addition, within each route there is the opportunity to specialise in particular areas of law with a wide range of optional subjects available. This enables students to create a distinctive academic and career profile while at university, for example specialising in 'commercial law' or 'high street' subject areas.
Coursework and Assessment:
Assessment is by means of coursework, supervised
assessments and examinations. In addition, on the LLB Exempting
degrees, students are assessed for competency in the legal skills
of interviewing, practical legal research, advocacy and drafting
as well as on live client work in the Student Law Office.
Student Law Office
The Sudent Law Office is modelled on a solicitor’s practice and is open to all members of the public. The aim of the SLO is to increase the direct professional practice experience available to undergraduate law students and to integrate the learning of substantive law and professional skills with real advice and casework. The SLO is a compulsory, assessed element of the LLB Exempting Degrees and runs over the final 2 years of the programme with students being introduced in Year 3 to the practices and procedures which they will utilise in Year 4.
Graduates have obtained employment with a range of legal firms throughout the country as well as in barristers' chambers. Law graduates are also well placed to compete for a variety of jobs in commerce, industry, financial services and the public sector.
As the Solicitors Exempting degree integrates the undergraduate stage of legal education with the requirements of the Legal Practice Course, graduates can enter a training contract with a firm of solicitors without having to undertake a separate Legal Practice Course. Similarly, graduates of the Barristers Exempting degree will be in a position to enter pupillage without having to undertake a separate Bar Vocational Course.