What is the accelerated LPC?
Most students aspiring to be solicitors are aware of the LPC—a critical course that must be completed before starting a training contract. But what exactly is the accelerated LPC?
The accelerated LPC is fairly new in comparison to its traditional counterpart. Pioneered by BPP law school in 2009, it allows students to compress the details of the LPC into a seven-month stint. There is no difference in fees or requirements compared to the traditional LPC. It runs twice a year at BPP, from February and August. The University of Law also runs two full-time accelerated LPCs per year starting in January and July, lasting six months with 55 study hours (including private study) per week.
The course sheds a few months by running without breaks and reading weeks, and by restricting students to core subjects only—you won’t have the chance to take electives if you opt for the streamlined LPC. You will still be taught all of the core modules needed to progress onto a training contract, though, including business law and practice, property law and practice and civil litigation, as well as debt finance, equity finance and corporate transactions. Skills-based modules are also on the accelerated course.
Is it a good idea?
The short answer? Maybe. The accelerated version of the LPC is arguably more representative of the high-intensity work you will find yourself doing at some City law firms. In theory, it gives you three extra months of freedom compared to the 10-month course, so if you have work experience, internships or even a training contract lined up then it could be your chance to get there earlier. Just ensure that you give yourself enough time to do the course pre-reading.
In terms of the cons: it’s not likely that you will be able to hold down a part-time job or get involved in an array of extracurriculars. The accelerated LPC is designed to be a primary concern, not one of the many concerns that you juggle at once. You’ll need to evaluate the impact that an intense study programme will have on your mental health, social life and other priorities, and decide whether it is for you.
Students who have done the accelerated LPC emphasise the importance of time-management skills; you’ll need to combine what you’re learning in face-to-face teachings with self-study, and the fast pace means that it’s essential to build understanding as you go along rather than cramming before the exams.
Where do I apply?
As with the full-time standard LPCs, you can apply for an accelerated LPC programme on the Central Applications Board (CAB) website.