Course description

Professional Legal Skills LLM

Professional Legal Skills LLM - a City University degree programme

Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) allows professionals and students to gain an LLM by completing dissertation in BPTC. In addition to taught classes, professionals will be gaining professional legal practice based on strong understanding of the same.

Suitability - Who should attend?

You can only apply for the LLM in Professional Legal Skills if you are enrolled to undertake the BPTC at The City Law School or if you registered to take the BVC with us in the last five years. All students accepted will be expected to attend an Induction Day.

Application Deadlines

  • 14 November 2014
  • 20 April 2015

If you are not from the European Economic Area / Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK you may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study. /p>

The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course; there are different rules for:

  • Students on courses of more than 6 months
  • Students on courses of less than 6 months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English Language course

Please note: If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you cannot undertake any City University London courses on a part-time basis.

Outcome / Qualification etc.

Professional Legal Skills LLM course has been developed specifically to assist students in achieving their career aspirations. Students who have pupillage can use work on their dissertation to show their commitment to an area of practice. Students seeking pupillage or going into other areas of legal work can use the dissertation to strengthen their CV.

Training Course Content

To be awarded the LLM in Professional Legal Skills you need to complete a dissertation on a personally selected topic. When you apply for the LLM you will be asked to put forward a proposal for this dissertation.

Dissertation Proposal

There are a wide choice of possibilities for your dissertation proposal. The key requirement is that your choice of topic must focus on knowledge and skills directly relevant to legal practice, procedure or skill. We are keen to encourage students to look at topics related to pupillage or pro bono work, but this is not essential.

It is very important that you draw up your own dissertation proposal and that it focuses on what you are most interested in as part of your developing career. Although, your supervisor will provide support and guidance the research, analysis and writing will be carried out by you. You therefore need to show that your ideas are sufficiently developed, that you have identified some issues to focus on, and that you have sufficient commitment to the work that will be required.

An idea for a dissertation proposal could arise from:

  • A topic studied on the BPTC/BVC that you would be interested in covering in greater depth and/or from a particular angle.
  • A current issue in legal professional practice raised, or issues in an area you would like to practice in
  • Applying scholarship and concepts from another discipline, such as psychology to legal professional knowledge and/or skills
  • A topic that arises in a mini pupillage or pro bono work

Topics arising from the BVC/BPTC might include:

  • An in-depth examination of a particular area of evidence or procedure, such as funding litigation, or the use of technology to present evidence in court.
  • A critical consideration of an aspect of practice, for example current practice in ADR, or the use of expert evidence
  • Analysis of how a particular skill is developed and applied in legal practice, for example comparing witness preparation in the UK and other jurisdictions, or the drafting of settlements in personal injury cases
  • A topic arising from professional conduct or ethics, such as an analysis of how key parts of the Code of Conduct work in practice
  • A topic linked to work experience, for example pro bono work

LLM students in the past have chosen topics from a variety of areas. Topics past students have chosen and have had approved, include:

  • A critical appraisal of the use of structured settlements in practice
  • Balancing probabilities - mathematical and statistical insights into principles for assessing damages
  • Funding options for civil litigation in England and Wales - does money buy justice?
  • The use of logic, rhetoric and persuasion in trial advocacy
  • Is alternative dispute resolution really alternative? Can arbitration meet a client's needs better than litigation?
  • When is evidence of sexual orientation appropriately relevant?
  • The compatibility of the rules for the admissibility of evidence in criminal cases and the right to a fair trial
  • Are all people are effectively served by the criminal justice system? The evolving roles of witnesses and victims
  • What can psychological principles tell us about the effectiveness of juries?
  • In practice, what are the directors of a company really legally responsible for?
  • An analysis of the practical use of comparators in discrimination claims in Employment Tribunals
  • Which areas of Sharia law might realistically be incorporated into English family law cases?
  • Assessing the potential impact of the UK Bribery Act 2010.
  • Contract Damages: Does the market price rule meet current market needs?

Developing a methodology

It is important to develop your methodology before starting your dissertation as, without a clear methodology, you can waste time following false trails and may have difficulties completing your dissertation.

When developing the methodology for your dissertation, you should consider:

  • What sort of research will be required?
  • What sort of literature search would be required? What sources are most relevant?
  • What critical framework might be appropriate to analyse material you find?
  • Might empirical research be relevant?
  • How will the topic be approached?

You may wish to carry out some empirical research for your dissertation, for example using questionnaires for members of a set of chambers, or short interviews with pro bono clients. Your supervisor will support this, so long as your plans are properly structured and any ethical considerations have been satisfactorily addressed.


You should consider how completing the dissertation will fit with other commitments and career plans. Apply when you are confident you will have time to complete your dissertation within a year of your induction to the course, as that is the expectation.If you are not reasonably sure you can complete your dissertation within a year, consider waiting until the next application round. Part time students can apply in their first or second year or later.

There will be an induction day in June and throughout the year you will have regular contact points to assess your progress.




  • Full-time EU: £3,500
  • Full-time Non EU: £3,500

About provider

City University London

City University London

City, University of London is a special place. With skill and dedication, we have been using education, research and enterprise to transform the lives of our students, our community and the world for a hundred years. We are proud of...

Read more and show all courses with this provider

Contact info

City University London

Northampton Square
EC1V 0HB London

 Show phone number

U.K. L&D Report: 2018 - Benchmark Your Workplace Learning Strategy

Are you curious about the L&D strategies of some of the U.K.'s top companies?

Find out what they're up to in findcourses.co.uk's second annual U.K. L&D Report!


Learn more

Find a course for you!

  Read the course
 summary on this page

 Fill in your details and Request information

 Receive all the info you need

Find more courses here