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  1. Postgraduate
  2. 2021
Study at City

LLM Professional Legal Skills

Entry Year:
Focus on an area of professional legal practice of your choice, while strengthening your knowledge and understanding of legal professional practice.

Key information

Start date

June 2021 (TBC)

Academic year dates


Full-time: six months
Part-time: one year


Full-time: 4,340*

Part-time: 4,340*


Full-time: 4,340*


Full-time: 4,340*

Part-time: 4,340*


Northampton Square

Who is it for?

This course is for students undertaking the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) who would like to convert their BPTC into an LLM.


This LLM satisfies all the requirements of a traditional LLM but has a primary focus on practice. In addition to the taught classes on the BPTC the LLM gives you the chance to focus on an area of professional legal practice of your choice, while strengthening your knowledge and understanding of legal professional practice. This can be linked to pupillage to underline a commitment to a particular area, or can be used more generally to strengthen your CV.

Why City's LLM in Professional Legal Skills?

  • Develop the knowledge and skills gained from your BPTC
  • Benefit from ongoing one-to-one specialist support and expert supervision
  • Explore a specialist area of law with practitioners in that field
  • Enhance your long-term career prospects and attractiveness to employers
  • Gain an instant competitive advantage in a crowded recruitment market

Requirements and how to apply

Entry requirements

BPTC LLM Conversion

The BPTC conversion course is only open to students who commenced the previous version of the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) within the last five years and before and 2017/18. The new Bar Vocational Studies Course contains an integrated LLM option so there is no need for a conversion course.

Visa requirements

International Students (EEA and Non EEA) coming to study in the UK, may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study. The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course. There are different rules for:

  • EEA nationals joining the programme in 2020 and EEA nationals joining from January 2021
  • Students on courses of more than six months
  • Students on courses of less than six months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English language course.

For more information see our main Visa page.

How to apply

Applications for the course are not yet open but are expected to open in early 2021 and will need to be submitted by April 2021. Once applications are open you will be able to download the application form from this website.

If you have any enquiries please contact:


During your course

More about fees

*Fees in each subsequent year of study (where applicable) will be subject to an annual increase of 2%. We will confirm any change to the annual tuition fee to you in writing prior to you commencing each subsequent year of study (where applicable).


The City Law School Scholarships

The City Law School is firmly committed to a generous programme of scholarships awarded on the basis of academic excellence. Our scholarships range in value and include both partial and full fee waiver awards.

Find out more about other scholarships offered to City Law School Students.


We offer a variety of accommodation options and support services for postgraduate students.

Read more about our postgraduate halls.

Our Accommodation Service can also help you find private accommodation.

Find out more about private accommodation.

Learn a language for free

We offer a free language course for City, University of London students.

Find out how to apply


This course has no timetabled classes beyond an initial induction.

Student support

We offer an extensive support network during your time here at City, University of London – from Learning Support (including disability support) and counselling to financial and career advice – leaving you free to enjoy every opportunity campus life has to offer.

Find out more about the different types of student support available.

Ask a student

Chat to our current students and read their blogs to gain an insight into studying at City and learn more about our undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Course content and assessment

To make sure that you can begin or continue your studies with us during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have reviewed and adapted our courses to ensure a safe learning environment for our students and staff. We have modified the way some of our courses are delivered, with many programmes being made available online.

Contact us to find out more about how our programmes will be delivered.

Teaching and learning

The classes that you will have already completed on the BPTC provide the taught element of the course. To complete your dissertation you will need to work independently, use practitioner sources and apply law at an advanced level to solve problems whilst developing an awareness of current practice issues.

In support of your work on dissertation we provide:

  • One-to-one structured supervision
  • Web-based guidance on research, planning and writing a dissertation
  • Support for small-scale empirical research
  • Access to all The City Law School and City, University of London facilities, including: Library services, IT support and Careers
  • advice services


You will need to research, write and submit a dissertation of 15-20,000 words.


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.


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 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 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

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.

Time frames

The course can be completed on either a full-time basis (submission within six months of registration) or part-time basis (submission within 12 months of registration).

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 the expected time frame.

If you are not reasonably sure you can complete your dissertation within the time frame, consider waiting until the next application round.

The programme specification contains more information on how the course is organised, the requirements for progression for each part and credits required for awards.

After you graduate

Career prospects

This 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.

Applications for the course are not yet open but are expected to open in early 2021 and will need to be submitted by April 2021. Once applications are open you will be able to download the application form from this website.

If you have any enquiries please contact:


Contact details

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