Students in UWE's practice court

Professional course

Professional Skills Course

About this course

Course code:
M30B48
Applications:
University
Level:
Professional/Short Course
Department:
Bristol Law School
Campus:
Frenchay
Duration:
12 days' attendance in total, spread throughout the year (usually year one of the training contract). Courses run throughout the year in Bristol and Exeter. Each day runs from 09:30 - 17:00 (10:00 - 17:00 in Exeter). There is also a Fast Track course enabling you to complete all three Core Modules in one go which runs through late July/early August.
Delivery:
Part-time
Course director:
Ben Reeves
Key fact:
We are recognised as one of the leading providers of PSC training regionally, thanks to our excellent teaching, strong links with law practitioners and rich learning environment. We are also the only provider in the South West to offer both day release and fast track routes for studying the PSC.

Page last updated 15 August 2018

Introduction

The Professional Skills Course (PSC) provides training in the practical skills you will need as you progress in your role as a trainee solicitor. From advocacy and communication, to client care and professional standards, you will gain a solid grounding in all the areas that are essential and highly advantageous to your practice.

This is a compulsory skills-based course that the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) requires you to complete before your admission as a solicitor. Building on the foundations laid in the Legal Practice Course, the course includes 12 days of training in total, which you will usually complete during your two-year period of recognised training.

An established name in PSC training

UWE Bristol is the main provider of PSC training in the West of England with over 19 years' experience of running the course. You will be taught by experienced university tutors, who have worked as solicitors for many years themselves and specialise in PSC training.

Informed by industry

The course has been designed by industry practitioners to ensure it meets the needs of both trainees and their firms and includes visiting speakers from many local and regional law firms. You will also have the opportunity to prepare and present a trial in a realistic courtroom environment.

Interactive, relevant and practice-based

Delivered as a face-to-face course to allow for greater debate and discussion, you will leave armed with renewed confidence in your role, well equipped with the knowledge and skills you need on your journey towards becoming qualified.

Megan Wright, a trainee solicitor at Michelmores, talks about her experience of the PSC on the trainee blog.  

Watch our film to find out more about studying law at UWE Bristol.

Entry requirements

Usually, applicants must have successfully completed the Legal Practice Course before beginning their PSC. However, there may be instances where the SRA will approve an individual applicant starting the PSC before completing the LPC. Where applicants can provide evidence that this is the case, they will be able to commence their PSC before completing the LPC.

If you have just finished the LPC, but have not yet received your results, you are still entitled to attend the PSC, but if you fail any of the LPC assessments, your attendance at the PSC will not count.

The Client Care and Professional Standards module must not be completed until the trainee has served at least 6 months full-time or full-time equivalent in a training contract.

Watch: The learning and teaching experience

Careers / Further study

Studying the PSC is a requirement of the SRA, but also an invaluable opportunity to enhance your skill-set as you progress in your role. You will gain increased confidence in areas such as presenting and advocacy, and develop a strong awareness of all the key areas that influence and feed into your practice. The course is also a valuable opportunity to reflect on what kind of lawyer you want to be in the future, and how you want your career to progress as either a solicitor or barrister.

Our award-winning careers service helps you develop your employment potential through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity plus support for entrepreneurial activity, and access to employer events.

Structure

Content

Compulsory core modules

The PSC course is divided into three compulsory core modules, the content of which is set by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA):

  • Advocacy and Communication Skills (three days) - provides you with the knowledge, understanding and skills to exercise the rights of audience available on admission in the civil and criminal courts.
  • Financial and Business Skills (three days) - develops your awareness of professional conduct relating to financial and accounting matters, including money laundering and mortgage fraud issues. This module also provides you with the knowledge of investment business in accordance with the SRA rules made under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.
  • Client Care and Professional Standards (two days) - enables you to identify and understand the significance of client care, ethical and professional conduct issues, helping you to respond appropriately within the training context. You'll be equipped to understand and apply methods of effective working, business awareness and the importance of personal and professional development.

Elective modules

In addition to the compulsory core modules, you will complete four days of elective modules to suit your areas of interest. These will allow you to expand on one or more of the subject areas from the compulsory modules, so you can specialise in particular areas of practice.

Each elective modulelasts one day, and although there is no formal appraisal, you will be expected to actively participate. You will choose four electives in total, which you will normally study after the compulsory core modules in the second year of training.

For a list of available elective modules and a brief description, please see our elective module listing.

People who have completed the CILEX route to qualification may be exempt from the electives but you will need to check this with the SRA. You can also apply to the SRA to exempt you from certain core modules, for example, on the basis of your past experience in practice.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

The PSC course is highly interactive, with plenty of classroom discussion, group work and opportunities to use your skills and reflect on your practice. As well as industry talks, you will have the chance to prepare and present a trial in a realistic courtroom environment. This exercise is recorded for future analysis.

You will need to attend 12 days of training in total to complete the course. You can choose to do the modules in whichever order you like, although it is advisable to complete the compulsory core modules first before going on to your electives. 

The course is run by experienced lawyers and teachers, drawn from the Bristol Institute of Legal Practice, Bristol Business School and legal practice.

For more details see our glossary of teaching and learning terms.

Study time

The different options

You can choose to study the PSC course in one of three ways:

Day release

Day release courses take place throughout the year, in both Bristol (at UWE or the Bristol Law Library) and in Exeter (at the University of Exeter).  

Fast-track

We run a fast-track course at the end of July at UWE. If you are exempt from a training contract, you may prefer to take the fast-track option.

In-house

We also run bespoke PSC training in-house for a number of firms. If you think this may be of interest, please contact the PSC Course Director.

Please note that if you have already completed some core and electives modules at other institutions, you can complete any remaining number of your modules at UWE

Assessment

The only formal assessment on the course occurs in the Financial and Business Skills module, where you will need to sit a 90-minute unseen 'open book' examination on day three. For the other modules, there is no formal assessment but you must attend the full training days and will be expected to participate fully and will receive feedback on your performance during each module. You may also need to do some preparatory work in between sessions.

The results of your Financial & Business Skills exam and your attendance on all other modules will only be confirmed to you after our exam board. These occur four times per year and not always immediately after your modules. You will need to have fully completed the requirements of the PSC before applying for admission as a solicitor.

For more details see our full glossary of assessment terms.

Features

Professional accreditation

The PSC course at UWE Bristol is accredited by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). The SRA requires that all trainee solicitors complete this skills-based course before becoming qualified, and determines the content of the compulsory core modules on the course.

For the purpose of registering with the SRA, please advise us as to when you will likely obtain your PSC Certificate, before booking your course dates.

Study facilities

Bristol Law School has excellent, state-of-the-art facilities, including:

  • dedicated study rooms for group or private study
  • mock law courtrooms, with equipment to record advocacy sessions for later analysis
  • a 24-hour dedicated chambers library, giving you access to a wide range of legal resources
  • a nationally recognised online learning system.

A £50m project is also underway to build the new Faculty of Business and Law building. Located in the heart of the campus, the building will provide innovative teaching spaces, including two showcase law courts, flexible social learning spaces and an external business engagement space.

Read more about the facilities in Bristol Law School.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE Bristol has to offer.

Prices and dates

Full PSC

FeesAmount (£)
Full PSC (3 core modules plus 4 electives)1425

Supplementary fee information

Fees are fully inclusive of all course materials, examination fees, refreshments and lunches. Payment is required at the time of booking.

Fees

Full PSC (3 Core + 4 Electives): £1,495.00

Core Modules Only: £1,050.00

Discount available

A percentage discount is available to all firms sending more than one trainee in an academic year (1 August - 31 July) to complete the full PSC.

For each additional trainee a 1% discount will be applied to their course fee and all simultaneous or future bookings by that firm in that academic year. This percentage will increase with the number of places booked (i.e. a firm sending 2 trainees, will receive a 1% discount on both trainees course fee. A firm sending 5 trainees will receive a 4% discount on each trainee's course fee).  

While trainees are not required to all book simultaneously, discounts will only be applied to the current booking(s) and will not be applied retrospectively. i.e. if a firm originally books 5 trainees onto the full PSC, they will receive a 4% discount for all 5 trainees' course fees. If they then book a further trainee onto the full PSC later in the same academic year, they would get a 5% discount on that trainee's fees (because they would then have 6 trainees booked in the year), but they would still only receive the original 4% discount on the first 5 trainees.

Terms and conditions of discount

  • The discount advertised only applies to places booked on the full PSC, not individual core/elective modules.
  • Trainees must be booked onto the PSC and start their first module within the academic year to count for that year's discount.
  • Discounts will not be applied retrospectively to places already booked.

Please contact us via the enquiry form below if you would like to discuss the discount your trainees will be eligible for.  

Course Dates

For a list of core and elective module dates being held at our Bristol and Exeter locations, please download the following documents:

September 2018 - July 2019 dates

How to apply

Students starting this course in September 2018 should follow this link to view their joining instructions.

We automatically send a message via your Welcome website plus an email to notify you once your joining instructions are available. It is important that you regularly check your Welcome website for new messages about your Registration and Enrolment. If you have not received the email please contact our Applicant Experience Team by email at admissions@uwe.ac.uk so we may check that we have the correct address.

For more information about joining the University, please see our New Students pages.

How to apply

Please complete the relevant online booking form below to reserve your place on the overall course. Once you have completed this form, the next screen will display the list of specific module dates available for you to book or you will be able to email your preferred dates to the course administrators once your booking has been processed.

Cohort  
Full Course ( 3 core and 4 electives) Book NowEnquire Now
Core Modules Only Book NowEnquire Now

For further information

  • Email: For all course queries, please complete the on-line enquiry form above.
  • Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 87408 or 87265

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