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BPTC in Manchester Full time/London Part time?! Watch

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    Hi everyone

    Currently trying to finish off my BPTC application for next year. Having real trouble deciding where to study so any advice would be very gratefully recieved.

    I am based in the South near London, and ideally would like to study the BPTC in London. However due to finances I think the only way I could afford to do it in London would be by going down the part time route. I'm also hopeful that this would provide me with the chance to earn whilst studying, and also give me more time to do volunteering and pro-bono work. But then I'm also having trouble working out how I would be able to work, volunteer and study all at once! Any opinions on the part time course and how to balance it with working and volunteering would be great!

    My second option is to study the BPTC in Manchester. I love Manchester as a city and I think it would be a great place to study, and of course the fee's are a lot less. Also with living costs in Manchester I would most likely be able to move up there and complete the course full time. However I do have some concerns about this option. If I am lucky enough to gain pupillage and tenancy, I want to practise in the South. I know how important it is to gain as many links with the professiona s possible, so I am not sure if gaining links in the North if I want to practice in the South is a fuitle exercise. I am also unsure as to whether the pro-bono and volunteering opportunities are as good in Manchester. Also with regards dining and all the other Inn related activities, I'm unsure as to whether studying so far away from London will cause problems.

    I appreciate this post is a little long winded, but I would really appreciate any advice at all!

    Thanks in advance
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    (Original post by Georgi123)
    Hi everyone

    Currently trying to finish off my BPTC application for next year. Having real trouble deciding where to study so any advice would be very gratefully recieved.

    I am based in the South near London, and ideally would like to study the BPTC in London. However due to finances I think the only way I could afford to do it in London would be by going down the part time route. I'm also hopeful that this would provide me with the chance to earn whilst studying, and also give me more time to do volunteering and pro-bono work. But then I'm also having trouble working out how I would be able to work, volunteer and study all at once! Any opinions on the part time course and how to balance it with working and volunteering would be great!

    My second option is to study the BPTC in Manchester. I love Manchester as a city and I think it would be a great place to study, and of course the fee's are a lot less. Also with living costs in Manchester I would most likely be able to move up there and complete the course full time. However I do have some concerns about this option. If I am lucky enough to gain pupillage and tenancy, I want to practise in the South. I know how important it is to gain as many links with the professiona s possible, so I am not sure if gaining links in the North if I want to practice in the South is a fuitle exercise. I am also unsure as to whether the pro-bono and volunteering opportunities are as good in Manchester. Also with regards dining and all the other Inn related activities, I'm unsure as to whether studying so far away from London will cause problems.

    I appreciate this post is a little long winded, but I would really appreciate any advice at all!

    Thanks in advance
    I worked full time while doing BVC part time in London (evening easier than weekends in my opinion) and managed to fit in pro bono too. You have to search for eveing opportunitie such as law clinics but they are there. You can use annual leave for things like FRU and minis etc so its perfectly possible. I am sure there are as many pro bono opportunities in Manchester with the exception of FRU - but there are other advocacy opportunities such as NCDV or Volunteering as an appropriate adult.

    You don't say if you have a job at the moment you would continue or if you would be looking for a job - if you are looking you could perhaps try to find something with flexible shifts to work 4 days a week and commit to something once a week on your day off - of course this is great in theory but there may not be the opportunities when you come to look.

    There are a lot of advantages to part time
    1. 2 years of support for pupillage applications
    2. 2 attempts at scolarship applications
    3. Fewer people who don't speak English in your class holding it back


    there are also drawbacks
    1. Less class contact time
    2. Having to give up quite a bit of social life/holidays if you are going to do the prep properly
    3. Many more people on the pt course seem to be less capable than on ft (only about a third of my cohort seemed to get through the course and the vast majority failed at least 1 module) thus you can get held back by them.

    With regards to contacts you will make them anywhere and its debatable how much they help. After all if there is no concept or nepotism then an older tennant you met dining wont have much swing with the younger pupillage committe.

    In keeping qualifying sessions I know middle arrange things "up north" and also hold weekends which have a study day, lecture, dinner, sunday lunch etc over a weekend a couple of times a year so you can get 3 or 4 at once. there are also the weekend advocacy sessions which give you 3 sessions and are excellent fun to boot. I know people at manchester that got all their sessions in 9 months and people in london that barely did 12 in 2 years! Its just a case of racking them up.

    It really comes down to what you think will suit you.
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    I don't think doing the BPTC part time would be detrimental to you and is a good way of getting experience at the same time as studying. It is perfectly achievable too. I did my law degree over fours years, two evenings per week whilst working full time and I still had time to do mini-pupillages and voluteering during this time (during my annual leave from work). In addition, I also had my first baby during my final year at Uni and still managed to pass! I am planning on going to London for the BPTC (provided I get a place!) even though I am from up North. This is purely because I feel it will give me the best opportunities and is right for me and, after the past four years, I think I can put in some more hard work for another 10/11 months! To be honest, I see it as good training for the reality of the bar anyway!
    As FMQ states though, you should do what whatever feels right for you and would suit you better.
 
 
 
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