The University of Sheffield will launch a new part-time Legal Practice Course (LPC) next year - in a bid to make a career in law more affordable for students.
The university already offers the full-time LPC and, subject to Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) approval, it will be providing the part-time option from September 2009.
LPC Director Andrew Callaghan said he expects the part-time course to be extremely popular with students who need to work to fund their studies.
There is an emerging market of students wholl be finishing their law degrees and want to do the LPC but are worried about cost when they already have the heavy burden of debt - this way they can work alongside doing the LPC. If they can secure a position as a paralegal then they gain valuable work experience at the same time, he said.
However, the benefits of offering the part-time option doesnt just stop at financial constraints. The university is hoping the larger intake of students will mean it will be able to offer a wider range of elective subjects.
Callaghan said: One of the problems many providers face is that there are sometimes not enough people to make providing certain less popular electives viable but we intend to allow our part-time and full-time students to mix, which will widen the electives we will be able to offer."
The university will also be offering all students who attain a distinction or commendation the opportunity to top up their existing qualification in a Masters - on completion of a research methodology module and a dissertation.