Legal Practice PgDip: A Graduate Success Story

We’re very proud of our alumni here at Staffordshire University, and we always like to keep up with them as they progress in their careers.

Sometimes, our former students come all the way from the Caribbean to share those stories. Victrina Cuffie completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice with us via blended learning. She is now working as an attorney at law in her native Trinidad and Tobago.

Paul Allen, Lecturer in Law (Course Leader for the Legal Practice Course) and Victrina Cuffie

What attracted you to Staffordshire University?

“When I was registering to do the Legal Practice course at Staffordshire University, there was – and there still is – no other university that offers the blended programme,” Victrina told us.

The blended learning option meant she was able to balance commitments at home in Trinidad through the distance learning element of the course, while still enjoying face-to-face interaction with staff and other students on our campus in Stoke-on-Trent.

How has the course helped you in your career?

Completing the Law LLB – the Bachelor of Law degree – provided Victrina with a strong grounding in the theoretical aspects of the subject, she says. But it was the Legal Practice course that put things into a practical perspective for her.

“You fill out forms, role play, act like you’re in court, dress the part and act the part,” Victrina explains. “Being a practising attorney at law, it has helped me a lot. It allowed me to apply my knowledge so that I can get ahead and it has contributed largely to my success at the moment.”

What did you enjoy most?

Coming from a family with a business background, Victrina’s favourite parts of the course were the business law and practice modules and anything else that was business related. Personally, I liked it because it was something that I could apply and I also loved Corporate Law. I enjoyed that the most because it applied to my life.

Since graduating in 2016, Victrina has become a great ambassador for the School of Law, Policing and Forensics and for Staffordshire University. Some friends and family members who saw her experience and the positive impact it had are currently enrolled on courses with us, while others have already graduated!

“Doing my postgraduate programme, the LPC, makes me proud to be a Staffordshire student because it’s an experience that I hold near and dear to my heart.”

What a Welcom(ing) Week it was to Start the Academic Year

Follow us on Twitter: #proudtobestaffs

The academic year has gotten off to a fantastic, albeit busy, start. Welcome Week saw the arrival of new and returning students and LPF staff were delighted to begin teaching.

LPF first year students were introduced to our staff


For our first year students, the week commenced with enrolment and welcome talks from the Vice Chancellor, Liz Barnes, individual subject talks, safety talks from Staffordshire Univeristy Police, the societies and clubs fair and exciting activities – allowing students and staff to get to know one another.



Students had the opportunity to chat to staff over a warm drink and biscuits and receive one of the departmental hoodies.

Students enjoyed a few activities to ease them into the academic year…

Students linking pipe cleaners together to represent increasing their social capital and networking

Criminal Justice and Forensic Science quiz winners: 1st Rebecca Wheeler & Hannah Blackburn. 3rd place Kathryn Davis.

… and the week ended with a mock court trial at Hanley Court.

The jury taking notes

Teaching is now well underway and our students are working hard and are eager to learn. Returning students are already getting involved with various assements, projects, and mentoring.

Course mentors for Level Four Criminal Justice and Forensic Science Students

Preparing the Crime Scene House for a practical














The Law Society

The Forensic Dive Club








Here is to a wonderful academic year: 2017-2018! #proudtobestaffs



Proud To Be Staffs: Strong Partnership with Local Solicitors

The placement-partnership scheme, which started this year, offers valuable work experience in a successful, local Solicitors.

Leslee Griffiths, Practice Manager at “Beeston Shenton Solicitors in Newcastle” said they “are delighted to be working in partnership with Staffordshire University offering regular weekly work experience placements to the University’s Law students. The placement scheme began this year and has been a great success with students attending the Beeston Shenton head office in Newcastle three days per week and learning all about the daily workings of a busy law firm. On the back of this successful programme, Staffordshire University is currently arranging the new placements which will begin with Beeston Shenton from September 2017.”

“If you are interested in a work experience placement please contact Gary McNally at the University or Leslee Griffiths, Practice Manager at Beeston Shenton Solicitors via email to”


LLB (Fast Track) Goes to Court

Students said the trip was ‘practical’, ‘informative’, ‘well-organised’ and provided them with ‘new information regarding roles, qualifications and who does what in the lengthy process’.

On 14th June 2017, a group of fast track LLB students from Staffordshire University visited Manchester on an organised court visit.

In the morning, they visited Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court. They were met by Kirsty Pomfret (Court Staff Team Leader) and Mr Larry Collier, who is the Chairman of the Bench of Greater Manchester. The students were told about the number and type of cases that were heard at the court each week and about the role and qualities of a lay magistrate.

They then had the opportunity to observe proceedings in court. They observed 3 Lay Magistrates in the Domestic Violence court and District Judge Goozée in the “Guilty Anticipated Plea” court. The students had the opportunity to watch a number of first appearances, case management hearings and sentences. They were able to observe different styles of advocacy and approaches to plea in mitigation. They also had the opportunity to talk to the court staff, such as the court clerk and the court usher.

~’Excellent day out for anyone who is considering becoming a barrister or solictor. It gives you insight about the real world of law and lawyers’~

Following the morning session, District Judge Goozée spoke to the students and offered advice to the aspiring lawyers. He provided an interesting insight into his role and noted factors such as the importance of body language within the courtroom.

‘It encouraged me to think about future employment in court’

In the afternoon, the students visited the Manchester Civil Justice Centre. The Supervising Usher, Janet Ogden, greeted the group and provided some interesting facts about the court building and the history of the profession. They were then taken into a large courtroom to meet the designated civil judge, His Honour Judge Gore QC. HHJ Gore QC explained the type of cases that he heard and emphasised the importance of good preparation by the advocates.

~’Great for making connections’ ~

Finally, the students had the opportunity to observe a floating fast track trial. Unfortunately, the hearing was adjourned due to various issues, including the lack of court time. However, the barrister for the second Defendant, Richard Livingston from Kings Chambers, was kind enough to speak to the students afterwards. He set out the facts of the case and explained the very interesting legal point that had arisen. He also took the time to answer questions about being a barrister and the skills required to succeed.

‘Larry Collier (Magistrate) has emailed me twice with useful information’

Overall, this was a fantastic opportunity for the students to see the law that they were studying in action. It also allowed them to reflect upon their own career aspirations and employability.

~‘The day out was great for team building amongst us students’~




Staffordshire University would like to thank all of the court staff and practitioners who gave up their time to share their knowledge and experiences. In particular, we would like to thank Kirsty Pomfret (Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court Team Leader) and Jacqueline Healy (Operations Manager, Manchester Civil Justice Centre) for coordinating the visit.