94% of postgraduate students in employment were in Highly Skilled Occupations 15 months after graduating (2017/18 Graduate Outcomes data).
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From September 2021, the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) will be phased in to become the new centralised way to qualify as a solicitor in England and Wales. It will eventually replace the current route to practice – the Legal Practice Course (LPC).
You can continue with the current LPC route if, before 1 September 2021, you complete, start, accept an offer, or pay a non-refundable deposit for one of the following:
For a qualifying law degree (QLD) and exempting law degree (ELD), such as our LLB, you must complete, start, accept an offer or pay a non-refundable deposit by 21 September 2021.
In most cases, for the QLD, ELD and CPE, the relevant course must start at the latest on or before 31 December 2021.
Anyone who falls within these groups will have until 31 December 2032 to qualify as a solicitor under the current routes, as long as courses still remain available.
Alternatively, we’ve developed a range of new courses that will prepare you for a career as a solicitor, as well as SQE success.
We understand you may be uncertain about how the SQE could affect you. Don’t worry, we’re here to ensure you have all the information you need to make an informed decision about your future.
The SQE will be the centralised assessment for anyone who wants to qualify as a solicitor in England and Wales. It will be part of a new, four-stage route to becoming a solicitor:
The SQE has been divided into two parts – SQE1 and SQE2.
In SQE1 you will be tested on ‘functioning legal knowledge’ which tests your application of law based on realistic client-based scenarios in multiple choice questions. The assessments will cover subjects you will have studied on a law degree or a conversion course, as well as the vocational practice areas in stage 1 of the LPC. There will be two lengthy multiple choice papers of 180 questions each, covering all aspects of the SQE1 syllabus. You must pass SQE1 before being eligible to sit the SQE2 assessments.
In SQE2 you will be tested on the practical legal skills required for practice, including:
Under the new route you will need to complete a minimum of two years’ QWE before you can qualify as a solicitor.
QWE is similar to a training contract and can be completed at any point during the qualification process (although it is anticipated that most students will complete this after SQE1).
QWE may be completed with up to four different legal employers. The type of work which qualifies as QWE includes placements while studying for your degree, time spent as a paralegal or working in a law clinic, as well as working for a two year period with a single law firm.
All QWE is signed off by the legal employer, who must be a solicitor, and is usually also the compliance officer.
If you have already complete part of the required QWE, such as through a Pro Bono placement, it will be up to individual law firms to decide how they accept your previous work experience. On obtaining QWE at a law firm, you might be required to complete the entire two year period of QWE with them, if that is what they require for practice at that firm.
No, if you do the SQE, you will not be required to complete a training contract. In order to qualify with the SQE route you will need to complete two years of QWE instead.
In addition to tuition fees, students will pay exam fees directly to the SRA. The total cost for taking both SQE assessments will be £3,980.
The SRA has not confirmed a cost to re-sit the SQE. It is likely that the re-sit will cost the same as a first attempt.
Yes. If you have chosen to study the LPC during the transitional period, you will be able to sit the SQE exams in the future if you wish. Although this is unlikely to be necessary if you pass the LPC as you can continue to qualify under the current route.
If you have chosen to study the GDL or MA Law, you will be able to select either route on completion of your programme.
If you’re already studying or training you can continue to qualify through the existing routes. For example:
I’ve started a qualifying law degree.
I’m doing a non-law degree and I’ll graduate in Summer 2021.
I’m doing a non-law degree and I’ll graduate in Summer 2022 or later.
Whether you’re a law or non-law graduate, want to study full-time, part-time, on campus or online, we have the right course for you. We offer a wide range of SQE courses from Master’s with SQE1 and SQE2 included, to short revision courses to help you get ready for your SQE exams.Find out more
We’re committed to your legal career, as well as SQE success. From our award-winning Employability and Careers Service, to help funding your studies, we’ll support you every step of the way.Find out more