What is the SQE and how does this affect our curriculum?
Qualifying Law Degrees (2021 entry)
Our degree programmes (LLB and BA) may be taken as Qualifying Law Degrees (excluding Politics, Philosophy & Law). If you intend to become a solicitor, a Qualifying Law Degree (QLD) will exempt you from further study before you enter the vocational stage of professional training. In order to attain a QLD you must pass modules in subjects specified as the 'foundations of legal knowledge'. From 2021 a new framework for qualification as a solicitor will be introduced in which a Solicitors’ Qualifying Examination (SQE) will replace the QLD (for details see our careers blog). The new exam will be offered for the first time in 2021. However, any student who begins the process for qualifying as a solicitor by commencing a qualifying law degree by December 2021 will still be able to complete their training under the existing rules.
For aspiring barristers, in order to complete the academic component of training based on a law degree awarded in the UK/Republic of Ireland, a student must hold a degree which complies with the QAA Subject Benchmark Statement for Law and incorporates study of the foundations of legal knowledge subjects. All our LLB and BA degrees (other than Politics, Philosophy and Law) enable you to fulfil these requirements and apply for the Bar’s vocational training element. You must also obtain at least a 2.ii degree to apply to the Bar Professional Training Course (further details of all the requirements).
Courses starting in 2022
The scheme of professional qualification as a solicitor or barrister is changing. Law degrees are no longer to be labelled as 'Qualifying Degrees'. To recognise the opportunities afforded by this change in environment, our new LLB degree will build on our traditional approach to law in context and continue to develop new methods of teaching and learning suitable for the future. The degree currently provides a contextual, comparative and international approach to the study of law and this will remain as its guiding ethos. But we are offering greater flexibility and more opportunities to learn skills and gain practical experience both inside and outside the curriculum. New core and optional modules have been introduced, as you will see from our programme pages.
We will also continue to offer the Foundations of Legal Knowledge subjects, in order to enable students to satisfy the first, academic, stage in qualifying as a barrister (further details of the requirements). This makes our law degree an excellent first step towards a legal career. The degree also encourages students to develop an in-depth understanding of the technical and doctrinal aspects of the law, and a critical awareness of the role law plays in modern society. It therefore establishes a strong basis for those who wish to become solicitors or barristers in the UK (or potentially lawyers in other jurisdictions), or follow other career paths in commerce, politics, government, the administration and pursuit of justice across government, commercial or voluntary sectors.