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SQE assessment preparation

How can I prepare for the SQE assessments?

There are a variety of courses available to help you qualify through the SQE; whether you are looking to obtain a law conversion course such as a PgDL or MA, or a course that includes SQE preparation at diploma or masters level, you can choose a course that suits you, taking into account the studies you have already undertaken, your preferred mode of study, location, cost and how you want to achieve your qualification.

Below is a brief outline of some of the different types of courses available.

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To explore the law conversion courses on offer, use our course finder which will allow you filter based on your specific requirements.  

Be sure to keep an eye on the outcome for each course so that you are clear about the steps you will need to take on completion of your course to continue your qualification journey!

Law conversion courses

A law conversion course, such as a GDL or PgDL, is suitable for UK and overseas applicants with a degree in any subject (including those with a non-UK law degree), wishing to take their first steps in UK law at post-graduate level.

For those seeking to qualify either as a barrister or solicitor, or those who are not yet sure which law path they want to take, a law conversion aims to condense the knowledge and skills needed to bring non-law graduates up to the same standard as law graduates before they go on to the next stage of their qualification journey. 

There are a variety of law conversion courses on offer from those at post-graduate diploma level to Masters. Some may include some SQE preparation, while others do not. 

When considering a law conversion course, be sure to check what you will finish with and, if you want to qualify as a solicitor, whether further SQE preparation will be needed in order to help you to pass the SQE assessments. Some law conversions may include some SQE preparation while others may offer SQE prep by way of additional modules or top-ups.

Course outcome

Undertake additional studies - BTC or SQE preparation

Next steps

On completion of a GDL/law conversion course, those wishing to qualify as a solicitor could go on to do a course specifically geared towards preparing for the SQE assessments (if SQE preparation has not been included in the law conversion) either by way of a top-up module, a short preparation course or an SQE LLM to build on your academic credentials. 

Those wanting to qualify through the barrister route can apply for a Bar training course (BTC).  

How do I apply?

GDL/Law conversion course application form

To apply for a law conversion course, complete a GDL/Law conversion course application form on LawCAB where you will be able to make your course selection when you reach the course choice section of the application form.

Find out about the application process

SQE assessment preparation courses

Universities and other course providers are offering a variety of courses to help you prepare for the SQE assessments, either through online, part-time or full-time face to face teaching. 

If you are looking for a course which will specifically prepare you for one or both of the SQE assessments, options range from short SQE prep only courses, to the fuller Post-graduate Diploma and Masters level courses.  You will need to consider where you are in your legal studies and whether you are looking to build on what you already have or whether you a new entrant to law with no previous academic background or work experience in law.

Be aware that some SQE courses are suitable only for those who have already studied law and/or have either a qualifying law degree or a GDL, while others will be suitable for non-law graduates as well as those who may have done their law studies outside of the UK.  When you are considering courses, you will need look carefully at the eligibility requirements to make sure that it is the right course for you.

It is also important to make sure you understand what stage in your qualification journey the course will take you to: will you be ready to sit SQE 1, SQE 2 or both assessments or will you need to undertake additional preparation?  The courses will have different outcomes, with some preparing only for the SQE 1 assessment, some for both SQE 1&2, while others might be suitable for SQE 2 preparation only. 

To explore the SQE courses on offer, use our course finder which will allow you filter on course category and course outcome. 

Course outcome

SQE 1 assessment ready, or

SQE 2 assessment ready, or

SQE 1&2 assessment ready

Next steps

Depending on which course you choose to do, an SQE course will prepare you to sit either:

 SQE1 assessment 

 SQE2 assessment 

or both assessments

How do I apply?

SQE course application form

To apply for an SQE course, complete an SQE course application form on LawCAB where you will be able to make your course selection when you reach the course choice section of the application form.

Find out about the application process

What else do I need to know?

Booking your assessment date

It is important to note that the SQE assessments are centrally administered by Kaplan and therefore need to be booked separately to any courses you choose to enrol on.

All those wanting to sit the SQE assessments need to register online with the SRA SQE site prior to booking the assessments 

Further information about timings of the assessments can be found on the SRA SQE site

What should I look for in an SQE preparation course?

If you are looking for a course to prepare you for the SQE 1 assessment, consider a course which will:

  • cover the seven foundation areas of academic law (found in a qualifying law degree), if you have not done a UK law degree, or content that refreshes essential legal knowledge, if you have done a UK law degree
  • cover vocational, practical legal subject areas (similar to stage 1 of a LPC)
  • regularly and repeatedly develop and test on Single Best Answer (SBA) questions in exam conditions, as these are a core part of the SQE1 assessment.

For SQE2 preparation, consider a course with content that develops core legal skills (oral and written), allowing you to practise those skills and receive constructive feedback to prepare for SQE2. Skills include client interview and attendance note/legal analysis, advocacy, case and matter analysis, legal research, legal writing, legal drafting, and negotiation.

What else should I consider when deciding on a course?

When you're deciding which type of course to undertake, have an eye on the sort of career you might be looking at pursuing and what future employers might be looking for.  For example, if you don't have a law degree, a course which provides you with a strong foundation in law, whether at diploma or masters level, will be important not only in providing you with greater confidence but also future employers who might be considering you alongside law graduates. 

If you think you might want to work abroad in the future, ensuring you have strong academic qualifications in law may help when it comes to qualifying in other jurisdictions. 

If you have a law degree, but it is not a UK qualifying law degree (which covers the key foundations in law), look at what you have studied and where you will need to top up. You can choose a course that suits you, taking into account the studies you have already undertaken as well as the areas of interest you might have. 

For those already qualified as lawyers in other jurisdictions, you may have studied and practised in law sufficiently, or may even have previously studied law in the UK, in which case an SQE preparation course geared specifically to the SQE assessments may be more suitable for you.  It is worth familiarising yourself with what the two assessments will be testing you on and choose a course which best fits in with the studies you have already undertaken.

If you have previously undertaken a GDL or QLD, or even an LPC, and have decided that you wish to complete your qualification through the SQE route, you could consider doing a short SQE preparation course to help you pass the assessments or, if you want to build on your academic credentials, choose a masters course which includes preparation for the SQE assessments.

And finally, depending on your existing legal experience, you could consider whether you want a course that:

  • offers employability support and employability skills development
  • provides access to legal work experience opportunities that could be 'banked' as QWE
  • offers additional workshops/tutorials to develop broader career-long skills in e.g. leadership, conflict management, commerciality
  • provides coursebooks/guides to support off-course revision and self-study of SQE1 & SQE2 subject areas and related SBA questions.

The SRA website contains further guidance for applicants on what to consider when choosing an SQE course.

Remember to register for the SQE assessments

It is important to note that the SQE assessments are centrally administered by Kaplan and therefore need to be booked separately to any courses you choose to enrol on.

Anybody wanting to take the SQE assessments needs to register to create an account.  You don't need to wait until you are ready to book an assessment - candidates are encouraged register as early as possible to ensure sufficient time to complete all the pre-booking steps.

Once you have successfully registered, you will receive notification of assessments dates, including when bookings open, and will then be able to book your own assessment date as soon as you are ready.

Further information about timings of the assessments can be found on the SRA SQE site

 

Looking for a course to help you prepare for the SQE assessments?

 

Use our course finder to view the courses (law conversions or SQE-specific Diplomas and Masters courses) available to apply for through LawCAB. 

When you are ready to make your application, sign up for an account or login to your account on LawCAB to create your online SQE and/or GDL application form. 

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FAQ

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