Jun 04, 2023

Written By Zara Arif

Can you do the SQE part-time?

Jun 04, 2023

Written By Zara Arif

As we transition to the SQE being the centralised route to qualifying as a solicitor, many students have questions regarding the options which they have for their career. Is the SQE a flexible route to qualification - does it allow for part-time study and how long does this actually take? This article will answer these questions and more.

What is the SQE?

The Solicitors Qualifying Examinations (SQE) are a new set of examinations that have been introduced by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. It was designed in order to create a centralised route to qualification, where people who have studied law and those who have not are on an even footing. Furthermore, the SQE aims to train lawyers with a greater grasp of practical advocacy skills.

Aside from foreign qualified lawyers who may be exempt, every aspiring solicitor must pass the SQE exams,meaning that every solicitor is held to the same standard.

The SQE is made up of two parts. The first part tests theoretical legal knowledge, whereas the second assesses more practical skills. Both parts have to be sat and passed in order to qualify. A two-year period of qualifying work experience is still also required under the SQE.

The SQE is still relatively new and being phased in, but it is estimated that it takes around a year of regular study (15-20 hours a week) to complete both parts of the examinations.

A year of regular academic studying after graduation may not be a feasible option financially or practically for many students. Plus, if you fail the SQE, you’ll need to pay to take that section again, and you can only retake each section three times within six years. After this, you’ll need to wait until the end of the six year period before reapplying to take the entire exam.

Fortunately, SQE providers and law schools take this into consideration. Thus, there are many flexible study options for every situation potential SQE students may find themselves in.

For these reasons, it is definitely possible to study for the SQE part-time.

Flexible SQE Options

There are several law schools and providers who allow you to do the SQE on a part-time basis if you would like to work or have other responsibilities at the same time.

For example, the University of Law’s full-time SQE1 preparation course takes 21 weeks to complete, while the part-time option takes 32 weeks. There’s even additional options for those who want more flexibility, such as weekend, online and two-day courses.

Some schools also allow their students to take flexible study options, which allows them to study at their own pace.

In this way, part-time study is definitely possible with the SQE. There are lots of options available to do the courses, that you can work around your life and commitments.