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Thinking of studying for a postgraduate degree at the University of Hertfordshire? Let's Talk Postgrad is the perfect opportunity for you to speak directly to our expert academics to learn more about your course of interest, life as a postgraduate student and the opportunities that further study offers.

Hourly subject sessions take place from 18 - 22 March, at 16.00 or 17.00.

This online event will help you to:

  • find out more about module content, delivery and assessment methods
  • ask about employment prospects, our invaluable industry connections, accreditations and placement opportunities.
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PgDip Solicitors' Practice

Why choose Herts?

  • Work-Related Learning: Real-life scenarios inform your teaching and you can gain client-facing qualifying work experience in our award-winning pro-bono Law Clinic.
  • Teaching Excellence: You will be taught by experts, including practising barristers and solicitors who will train you to work on authentic, client-based scenarios at our Law Court Building, inclusive of a full-scale replica Crown Court room.
  • Exceptional student learning experience: 85% overall satisfaction score in Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (2022).

Professional Accreditations

The programme is aligned with the SRA's assessment specifications for the SQE assessments. The SRA does not accredit or regulate SQE preparation courses.  

About the course

The route to qualifying as a solicitor is changing, with the introduction of the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE). Following a transitional period, the SQE will eventually replace the existing LPC route to qualification. 

The University of Hertfordshire’s Postgraduate Diploma Solicitors’ Practice is designed to help you prepare for the SQE assessments, as well as to excel in professional legal practice.   

We are well known for our great links with industry and the professions, first-class teaching, high quality facilities and dedicated staff. Naturally, this course is no different. Taught by experts, including practising solicitors and barristers, your learning will equip you with all the up-to-date, transferable, interpersonal and practical skills you will need for your career in the legal profession. 

Our innovative teaching methods utilise experiential learning to prepare you for practice; our state-of-the-art courtroom will give you the opportunity to develop your advocacy skills by replicating real life scenarios. We utilise a combination of blended learning techniques and assessment styles to mirror the different assessment styles of the SQE 1 and SQE 2 assessments, as well as helping you develop the skills you will need in professional legal practice.  

We limit class sizes to ensure that you receive the best teaching and pastoral support. From our friendly small-group Stage 1 Functioning Legal Knowledge sessions, where you have opportunities to ask our experienced practitioner teaching staff all your questions, to our coaching-style skills development sessions in Stage 2. This also enables the teaching to be flexible and focused on the needs of the individual students. 

You will also have many opportunities to undertake co-curricular activities to strengthen your skills in areas such as commercial awareness, adjudication and family mediation and to participate in a range of pro-bono projects, including our award-winning Law Clinic. In many cases work undertaken in the Law Clinic can count towards your QWE hours and therefore towards your qualification as a Solicitor via the SQE route.   

View our other SQE preparation courses.

Programme delivery 

The course is practice-focused, with live interactive workshops in which you will apply your growing legal knowledge to realistic client scenarios. You will receive consistent feedback from a teaching staff of experienced practitioners, many of whom continue to practise as solicitors themselves.  Lectures, recorded by our staff to help you prepare for the live workshops, are online, giving you flexibility to study these where and when you want.  

The course fees include access to OUP’s specialist SQE preparation resources, including online manuals and practice questions to help you perfect your assessment technique for the SQE 1 assessments. There is also a strong emphasis on reflection as well as receiving individualised feedback from your tutors and peers. This will help you develop the legal and other professional skills that make candidates so attractive to law firms and other potential employers.  

Assessments 

The programme has a variety of assessments including multiple choice tests, oral assessments, written coursework and reflective journals. Wherever possible assessments have been designed to mirror tasks that you might undertake in professional legal practice, whilst closely reflecting the SRA’s SQE assessment strategy, in order to prepare candidates for the centralised SQE assessments.  In Stage 1 you will have regular practise on the type of single best answer multiple choice questions used in the SQE 1 assessment, and in Stage 2 formative assessments are provided in all modules before the final summative assessments, in order for you to receive feedback on which you will be taught to reflect in order to perfect your skills. 

Programme outcomes    

Successful students will leave the programme with a postgraduate diploma and ready to undertake both the SQE 1 and SQE 2 assessments towards qualification as a solicitor of England and Wales, and/or to take up a role as a paralegal or other employment in the legal sector or industry.  

Why choose this course?

The PG Dip Solicitors’ Practice and other SQE preparation courses offered by the University of Hertfordshire will be: 

  • Inclusive and flexible: Study the whole LLM programme or a postgraduate diploma to help you prepare for the SQE 1 or SQE 2 assessments – it’s up to you.  Blended learning helps you study where and when suits you.
  • Certificated: Leave us with a recognised and respected Postgraduate Diploma qualification, as well as being SQE-ready.
  • Employability embedded: Opportunities to gain legal work experience will boost your CV and employability skills, as well as potentially counting towards your QWE hours.
  • Inclusive of CV-enhancing activities: An extensive array of co-curricular activities including trial advocacy, family mediation, client interviewing, debating, commercial awareness and mooting.
  • Allow you benefit from strong industry links: Hertfordshire Law School has close links with the Law Clinic and the Careers and Employment Service, providing you with the skills and support you need to make the most of your time on the programme and succeed in your chosen career.
  • Give access to fantastic facilities: We are one of the few providers of legal education in the country with a full-scale multi-million-pound replica Crown Courtroom which is fully equipped with the latest technology to enable you to perform your Advocacy skills and prepare you for practice.
  • Provide you with excellent teaching: You’ll be taught by experienced practitioners in the legal field including practising solicitors, barristers and former judges as well as expert academics, all of whom understand the context of the modules in practice.
  • Exceptional learning experience: 85% overall satisfaction score in Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (2022), and ranked 4th for law in the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES, Advance HE, 2023).

What will I study?

In semester A (Sept – January) you will enrol on Stage 1 of the programme which incorporates preparation for the SQE 1 assessments of functioning legal knowledge. Following an intensive induction period covering an introduction to the solicitors’ profession, revision of the Foundations of Legal Knowledge from your undergraduate law degree, and assessment technique for the SQE 1 assessment, you will study modules in the following areas of legal knowledge: 

  • Business Law and Practice
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Property Practice
  • Criminal Law and Practice
  • Wills and the Administration of Estates

Within these modules you will also have the opportunity to develop your understanding of the rules and principles of ethics and professional conduct applying to the solicitors’ profession, and of solicitors' accounts (i.e. the way solicitors deal with money belonging to their clients and others).  

In semester B (Jan-May) you will progress to Stage 2 of the programme which incorporates preparation for the SQE 2 legal skills assessments and will include modules in: 

  • Oral skills (client interviewing and advocacy)
  • Case and matter analysis with practical legal research
  • Legal drafting

Legal writing skills will be developed within these modules. In Stage 2 you will have the opportunity to practise your skills in every legal context in which they could be assessed in the SQE2 assessment.  There is a strong emphasis on individual feedback from your tutors and peers, and on reflection, to help you develop your skills in preparation for professional legal practice, as well as for the assessments.   

You will also undertake supported independent study to complete a project to showcase your professional employability skills and enhance your CV. You may choose to enhance your academic research skills whilst further deepening your understanding of an area of law or legal ethics of your choice. Alternatively, you may choose to work on real-life client matters in our award-winning Law Clinic, including undertaking research to resolve clients’ legal questions, and will demonstrate your development by submitting a professional reflective journal. 

  • Level 7
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Business Law and Practice 15 Credits Compulsory
    Dispute Resolution 15 Credits Compulsory
    Property Practice 15 Credits Compulsory
    Wills and Administration of Estates 15 Credits Compulsory
    Criminal Law and Practice 15 Credits Compulsory
    Oral Skills (Interviewing and Advocacy) 15 Credits Compulsory
    Case and Matter Analysis with Legal Research 15 Credits Compulsory
    Legal Drafting 15 Credits Compulsory
  • Further course information

    Course fact sheets
    PgDip Solicitors' Practice Download
    Programme specifications
    LLM Solicitors' Practice Download
    Additional information

    Sandwich placement or study abroad year

    Applications open to international and EU students

    Yes

    Student experience

    At the University of Hertfordshire, we want to make sure your time studying with us is as stress-free and rewarding as possible. We offer a range of support services including student wellbeing, academic support, accommodation and childcare to ensure that you make the most of your time at Herts and can focus on studying, building your career and having fun.

    If you need support, we are here for you. Hertfordshire Law School is a warm, welcoming community where you will find staff who encourage you through your studies. You will have academic support through our personal tutoring system. If you need some personal support, we have a wellbeing leader and many members of teaching staff who are trained and accredited in mental health first aid.

    For additional help with study skills, you will have access to our academic support services. You can attend workshops, 1:1 sessions and online tutorials. Both our Learning Resource Centres (LRCs) run drop-in study skills sessions.

    Find out about how we support our students

    You can also read our student blogs to find out about life at Herts.