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5 May 2021

SQE – What are degree-equivalent qualifications?

The introduction of the Solicitor’s Qualifying Exam (SQE) provides a shake-up of the traditional approaches to qualifying, offering additional flexibility and increased options for those seeking to become a solicitor, without the need for a law degree.


With the SQE route, by the time you wish to apply to be admitted as a Solicitor, you will be required to:

  • Attain a degree in any subject


  • Attain a degree-equivalent qualification in any subject

These qualifications can also be obtained in England OR overseas.


Degree equivalent qualifications

According to the SRA, degree-equivalent qualifications include:

  • An accredited qualification at level 6 (or above) of the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications, awarded by recognised degree-awarding body
  • A regulated qualification at level 6 (or above) of the Regulated Qualifications Framework (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
  • An apprenticeship at level 6 or above, approved by the government departments of England, Wales or Northern Ireland
  • A qualification or apprenticeship at level 9 or above of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework, accredited by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) or awarded by a Scottish degree awarding body
  • An accredited qualification at level 6 (or above) of the European Qualifications Framework


Qualification pathways with Law Training Centre

Law Training Centre currently delivers the following degree-equivalent qualifications listed on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (England, Wales and Northern Ireland):

Law Training Centre also offer both SQE1 Prep and SQE2 Prep courses.

What order should I complete my qualifications in?

Whilst is advisable that one completes, or has made substantial progress towards completion of, their level 6 qualification prior to undertaking their SQE Preparation course, the SRA has not set down a requirement that you must have you Level 6 qualification before you undertake the SQE. It is simply required that you have completed both by the time you wish to apply to admitted as a Solicitor.

Therefore, you can undertake your SQE Preparation course alongside your Level 6 qualification.

Recognising this need for flexibility, Law Training Centre’s SQE Prep courses include 15 months course access as standard which, combined with the ability to enrol-anytime on our courses, affords learners with the freedom to choose between SQE sitting dates.

If, for example, a CILEx Level 6 student was awaiting their final exam result but wished to press on with their SQE prep whilst waiting, they are able to take charge and plan their learning journey to meet their needs.


Work experience

The SRA also state that there is opportunity for work experience to be considered equivalent, if an individual can demonstrate work experience, equivalent to a UK degree or equivalent UK qualification.

However, each equivalent application will be considered on a case-by-case basis and would require a sufficient standard of general education and learning (Level 3 equivalent of the Regulated Qualifications Framework) and considerable work-based learning.

Get started with our SQE1 Prep Course

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