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What is a qualifying law degree?


Any law degree is a prestigious achievement, and a highly-respected qualification. However, if your ultimate career goal is to practise law professionally you won’t just need a law degree, you’ll need a Qualifying Law Degree (QLD). Here’s everything you need to know about this essential requirement.


How do you define a qualifying law degree?

A QLD is approved by the relevant legal professional bodies, and is defined as “an approved qualification which contains training in the seven foundations of legal knowledge (specified by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board). The degree is one of the requirements needed to practise law.”1


What are the restrictions and requirements?

In order for your law degree to be classified as a QLD, it must adhere to four standards:

1. You must complete all your degree studies in not more than six years from start to finish.

2. You must also cover the following seven subject areas2:

  • Public law (constitutional/administrative)
  • European Union law
  • Procedural law (including law of evidence)
  • Criminal law
  • Law of obligations (contract, restitution, and tort)
  • Property law (real property)
  • Trusts and equity

3. You must pass a foundation subject without exceeding the maximum three attempts.

4. Deliberate academic misconduct may result in a person being refused admission as a solicitor3.


How do I use it to practise law?

Law is a complex and challenging discipline, and there are many steps that a person needs to complete before they become a barrister or solicitor. The process typically involves three main stages of training4:

  • Academic Stage: an undergraduate degree in law (LLB), or an undergraduate degree in any other subject followed by the conversion course
  • Vocational Stage: the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC), which entails one year of full time study or two years’ part time study
  • Pupillage: one year spent as a pupil in barristers’ chambers or in another organisation approved by the Bar Standards Board as a Pupillage Training Organisation (PTO)

It’s also important to note that in order to complete the Academic Stage for qualification as a barrister, the student must achieve a lower second class honours as a minimum.


What other careers can I use it for?

A law degree is an extremely valuable qualification, recognised by employers around the world.

If you decide that you don’t want to practise law as a barrister/solicitor, you still have many careers open to you; roles in finance, human resources, education, local and central government, the voluntary sector or management all benefit from an academic law background.

Alongside subject-specific knowledge, a law degree also helps students to develop transferable skills in a number of areas including research, presentation and critical thinking.


What makes the LLB from University of Essex Online unique?

The LLB (Hons) course offered by University of Essex Online is a 100% online, part-time Qualifying Law Degree. Our students study on a virtual learning platform, watching interactive lectures and using resources that are tailored specifically for online education.

Online and part-time education is extremely flexible and allows students to work while studying. It’s perfect for people with demanding family or career commitments. Progress is monitored through assignments, which are frequently assessed and validated using a well-established electronic monitoring system to check for plagiarism.

Our students are also assigned a dedicated Student Adviser who acts as a point of contact and mentor. We’re extremely proud of the student support we offer all of our students and we have consistently received outstanding overall student satisfaction ratings from the independent National Student Survey, scoring 93% for overall student satisfaction in the 2017 National Student Survey.

Our Head of Law, Dr Naila Anwar, has many years’ experience, and has worked as a Senior Academic Tutor, Law Lecturer, Module Coordinator and Sessional Law Tutor at many distinguished UK universities. She is also an enrolled advocate of the Dhaka Bar Association and has worked as a trainee lawyer for the Human Rights Enforcement Agency, one of the leading NGOs.


Interested in starting a career in law? Download our prospectus today.