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South Bank Uni, ULaw and BPP set to overhaul undergraduate law degrees to prepare students for solicitor super-exam

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Exclusive: Taking the SQE plunge

As the clock ticks down to the solicitor super-exam’s anticipated 2020 implementation date, at least three universities are gearing up to incorporate Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) content into their undergraduate law degrees, Legal Cheek can reveal. They are: London South Bank University, The University of Law and BPP University Law School.

The first in this trio is planning to teach an “SQE-facing” law degree come 2020, says London South Bank University’s head of academic division law, Andy Unger. This means two things, he tells us: using SQE-style multiple-choice questions to test students’ knowledge in a legal practice context, and increasing the degree’s experience-learning dimension. He hopes this will produce “an exciting, clinical degree that helps students with preparation for SQE1”, the first part of the new exam that the regulator envisages will be taken pre-training contract. London South Bank is the only university in the trio planning a law degree overhaul that doesn’t offer the Legal Practice Course (LPC).

Unger says South Bank is committed to keeping interesting optional content and projects in its law degree, rather than steamrolling this with SQE-focused modules. Instead, the plan is to squeeze in SQE content at the expense of law taught on the periphery of core modules, which could instead be moved into optional modules. A potential example could be for EU citizenship law to be taught as a separate, optional module instead of as part of compulsory EU law, though we stress this is only an illustration and not something South Bank is specifically considering.

ULaw chief Peter Crisp seems to have committed more whole-heartedly to a law degree that incorporates SQE content, even at the expense of optional modules.

Find out more about The Future of Legal Education and Training Conference on 23 May

In a recent interview with Legal Cheek, legal education veteran Crisp said ULaw will be creating an undergraduate law degree that’s SQE compliant. He said that, in order to do so, it’s “likely” non-essential electives will be forsaken to make room for the topics the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) wants tested on the SQE. At this stage, these topics include: commercial and corporate law, the administration of estates and trusts, and principles of professional conduct.

Given arch-rival ULaw’s move into SQE-prep territory, it’s perhaps unsurprising BPP would consider doing the same.

A spokesperson for BPP said it’s been consulting with members of the legal profession about the training they require in light of upcoming changes to legal education. They continued:

“As a result of that widespread consultation, we are reviewing our entire portfolio of programmes to ensure that students are both prepared for the future of legal practice as well as to pass regulatory assessments.”

BPP has even introduced a new senior leadership team in response to the impending SQE. One of those, Jane Houston, says the law school will ensure “our programmes prepare students to meet the regulatory minimum standard set by the SQE”, and “will also ensure that they are able to develop into the commercially aware, resilient and reflective practitioners that the profession demands”.

Find out more about The Future of Legal Education and Training Conference on 23 May

16 Comments

Anonymous

Not even LC is calling these three “top”.

(10)(1)

Anonymous

If elected, what would you do about Aleppo?

(8)(0)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Whats Aleppo

(8)(2)

Anonymous

Its a city in Syria.

(1)(2)

Gary Johnson

Pass me the bud bro.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Southbank Uni? Never even knew that existed… Is it of the same “calibre” as London Metropolitan University?

(12)(2)

Anonymous

I would send in a military taskforce and flush out all of the bad men knocking about inside. I would do that by rounding up the women, children and elderly. I’d kill the rest. With the remaining women, children and elderly I’d devise a test to see which are of pure and sound mind and not the enemy. Those who pass would go to phase 2, those who don’t will be killed. Phase 2 would be a relaxed interview with one of my trusted men. A new community for those who pass phase 2 would be created. That community would actually be in rural Scotland. The old Aleppo would be turned into an urban museum and only certain promising artists would be allowed to live there. The money from tourism would be pumped into the new rural Scotland communities. There would be a lack of men in those Scottish communities. Limited numbers of single men would be permitted to join the new communities.

That is it.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Sorry, this was supposed to be posted as a response to an earlier post. It is about what I would do about Aleppo.

(2)(1)

Name

On the South Bank University promotional material it says:

“Where better to study law than just across the river from the historic inns of court?”

Urrrr Oxford… Cambridge…most other places..

(12)(0)

Eats Chitty, Shits Contracts

Desperate times, desperate measures.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Proximity does not mean utility

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Anonymous

Give me your gibbons, you big glug. Save the rainforest or lose your Ferrero Rocher.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Train for a job that is overrated and pay tens of thousands for the privilege.

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Anonymous

LOL. Some top quality institutions taking the leap then. I am sure it will work out really well them committing to teach a course that nobody has the details of yet. To be expected of UoL and BPP but I am seriously laughing at South Bank.

Then in related news I need to change my Tena pad because I just read that Southampton Solent is in the top 20
for law in the Guardian tables.

(0)(1)

Anonymous

Snob.

(0)(0)

Comments are closed.

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