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Exclusive: Goldsmiths Uni launches law degree ahead of super-exam shake-up

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First cohort to start in Autumn 2019

Image credit: Goldsmiths, University of London

Goldsmiths, University of London is establishing an undergraduate law degree for the first time next year, Legal Cheek can reveal. The university’s foray into the highly-competitive LLB market comes just months after plans to radically overhaul legal education by introducing a new solicitor super-exam were offically given the go-ahead.

The uni says its new LLB offering will incorporate Solicitors Qualification Exam (SQE) content through a combination of specifically designed modules and specialist workshops.

For example, Legal Cheek understands that Goldsmiths’ aspiring lawyers will complete a module introducing them to practical legal skills such as advocacy and interview techniques, which it’s anticipated will form part of the more hands-on SQE2. SQE1 is expected to focus on black-letter law and may take the form of a computer-based, multiple-choice assessment.

Professor Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos, who heads up Goldsmiths’ new law faculty, told Legal Cheek:

“The introduction of a new LLB at this time of change for the legal profession, and our strong willingness to integrate theory into practice, has given us unique flexibility to embed fundamental aspects of the SQE1 and SQE2 provision into our degree.”

The uni’s first cohort of law students is scheduled to start in Autumn 2019.

Goldsmiths isn’t, however, the first university to go public with its plans to incorporate SQE content into its undergraduate offering: London South Bank University (LSBU), The University of Law (ULaw) and BPP University Law School, revealed similar moves in May.

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LSBU revealed to us that it’s planning to teach an “SQE-facing” law degree using super-exam-style multiple-choice questions to test students’ knowledge in a legal practice context. Meanwhile, in a recent interview with Legal Cheek, ULaw’s head-honcho Peter Crisp confirmed it will be creating an undergraduate law degree that is SQE compliant. BPP, which suspended its undergrad offering earlier this summer, also indicated it will create a super-exam focused LLB.

Despite the SQE receiving the provisional go-ahead by the Legal Services Board (LSB) earlier this year, exclusive research undertaken by Legal Cheek showed that more than half law students and lawyers are unhappy about the impending shake-up to legal education. Of the 600 who responded to our poll, a whopping 57% said the new super exam is a bad idea.

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