Joint Academic Stage Board handbook
The Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board work jointly to regulate the academic stage of training, and have established a joint committee, the Joint Academic Stage Board (JASB) to facilitate this joint approach.
JASB has produced a handbook for the validation of qualifying law degrees (QLDs) and law conversion courses—the Common Professional Examination (CPE) or Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL). This is the official reference document for QLD and CPE/GDL courses, which must be adhered to by all providers of these qualifications.
Qualifying law degrees
A list of institutions providing qualifying law degrees is available.
The Training Regulations 2011 are rules that govern all aspects of qualifying as a solicitor. The provisions of the Training Regulations are supplemented by an extensive body of subordinate regulations.
The Joint Statement on Qualifying Law Degrees (PDF 51K), prepared jointly by the Law Society and the Bar Standards Board, sets out the conditions a law degree course must meet in order to be termed a "qualifying law degree". This version applies to all law degrees commenced after 1 September 2001.
The Joint Academic Stage Board of the SRA and the Bar Standards Board offers guidance to higher education institutions on determining the level of learning resources they commit to a course of study that is recognised as a qualifying law degree. Based around a series of precepts, Joint Academic Stage Board: Guidance on the determination of learning resources for recognised law programmes (PDF 230K) deals with matters such as human resources, staff development, physical resources and student support.
A library for the modern law school (PDF, 59 pages, 452K) is a statement of standards for university law provision in the UK prepared by the Society of Legal Scholars. These standards aim to assist law libraries to meet students' research and teaching needs and objectives in university law schools.
Completing the academic stage of training: Guidance for providers of recognised law programmes (PDF, 21 pages, 266K) is designed for anyone who—in a professional capacity—provides advice to individuals intending to qualify as a solicitor. The elements of the academic stage of training are outlined, and the process of completing the academic stage of training is explained. The guidance describes SRA policies and conventions; it also addresses queries frequently raised by students and higher education institutions.
Important information about LLB awards
The LLB upgrades/top-ups to the Graduate Diploma in Law programmes offered by some institutions are not recognised by the SRA as Qualifying Law Degrees, as commonly understood or as set out in the Joint Statement on Qualifying Law Degrees. This does not affect the status of the Graduate Diploma in Law which, if successfully completed, will satisfy the regulatory bodies requirements of the academic stage of training. Please contact the institutions concerned if you have any queries about these awards.
Award of LLB after completion of the Graduate Diploma in Law and Legal Practice Course
A number of institutions award an LLB to students who have successfully completed their Graduate Diploma in Law and Legal Practice Course. These awards are not recognised by the SRA as Qualifying Law Degrees, as commonly understood or as set out in the Joint Statement on Qualifying Law Degrees. This does not affect the status of the Graduate Diploma in Law which, if successfully completed, will satisfy the regulatory bodies requirements of the academic stage of training, or the status of the Legal Practice Course which, if successfully completed, will satisfy in part the SRA's requirements of the vocational stage of training. Please contact the institution concerned for more details about these awards.
Find out more about student enrolment.