Degree or equivalent

For people qualifying via the SQE after autumn 2021

Degree requirements post SQE introduction

To become a solicitor after September, everyone must have a degree (or equivalent) but it doesn't have to be a law degree.

We want to encourage people from all backgrounds to become solicitors. Some people will have a degree, but even if you haven't you are still able to qualify through the SQE. This might be because if you have a qualification or work experience which is equivalent to a UK undergraduate degree.

What counts as a degree

  • A UK degree awarded at level 6 (or above) by a recognised degree-awarding body. This is usually an undergraduate degree but can also be diplomas or other qualifications.
  • An equivalent UK qualification. These are:
    • 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). This includes CILEx level 6 qualifications
    • 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 overseas qualification:
    • Shown to be equivalent to either a UK degree/equivalent qualification through a UK NARIC Statement of Comparability or
    • An accredited qualification at level 6 (or above) of the European Qualifications Framework.
  • Work experience equivalent to a UK degree/equivalent qualification (each equivalent application will be considered on a case by case basis). This would be a sufficient standard of general education and learning (level 3 equivalent of the Regulated Qualifications Framework) and considerable work-based learning.