Professional course Professional Skills Course
Page last updated 2 February 2023
We are recognised as one of the leading providers of PSC training regionally, thanks to our excellent teaching, strong links with law practitioners and rich learning environment. We are also the only provider in the South West to offer both day release and fast track routes for studying the PSC.
The Professional Skills Course (PSC) provides training in the practical skills you will need as you progress in your role as a trainee solicitor. From advocacy and communication, to client care and professional standards, you will gain a solid grounding in all the areas that are essential and highly advantageous to your practice.
This is a compulsory skills-based course that the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) requires you to complete before your admission as a solicitor. Building on the foundations laid in the Advanced Legal Practice (LPC LLM) course, the full course includes 12 days of training in total, which you will usually complete during your two-year period of recognised training.
An established name in PSC training
UWE Bristol is the main provider of PSC training in the West of England with over 19 years' experience of running the course. You will be taught by experienced university tutors, who have worked as solicitors for many years themselves and specialise in PSC training.
Informed by industry
The course has been designed by industry practitioners to ensure it meets the needs of both trainees and their firms and includes visiting speakers from many local and regional law firms. You will also have the opportunity to prepare and present a trial in a courtroom environment.
Interactive, relevant and practice-based
Delivered as an online, interactive course to allow for greater debate and discussion, you will leave armed with renewed confidence in your role, well equipped with the knowledge and skills you need on your journey towards becoming qualified.
The SRA do not stipulate exactly when the PSC should be undertaken prior to an individual's Admission to the Roll. It is normally done during a period of recognised training. There is no longer a requirement that the Legal Practice Course must be completed before commencing the PSC, nor an absolute requirement that the Client and Professional Standards module can only be undertaken after six months full time (or equivalent) training.
If you are a non-UK student you will need to show your passport on entry to the UK. Please check your eligibility to visit and study here in the UK. If you are a non-Irish EU national currently resident in Ireland, please contact us directly for further advice.
Careers / Further study
Studying the PSC is a requirement of the SRA, but also an invaluable opportunity to enhance your skill-set as you progress in your role. You will gain increased confidence in areas such as presenting and advocacy, and develop a strong awareness of all the key areas that influence and feed into your practice. The course is also a valuable opportunity to reflect on what kind of lawyer you want to be in the future, and how you want your career to progress as either a solicitor or barrister.
Our award-winning Careers Service helps you develop your employment potential through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity plus support for entrepreneurial activity, and access to employer events.
Watch: The learning and teaching experience
Compulsory core modules
The PSC course is divided into three compulsory core modules, the content of which is set by the Solicitors Regulation Authority(SRA):
- Advocacy and Communication Skills (three days) - provides you with the knowledge, understanding and skills to exercise the rights of audience available on admission in the civil and criminal courts.
- Financial and Business Skills (three days) - develops your awareness of professional conduct relating to financial and accounting matters, including money laundering and mortgage fraud issues. This module also provides you with the knowledge of investment business in accordance with the SRA rules made under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.
- Client Care and Professional Standards (equiv. two days) - enables you to identify and understand the significance of client care, ethical and professional conduct issues, helping you to respond appropriately within the training context. You'll be equipped to understand and apply methods of effective working, business awareness and the importance of personal and professional development.
In addition to the compulsory core modules, you will complete four days of elective modules to suit your areas of interest, which will allow you to expand on one or more of the subject areas from the compulsory modules, so you can specialise in particular areas of practice.
Each elective module lasts one day and, although there is no formal appraisal, you will be expected to actively participate and full attendance is mandatory. You will choose four electives in total, which you will normally study after the compulsory core modules in the second year of training.
People who have completed the CILEX route to qualification may be exempt from the electives but you will need to check this with the SRA. You can also apply to the SRA to exempt you from certain core modules, for example, on the basis of your past experience in practice.
List of elective modules and further details
The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved we will inform you.
Learning and Teaching
The PSC course is highly interactive, with plenty of classroom discussion, group work and opportunities to use your skills and reflect on your practice. As well as industry talks, you will have the chance to prepare and present a trial in a courtroom environment. This exercise is recorded for future analysis.
You will need to attend 12 days of training in total to complete the full course and 8 days for the core-only option. You can choose to do the modules in whichever order you like, although it is advisable to complete the compulsory core modules first before going on to your electives.
The course is run by experienced lawyers and teachers, drawn from the Bristol Institute of Legal Practice, Bristol Business School and legal practice.
For more details see our glossary of teaching and learning terms.
Due to on-going Covid-19 situation we have taken the decision to proceed with the PSC predominantly online, with one element of the Financial & Business Skills course hosted Face-to-Face either on-campus at Frenchay or at the Mercure Hotel, Exeter. We hope this will offer greater flexibility whilst still providing an interactive and enriching learning experience.
The different options
You can choose to study the PSC course in one of three ways:
Day release courses take place throughout the year online, however, the Financial & Business Skills examinations take place in-person at UWE Frenchay Campus in Bristol.
We run a fast-track course at the end of July at UWE Bristol. If you are exempt from a training contract, you may prefer to take the fast-track option. Fast-track modules are bookable throughout the year however, and spaces are available on a first-come-first-served basis so book early in the year to avoid disappointment.
We also run bespoke PSC training in-house for a number of firms. If you think this may be of interest, please contact the PSC Course Director.
Please note that, if you have already completed some core and electives modules at other institutions, you can complete any remaining number of your modules at UWE Bristol.
The only formal assessment on the course occurs in the Financial and Business Skills module, where you will need to sit a 90-minute unseen 'open book' examination on day three. For the other modules, there is no formal assessment but you must attend the full training days and will be expected to participate fully and will receive feedback on your performance during each module. You may also need to do some preparatory work ahead of the session and in some cases, follow-up activities to demonstrate your understanding of the module.
The results of your Financial and Business Skills exam and your attendance on all other modules will only be confirmed to you after our exam board. These occur four times per year and not always immediately after your modules. You will need to have fully completed the requirements of the PSC before applying for admission as a solicitor.
For more details, see our full glossary of assessment terms.
The PSC course at UWE Bristol is accredited by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). The SRA requires that all trainee solicitors complete this skills-based course before becoming qualified, and determines the content of the compulsory core modules on the course.
For the purpose of registering with the SRA, please advise us as to when you will likely obtain your PSC Certificate, before booking your course dates.
Bristol Law School is located within our Faculty of Business and Law building and has excellent, state-of-the-art facilities, including:
- dedicated study rooms for group or private study
- mock law courtrooms, with equipment to record advocacy sessions for later analysis
- a 24-hour dedicated chambers library, giving you access to a wide range of legal resources
- a nationally recognised online learning system.
Located in the heart of UWE Bristol's Frenchay Campus, the building provides innovative teaching spaces, including two showcase law courts, flexible social learning spaces and an external business engagement space.
Read more about the facilities in Bristol Law School.
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Prices and dates
Supplementary fee information
Fees are fully inclusive of all course materials, examination fees, refreshments and lunches (for face-to-face delivery). Payment is required at the time of booking.
Full PSC (3 core + 4 electives): £1,555.00
Core modules only: £1,095.00
Discount available for self-funding individuals
UWE Bristol alumni who are self-funding their PSC, will be entitled to our 15% alumni discount (please note this discount is not available for UWE Bristol alumni whose fees are being paid for by their employer).
Self-funding Alumni Full PSC (3 core + 4 electives): £1,321.75
Self funding Alumni Core modules only: £930.75
For any PSC places being paid for by an organisation, a 10% discount is available to all firms sending five or more trainees in an academic year (1 August - 31 July) to complete the full PSC. The whole booking must be made at the same time. Discounts will only be applied to the current booking(s) and will not be applied retrospectively.
Terms and conditions of the organisation discount
- The discount advertised only applies to places booked on the full PSC, not individual core/elective modules.
- Trainees must be booked onto the PSC and start their first module within the academic year to count for that year's discount.
- Discounts will not be applied retrospectively to places already booked.
Please contact us via the enquiry form below if you would like to discuss the discount your trainees will be eligible for.
Attendance on the Full PSC is 12 days in total, spread throughout the year (usually year one of the training contract). Courses run throughout the year online (with the Financial & Business Skills exam hosted on-campus in Bristol). There is also a Fast Track course enabling you to complete all three Core Modules over a 2 week period, which runs through late July 2023.
Please see below our Professional Skills Course Timetable for 2022/23:
|Core Modules||Dates||Delivery mode||Certification Date|
|Advocacy & Communication Skills||Tuesday 22, Wednesday 23 & Thursday 24 or Friday 25 November 2022||Online||16 December 2022|
|Advocacy & Communication Skills||Tuesday 23, Wednesday 24 & Thursday 25 or Friday 26 January 2023||Online||31 March 2023|
|Advocacy & Communication Skills||Monday 24, Tuesday 25 & Wednesday 26 or Thursday 27 April 2023||Online||30 May 2023|
|Advocacy & Communication Skills||Monday 12, Tuesday 13 & Wednesday 14 or Thursday 15 June 2023||Online||04 July 2023|
|Advocacy & Communication Skills||Tuesday 25, Wednesday 26 & Thursday 27 or Friday 28 July 2023||Online||05 September 2023|
|Financial & Business Skills||Tuesday 08, Wednesday 09 & Thursday 17 November 2022||Blended (Online & On-Campus)||27 January 2023|
|Financial & Business Skills||Wednesday 01, Thursday 02 & Thursday 9 March 2023||Blended (Online & On-Campus)||30 May 2023|
|Financial & Business Skills||Tuesday 30, Wednesday 31 May & Wednesday 7 June 2023||Blended (Online & On-Campus)||01 August 2023|
|Financial & Business Skills||Monday 17, Tuesday 18 & Monday 24 July 2023||Blended (Online & On-Campus)||05 September 2023|
|Client Care & Professional Standards||Monday 31 October 2022 (Submission Tuesday 29 November 2022)||Self-Study Online||27 January 2023|
|Client Care & Professional Standards||Monday 20 March 2023 (Submission Tuesday 18 April 2023)||Self-Study Online||30 May 2023|
|Client Care & Professional Standards||Tuesday 16 May 2023 (Submission Tuesday 13 June 2023)||Self-Study Online||01 August 2023|
|Client Care & Professional Standards||Wednesday 19 July 2023 (Submission Wednesday 16 August 2023)||Self-Study Online||26 September 2023|
|Elective Modules||Dates||Delivery Mode||Certification Date|
|Effective Written Communication||Friday 21 October 2022||Online||02 December 2022|
|Buying and Selling a Business||Monday 21 November 2022||Online||02 December 2022|
|Litigation Drafting - a Comprehensive Guide||Friday 02 December 2022||Online||16 December 2022|
|Negotiation in a Business Context||Friday 16 December 2022||Online||27 January 2023|
|Employment Law & Practice Day 1||Friday 20 January 2023||Online||27 January 2023|
|Employment Law & Practice Day 2||Friday 03 February 2023||Online||02 March 2023|
|Drafting Commercial Contracts||Friday 17 February 2023||Online||02 March 2023|
|Case Analysis & Management||Friday 17 March 2023||Online||31 March 2023|
|Commercial leases Landlord & Tenant||Friday 31 March 2023||Online||03 May 2023|
|Alternative Dispute Resolution||Friday 21 April 2023||Online||03 May 2023|
|Drafting Commercial Contracts||Friday 28 April 2023||Online||30 May 2023|
|Negotiation in a Business Context||Friday 12 May 2023||Online||30 May 2023|
|Effective Written Communication||Friday 16 June 2023||Online||01 August 2023|
|Alternative Dispute Resolution||Friday 23 June 2023||Online||01 August 2023|
How to apply
How to apply
Please complete the relevant online booking form below to reserve your place on the overall course. Once you are registered onto the course you will receive your log in details and instructions on how to go online and book your preferred modules. Please note that you will not be registered to attend on any scheduled course date until you select your preferred modules. Places on each module are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and completion of your booking/payment does not guarantee your place on a specific module.
|Cohort||Booking for 2022/23||Enquiries|
|Professional Skills Course 2022/23||Book now||Enquire now|
For further information
- Email: For all course queries, please complete the online enquiry form above.
- Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 81598