Higher/Degree Apprenticeship Solicitor

LLM Professional Legal Practice

Course code
Higher/Degree Apprenticeship
Bristol Law School
Typically 38 months
Day release; Entry Point 1 - January intake; Entry Point 2 - September intake
Programme leader
Mark Coombs

Page last updated 1 March 2024


Our Solicitor (graduate entry) apprenticeship will support you through the new qualification pathway by preparing you to sit the external Solicitors Qualification Examination (SQE). Passing this will enable you to practise as a qualified solicitor (subject to meeting any other SRA requirements).

Why study for a Solicitor apprenticeship?

Our Solicitor (graduate entry) apprenticeship (Level 7) is an innovative, work-based learning pathway for aspiring solicitors, offering an alternative route into the legal profession. If you're already working in a law firm, in-house legal department or legal aid bureau, you'll fit your studies around your job, earning while you learn. You'll build on your existing legal knowledge and develop your ability to practise as a contemporary lawyer.

For those wanting a career in law, we'll prepare you to sit the external Solicitors Qualification Examination assessments, SQE 1 and SQE 2, which you'll need to pass to qualify as a solicitor. Qualified solicitors have access to a range of demanding yet rewarding roles within the legal profession, with lifelong career opportunities.

Why UWE Bristol?

Throughout your apprenticeship, you'll learn from a leading provider of legal education, with a strong reputation built over 40 years. Learn in our modern, dedicated facilities at Bristol Law School, including Harvard-style lecture theatres and mock law courts with social learning spaces and technology-enhanced teaching areas.

Plus, you'll gain the knowledge, skills and behaviours to enable you to apply through the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to practise as a solicitor (subject to any other SRA requirements). To support your work-based learning and personal development journey, you'll be assigned to a personal tutor and workplace mentor, and you'll attend regular tripartite meetings to review your progress.

Benefits to your employer

The Solicitor (graduate entry) apprenticeship allows your employer to retain your talent and motivate you to progress your career, while addressing skills gaps in their current workforce.

From the start, you'll apply your learning to your specific employment context. You'll understand how to apply your own professional experiences to solve real legal issues faced by your law firm, providing long-term value for your organisation. You'll also develop broad technical and transferable skills, reflecting the diverse nature of legal professionals.

You'll develop into a work-ready professional fit for the legal profession. This innovative apprenticeship will prepare you for a legal career in the modern working world, equipped with the latest best practice in ethics and professional conduct.


On successful completion of this apprenticeship, you'll achieve an LLM Professional Legal Practice degree. The apprenticeship will help you gain the latest knowledge of legal matters and transactions within law firms, developing the ability to practise as a contemporary lawyer.

In addition to supporting your development in the workplace, this apprenticeship will help you to understand the career landscape in your sector and plan for your longer-term ambitions. Our award-winning Careers Service is on hand to give you independent advice and guidance at any point in your studies.

Course details


The modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change.

SQE essentials modules

  • Foundations for Legal Knowledge 1 - Principles of Criminal Law, Legal Systems in English and Welsh Law, Public Law (Constitutional and Administrative Law, Understanding EU Law.
  • Foundations for Legal Knowledge 2 - Land Law, Principles of Equity and Trusts, Principles of Tort Law.

SQE 1 modules

  • Functional Legal Knowledge 1 - Business Law and Practice, Dispute Resolution, Legal Services.
  • Functional Legal Knowledge 2 - Property Practice, Wills and Administration of Estates, Solicitors Accounts, Criminal Law and Practice.

SQE 2 modules

  • Practical Legal Skills - Advocacy, Case and Matter Analysis, Client Interview and Attendance Note/Legal Analysis, Legal Drafting, Legal Research, Legal Writing.

On successful completion of your modules and the SQE 1, you'll progress to the End-Point Assessment the SQE 2 through which you'll complete your apprenticeship.

Learning and Teaching

Our Solicitor (Graduate Entry) apprenticeship involves part-time, day-release study. The apprenticeship can take up to 38 months to complete from entry point one, and up to 30 months to complete from entry point two. You'll usually spend a minimum of 30 hours a week in paid employment, and at least six hours of your working week on off-the-job training.

Study both online and on-campus, with practice-based learning in our legal facilities at Bristol Law School. You'll learn through a mix of lectures, workshops and independent guided self-study. You'll also engage in collaborative learning and integrate new knowledge through shared experiences with your cohort of peers.

See our glossary of teaching and learning terms.


The Solicitors Qualifying Examinations, SQE 1 and SQE 2, are the externally-sat assessments for all aspiring solicitors.

Our internal assessments are designed to prepare you for these external examinations, including exam techniques to help you make efficient use of the exam time and your knowledge.

Additionally, apprentices will need to complete an evidence-based workplace portfolio of work.


Professional accreditation

By the end of the apprenticeship, you'll attain an LLM Professional Legal Practice awarded by UWE Bristol.

Professional registration and accreditation are dependent on you complying with the Solicitor Regulation Authority's requirements for qualification as a solicitor.


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Typical offers

Entry requirements

Entry point one (38-month apprenticeship)

  • Graduate Solicitor apprenticeship with SQE Law Essentials: for applicants with a law degree at 2:2 or above achieved more than three years ago, or with a degree in a subject other than law at 2:2 or above, or equivalent qualifications (for example CILEx Level 6).

Entry point two (30-month apprenticeship)

  • Graduate Solicitor apprenticeship: for applicants with a law degree at 2:2 or above achieved less than three years ago, or with a non-law degree at 2:2 or above with a conversion course achieved less than three years ago or equivalent qualifications (for example CILEx Level 6).

Additionally, all applicants are required to:

  • hold GCSE Grade C/4 or above in English and Mathematics or equivalent (we accept Functional Skills Level 2 in Maths and English)
  • comply with the requirements of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)
  • be employed in a role relevant to this apprenticeship.

Employers may have their own additional requirements and may require a 2:1 degree or above.

ESFA eligibility requirements

To study an apprenticeship, you need to:

  • be aged 16 years or over
  • be an EEA citizen (with Right to Work in the UK) and not be in any other kind of full-time education (including being enrolled on any other apprenticeship programme)
  • be employed (for at least the full planned duration of your apprenticeship) in a role that is linked to the appropriate industry for the apprenticeship training
  • receive at least legal minimum wage for apprentices (wages vary depending on experience, employer and level or type of apprenticeship)
  • commit to at least six hours per week of apprenticeship training during your normal working hours
  • have support from your employer, including a mentor/line manager. Your employer is also responsible for funding your apprenticeship.

More information about eligibility for apprenticeship funding is available on the GOV.UK website.

How to apply


If you’re interested in applying and have the support from your employer, speak to your line manager and/or HR team in the first instance for approval. Your employer will contact us so we can send you an application link.


If you’re not employed, you can use the following tools to find an apprenticeship vacancy with an employer:

For more guidance on higher and degree apprenticeship applications.

For further information

For course-specific enquiries, please contact the Programme Leader.

For all other enquiries, please email our Apprenticeship Hub apprenticeships@uwe.ac.uk or call +44 (0)117 32 84888.

For further information about Higher and Degree Apprenticeships.