Cost of the SQE preparation course

The cost of an SQE preparation course will vary depending on the type of course you go for, and which provider you choose to study with.

Depending on where you are in your educational journey: i.e., a law or non-law graduate, you’ll need to commit to researching and finding a suitable preparation course that will give you the best chance of passing the SQE exams and avoiding the risk of having to pay the full exam fee for re-sitting.

At BPP we offer a Law Foundations Course (Diploma) for Non-Law Graduates which starts from £9,661. It offers a strong starting point for your legal studies by putting you on a similar footing with law graduates before you embark on SQE preparation. Or, you can opt for our comprehensive programme SQE Training for Non-Law Graduates (Master’s), which incorporates the Law Foundations Course, and is eligible for funding starting from £13,500.

For law graduates, we offer a SQE1 & SQE2 Preparation course starting from £7,250, and the SQE Training for Law Graduates which further develops the wider professional skills and knowledge that employers seek to get you career ready. This course starts from £9,500 and is eligible for funding if you choose the master’s route.

We also offer separate courses to get you ready for the assessments: SQE1 Preparation (starting from £5,750) and SQE2 Coaching (from £2,500).

Ways of funding the SQE

The ways in which you can fund the SQE are similar to those who qualified via the LPC route. It’s most likely that you will combine a number of these options in order to fund your studies.

Scholarships

There are many scholarships available to students – from small discounts to full-fee scholarships, depending on the provider.

At BPP, we operate a large scholarship fund and each year support a wide range of future talent. BPP has a strong commitment to help widen participation in and access to the law, which is why a significant proportion of our scholarships fund is awarded to students from backgrounds which have been traditionally under-represented in the legal profession.

We recently launched the free Bridge Programme to help ‘bridge the gap’ between your undergraduate degree and postgraduate vocational training. One student from a socially mobile background from each participating university will be awarded a £5,000 scholarship towards their course fees, with further scholarships also being available to other participating students.

Self-funding through third-party loans

You may choose to self-fund your SQE by taking out a bank loan to fund your studies.  As well as High Street banks, there are also other lenders who specialise in lending to postgraduate law students.

One of the most popular ways for students to self-fund their studies is by wrapping up their SQE course in a Master’s, through which you may be eligible for a postgraduate government loan of up to £11,570 for the 2021/22 academic year and £11,836 for 2022/23. Not all SQE providers are universities who can offer this option. You should also note that, in most cases, whilst this sum will go considerably towards your course fees and the cost of the centralised exams, you will probably need to look to some of the other options we have discussed to fund the shortfall.

Firm sponsorship

The vast majority (if not all) of law firms who previously sponsored students for their LPC have confirmed that they will fund the SQE course fees and the centralised assessment fees of their SQE trainees. Securing a training contract with one of these firms (many of whom send their trainees exclusively to BPP) is a very competitive process, but the good news is that there are many leading firms who fully sponsor their trainees (with most paying a maintenance grant alongside course and exam fees), and a number of them have an annual intake of around 100.

Work while you study

One of the benefits of the SQE is its flexibility. At BPP, our courses can be completed on a full time or part-time basis, online or face to face. You can also fund your training and the exams by working while you study. Alternatively, you could choose to work full time to fund SQE1, and then work for a little more time to fund SQE2.

There’s also the option of both graduate and solicitor apprenticeships. The solicitor apprenticeship route enables future solicitors, who typically begin working in a law firm after they’ve completed their A levels, with a pathway to qualify as a solicitor in six years. By undertaking this route, you’ll have acquired six years of legal work experience, completed the SQE, and qualified without any student debt. In contrast, graduate apprenticeships, which are likely to become more popular over the next few years, will combine working for a firm, typically straight from your undergraduate degree, with completing your qualifying work experience, alongside your SQE studies and assessments.

Cost of the SQE assessments

It’s important to understand that the SQE comprises two centralised assessments which are not included within your preparation course fees. SQE1 costs £1,558, and SQE2 costs £2,442. These fees are paid to Kaplan who set the exams on behalf of the SRA.

There are also hidden fees to consider. At the moment, the SQE2 is only scheduled to be held in certain cities in the UK (Manchester, London, and Cardiff) – which will mean travel and accommodation costs to sit SQE2 for some candidates.

The SRA also has a strict cancellation policy – if you don’t cancel within the 14-day ‘cooling-off period’ after booking your exam, you will be charged 75% of the exam fee, or 100% of the fee if you cancel less than 48 hours before the assessment.

So, it’s really important to factor all of these costs into your financial planning, as well as the course(s) you choose to take.

Find out more about studying the SQE and the funding options available to you with BPP.