Although the cost of training courses hasn’t been revealed by providers as of yet, the fees involved in taking the Legal Practice Course can be a good indicator of how much institutions will charge. For instance, The University of Law’s current LPC offering involves a cost that can range between £13,600 and £17,300 depending on the campus at which you’ll be studying.
You should bear in mind, however, that the entry fee for SQE exams is significantly lower than its predecessors, amounting to £3980 - an initial £1558 to enter the SQE1 series, and subsequently £2422 for SQE2 - this means that the SQE third-party courses could be cheaper than the LPC.
As this is still a considerable financial outlay - especially if you’re coming off the back of a three-year undergraduate degree, with tuition fees at £9,250 a year - there are several options available in terms of funding the course.
SQE training course funding options
If you have a training contract secured, the firm will often pay for your training courses - this is the case for the LPC and will continue with the introduction of the SQE. Many firms - particularly big-name City ones, will have struck an agreement with certain providers to send you on one of the SQE courses, so you’ll even have the choice made for you. In some cases, the firm could even go beyond simply sponsoring your course and provide you a maintenance grant for the year as well.
You might also have the option of studying part-time over a couple of years, which means you can split the fee over two years rather than paying it all in one year if you were to study an SQE training course in one academic year. If you’re undertaking a solicitor apprenticeship, your SQE course will likely be paid for by your employer as well as the entry fee for the exam, as it becomes an integrated part of your placement, whether it’s a shorter route or the full six-year apprenticeship.
As with GDL and LPC courses, it’s also likely that there will be a range of scholarships and bursaries available to graduates, so you should check whether you’re eligible for any and what the conditions are for each one, as this could be a source of considerable financial relief.
Can I get a postgraduate loan for the SQE training course?
Unfortunately, as it stands graduates who take a GDL and LPC are not eligible for a postgraduate loan, so it’s unlikely that the SQE will be any different - however, you should keep an eye on developments either way.