LLM in Professional Legal Practice (SQE1 and SQE2)

LLM in Professional Legal Practice (SQE1 and SQE2)


Study level
Full time
1 year
Faculty of Social Science

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We're also proud to offer non-standard entry, meaning your work experience and previous qualifications are taken into account when assessing your application.
Strong focus on employability
You will gain in-depth subject knowledge and transferable skills that employers from a huge range of industries will value. Many of our courses at Arden are also accredited by leading professional bodies in the UK.

Course Overview

Interested in becoming a solicitor? Then our newly designed online LLM in Professional Legal Practice is just the course for you. The course will build your academic legal knowledge and practical legal skills, while preparing you to sit both parts of the new Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE), supporting you on your journey to becoming a solicitor. Through dedicated SQE exam preparation, the course has been created to prepare both law and non-law graduates for a successful career as a solicitor. Upon graduation you will have gained a truly modern LLM, started to develop a Qualifying Work Experience (QWE) portfolio, and be ready to enter the legal work force in England and Wales and beyond. 

Over one calendar year of study carried out fully online, the Arden University LLM in Professional Legal Practice helps you lay the required foundations for your career as a solicitor. The course will prepare you to sit SQE1 after nine months (diploma stage), followed by SQE2 three months later (master’s stage). That means in a single year, the course will support you as you follow your path through the entire SQE examination process, as well as provide you with valuable employability and career development skills.

In addition to your SQE-focused modules, the course goes beyond the SQE examinations, allowing you to adapt your studies to your areas of legal interest, as well as bridge the gaps in SQE study. Areas such as constructing and drafting legal argument, legal employability and conducting complex legal research using legal databases which are critical to your success as a lawyer, but not covered in the SQE are central to the Arden University LLM. Therefore, the LLM better prepares you for your future career as a solicitor rather than simply passing the SQE. 

This course has intakes in April and October to align to the Solicitors Qualifying Examination dates.

To welcome students to this new LLM course we are offering introductory course fees of £6,900, a saving of £2,600, for students resident in the UK who enrol to join our April 2024 intake. On top of this, the course qualifies for an SFE postgraduate loan. This means that eligible students resident in England will be able to cover not only their course fees, but also the exam fees for SQE1 and SQE2, which are a prerequisite to becoming a qualified solicitor in the UK. Terms and conditions apply.
If you’re a student from Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland, you may also be eligible for a loan to cover your living costs. You can find more information here.

Find out more about Law at Arden
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Course details and modules

Divided into diploma and master’s stages, our LLM course provides comprehensive training for the SQE1 and SQE2 examinations. It has been designed for graduates from any recognised undergraduate degree programme and is therefore a great opportunity for either a career change or a full refresh for returning law students. After completing the programme, all students will have access to SQE1-related learning materials for up to a year. In addition, those who complete the SQE2 module will leave with a portable e-portfolio record of their legal skills training to use as a revision and preparation tool for the exam. We have also designed the course to have a dedicated consolidation period before SQE1 to enhance your chances of success.

Alongside SQE exam preparation, the LLM offers practice-based options to provide you with a wide range of skills, knowledge, and aptitudes for your future career as a law practitioner. Each module has been carefully designed to impart key legal and workplace expertise that will help further your professional development. Your learning material will also encourage creativity, problem-solving, and ethics so that you learn to address issues from an innovative and socially responsible perspective.

You will undertake a compulsory diagnostic module covering the key principles of the English Legal System at the start of your programme. This will both ease your transition onto the course and provide a legal knowledge base on which to build.

Richard Wing

I would recommend Arden University to anyone and I could not have achieved my results without the brilliant support I had from all my tutors. I understand that online learning is not for everyone and you really do need to be motivated, determined and very resilient if you want to do well. However, it is definitely within your grasp if you really want to change your life and do something different.

Richard Wing
LLB (Hons) student

This full-time course takes 12 months to complete and is studied fully online.


  • Public Law and Legal Services (20 credits)
  • Tort and Dispute Resolution (20 credits)
  • Contract and Business Law and Practice (20 credits)
  • Criminal Law and Practice (20 credits)
  • Land Law and Property Practice (20 credits)
  • Trusts, Wills and Administration of Estates (20 credits)
  • Consolidation study block to further prepare for SQE1
  • Legal Skills in Context (SQE) (20 credits)
  • Family Law and Practice (20 credits)
  • Employment Law and Practice (20 credits)
  • Research Project* (40 credits)
  • Legal Practice Research Report* (20 credits)

*It is compulsory to complete at least one research module

How do we assess you?

The assessments on the course have been designed to test and strengthen your SQE readiness and provide opportunities for constructive feedback. We have been careful to ensure that we have spaced out the assessment you will undertake to give you enough opportunity to fully absorb your learning in a sequential manner.

At the diploma stage of the course (first 120 credits), each module’s assessment contains two parts. The first is an MCQ exam assessing your comprehension of key module content in the format of SQE1. Then, depending on the module being studied, your second assessment may be a timed written exam, a presentation, or coursework assignment.

We have also incorporated dedicated time within the programme to help you consolidate your learning, practice SQE-style multiple-choice questions and zero in on your career development, providing you with a great opportunity to start or enhance your QWE portfolio. Throughout this time, our teaching and careers team will be on hand to offer personalised help and guidance.

In the master’s stage (final 60 credits), assessments range from an e-portfolio of skills to a research project, with a focus on SQE2 preparation. These aim to develop your practical and research experience, so that you graduate from the course with transferable skills that are valued within the profession.

Study options

This course is currently available to students as a fully online programme, which gives you the convenience of being able to study from anywhere worldwide, both on your own terms and at a lower cost. Using cutting-edge technology, we have ensured your course materials are accessible 24/7 and fully immerse you in the real-world applications of your learning.

Miriam Aziz

I chose Arden University because I thought it was well structured and, unlike other universities, they were more concerned with the student’s progress and understanding of the law rather than receiving money from the students. Doing the Law degree has opened a lot of new job opportunities and made me more marketable within the job sector.

Miriam Aziz
LLB (Hons) student

Full-time online learning

How does it work? 

This intensive, full-time course will take you through SQE1 preparation, multiple-choice question practice and career development learning as well as SQE2 preparation. This allows you to focus on preparation for each element of the SQE whilst giving you the opportunity to reflect on your learning.

Studying your LLM degree online with Arden provides both convenience and flexibility. You can enrol with Arden from anywhere in the world and study your degree from the comfort of home, without the requirement to attend classes in a physical location.  Our online students study their degree through ilearn, Arden’s university campus in the cloud.  ilearn provides everything you need to study at university. It offers an integrated virtual learning experience, including your virtual classroom, lecture theatre, and access to our Library Portal. The portal includes an extensive digital library including thousands of journal titles, eBooks, and academic and industry databases which you can use to research your assignments and projects. All of these materials are provided to you free of charge, and contain all the research information you’ll need to complete your degree with us.

ilearn is also integrated with Zoom, making it easier to chat with your course tutor during your scheduled seminar sessions. You can even integrate our study materials into your Kindle, making it possible to study wherever you have your Kindle handy.

Workshops and guided learning:

During the course you will have access to facilitated virtual workshops to give you a highly interactive learning experience. These will be conducted synchronously over several weekends and supported by digital materials and audio-visual content covering key concepts and principles. Your tutors will supplement this with further guided reading, activities, and research to encourage you to pursue self-directed learning.

Simulated practice environment:

Immersive experiential learning will also be provided through our simulated practice environment, providing you with opportunities to apply your knowledge to real-world scenarios and bringing you closer to what it’s really like working in legal practice.

Learn more about online learning

Entry requirements

At Arden University we consider applications on a case by case basis. If you have significant work experience, have qualifications you have gained elsewhere, or a degree or qualification that isn't a clear pathway to this degree - we are more than happy to discuss your application.


To be eligible for the LLM Professional Legal Practice degree, you require:

  • Any undergraduate degree at minimum of class 2.1 (or equivalent) from a recognised university.
  • Exemptions may be granted in respect of other prior qualifications subject to Arden’s APCL regulations.

English proficiency

  • IELTS 6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element) or equivalent for those students whose first language is not English.
  • Alternatively, evidence you have previously studied in English, such as a letter to show that the medium of instruction was in English, can be accepted

We also offer an internal English test for applicants who are unable to provide the above evidence of English proficiency. More information can be found here.

Before you start studying

Whilst you can read your study materials on your smart phone or tablet, to make the most of your learning experience, you will need access to a laptop or computer (we recommend one running the latest version of Windows), and a good stable internet connection.

Course fees and funding

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Meet the faculty

Professor Carl Lygo

Here at Arden, the breadth of knowledge and experience held by our academic team means that law is part of our DNA. Our CEO and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Carl Lygo, is a barrister and a Professor of English Common Law, and has specialised in comparative German Commercial Law. Professor Lygo has also previously sat on the boards of the Office for Students (OfS) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

Professor Carl Lygo

Career prospects

The LLM is designed for any graduates who are interested in pursuing a career as a solicitor. The programme will provide you with a solid foundation for your future career and allow you to take control of where your degree takes you.

What will I gain from this degree?

The LLM course will give you the chance to:

  • Receive intensive, targeted preparation for the SQE1 and SQE2 examinations. 
  • Develop valued legal and workplace skills, above and beyond SQE preparation, to excel as a legal professional. To support this, key legal and employability skills are embedded in each module and highlighted so you can track how each module is helping your professional development. 
  • Gain opportunities for career development as a practising solicitor in the UK.
  • Attend events with guest speakers and extracurricular activities, supported by a Legal Careers Project which will also include digital skills training for the legal profession. 
  • Learn how to act with integrity through the consideration of issues in legal ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility.
  • Take advantage of the integrated career development programme to develop skills, network with the profession, and plan or participate in QWE.  

What can I do after Arden University?

Our LLM is tailormade to guide you through the SQE pathway to becoming a qualified solicitor. To be eligible for this route, you will need to:

  • Have a degree in any subject or equivalent level 6 qualification
  • Pass both stages of the SQE assessment
  • Complete two years' full-time (or equivalent) qualifying work experience
  • Pass the SRA character and suitability requirements

Whilst the LLM is designed to guide on your journey to becoming a qualified solicitor, it will also prepare you for a variety of roles in the legal sector. Our careers team is here to support you both during and after the course and to give you guidance on all of the future career possibilities available to you.

Industry skills

Campaign for Social Science

Arden University is a member of the Campaign for Social Science. 

The Campaign demonstrates how social science improves public policy, society, and all our lives. It highlights the value of applied social science research and advocates for its greater use in decision-making and in government. It is supported by a coalition of universities, social science societies, and publishers.

As a member, Arden receives access to case studies, research into the value provided by social sciences, and insights into the employability of social science graduates. Through this, you will gain a better understanding of the skills you are learning and their value to employers.

LinkedIn Learning

All Arden students will have free access to LinkedIn Learning through the Library Portal. LinkedIn Learning is a video-based online learning platform offering over 16,500 expert-led courses across a wide range of subjects including business, technology, and creative skills.

With LinkedIn Learning, you can:

  • Pursue curated learning pathways aligned with our curriculum and your career goals.
  • Add value to your LinkedIn profile by showcasing your newly acquired skills.
  • Personalise content based on skills relevant to your chosen career path, interests and prior learning.