Nottingham Trent University (NTU) has become the latest institution to unveil its courses to prepare students for the new Solicitors Qualification Exam (SQE).

After BPP and the University of Law, NTU is one of the main providers of postgraduate legal education and the new courses are its attempt to cater to the market as the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and Legal Practice Course (LPC) are gradually phased out.

The university has announced five new courses. Two are short prep courses, for SQE Part 1, lasting six months, and SQE Part 2, lasting eight weeks. Both are open to those graduates with a law degree.

Two further courses for law graduates are longer and more detailed. The LLM Professional Legal Practice: SQE 1 Preparation Course comes with a Master’s qualification and lasts 12 months full time or 18 months via distance learning. Meanwhile, the LLM Advanced Professional Legal Practice: SQE 1 and SQE 2 Preparation Course also lasts 12 months full time or 24 months via distance learning.

Finally, the LLM Law and Legal Practice: SQE 1 Preparation Course will last 18 months full time and caters to those without an undergraduate law degree.

Four of the courses hit the market in September 2021, with the short SQE Part 2 Prep course launching in June 2022. Fees for the courses, however, have yet to be announced.

The executive dean of NTU’s Nottingham Law School, Jenny Chapman, said: “We are excited about the launch of our innovative and flexible SQE preparation courses. Nottingham Law School’s ethos is about supporting our students to gain the knowledge, confidence and resilience they need to shape extraordinary careers. Our SQE courses are more than just about passing the exams. Our focus is to provide an outstanding student experience and to help our students to develop skills that matter to employers and that help them to succeed in a professional environment.”

Meanwhile, QLTS School, which helps lawyers from overseas qualify in England and Wales, has also entered the SQE market with three courses with different features for each stage of the SQE assessments. Prices will range from £1,500 to £2,400 for SQE1 and £1,500 to £2,500 for SQE2. As the exam fees are set at £3,980, a candidate could therefore complete the SQE for less than £8,000. The SQE1 prep course will go live in January 2021.

Nir Chanoch, the managing director of QLTS School, said: “We have designed and developed our SQE preparation courses by benefiting from the invaluable and unique experience we have gained in our QLTS training since 2011. Our SQE programme has been built in an online environment using the latest technology and best practices in the industry. This means we are not tied down by the same costs as traditional brick and mortar LPC providers. We are therefore uniquely positioned to offer high quality and affordable training for SQE candidates which will ensure their success in the SQE assessments.”

Finally, the University of Sussex has become the latest institution to partner with BARBRI to deliver SQE prep courses, to begin in summer 2021 and running at least twice a year thereafter. Head of law Professor Donald McGillivray said: “At the University of Sussex, we already offer a range of leading law courses, all with a distinctive Sussex twist: an emphasis on developing a critical appreciation of the law and the role of law in solving problems and improving people’s lives. This, in conjunction with BARBRI’s well-established reputation for expertly blending technology with innovative teaching strategies, ensures that those studying for the SQE will be placed on a promising pathway to success.”