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Professional Legal Practice

The Diploma in Professional Legal Practice is suitable for students seeking to enter the professions of solicitor or advocate in Scotland.

The content is determined by the national Joint Standing Committee on Legal Education, the Diploma Co-ordinating Committee and various working parties, which include representatives of all the universities and members of the legal profession.

The focus is on the practical skills required in the legal profession.

Entry requirements

Either of the following:

  • passes in the following Ordinary LLB courses: Public Law of the UK and Scotland, Legal Reasoning and the Legal System, Family Law, Delict, Contract and Unjustified Enrichment, Trusts and Succession, Public Law and Individual Rights, Property 1, Property 2, Evidence, Criminal Law, Commercial Law, Business Entities, EC/EU Law (required to graduate but not a pre-requisite for the Diploma), or their equivalents


  • passes in all the appropriate Diploma pre-requisite subjects if you are an applicant from a university other than Edinburgh, a Law Society or Faculty of Advocates applicant

You will graduate with the degree of LLB or have already done so (unless you are a Law Society or Faculty of Advocates applicant).

International qualifications

Please check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration
    • UKVI list of majority English speaking countries
  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 23 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 67 (at least 61 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than two and a half years old at the beginning of your degree programme. Language tests must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.

Course modules

Compulsory courses include:

Private Client
Civil Court Practice
Criminal Court Practice
Financial Services and Related Skills
Company & Commercial
Professional Responsibility
There are also a number of elective courses on offer, ranging from Construction Law to Estate Planning, which take place in February/March.

Assessment methods

Courses will be taught by lectures and seminars. Students are expected to prepare in advance for all seminars by reading the required materials and by reflecting on the issues to be discussed.

Students on this programme have a very full timetable in comparison with that at undergraduate level. It entails a large number of contact hours, much of the time in small seminar groups.

Participation in practical class work is regarded as extremely important and attendance is expected. Failure to attend tutorials will disqualify students from sitting the final exams.

There may also be the need for substantial preparation for exercises and in-class assessment. There is an emphasis on legal skills throughout.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Fee locale Course duration
Postgraduate Diploma - PgDip Part-time September 2017 21 Months
Postgraduate Diploma - PgDip Full-time September 2017 9 Months

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