Postgraduate study

Professional Legal Practice Diploma

Awards: Diploma

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Programme website: 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.

Compulsory courses include:

  • Conveyancing
  • Private Client
  • Civil Court Practice
  • Criminal Court Practice
  • Financial Services and Related Skills
  • Company and Commercial
  • Professional Skills and Responsibility

There are also a number of elective courses on offer, ranging from Construction Law to Estate Planning, which take place in February/March.

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 workshop groups.

Participation in practical class work is regarded as extremely important and attendance is expected. Failure to attend workshops 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.

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

By the end of this programme, students should have acquired a more sophisticated understanding and be equipped with basic skills and knowledge required for legal practice. This will include pervasive consideration of legal skills.

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, 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).

Supporting Your Application

Relevant work experience is not required but may increase your chances of acceptance.

Relevant professional qualifications will be considered.

Preference will be given to those with grades above the minimum requirements due to strong competition for places on this programme.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

For 2021 entry we will accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 7.0 in the writing component and 6.5 in each other module)
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 100 (at least 25 in writing and 23 in each other module)
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 185 in writing and 176 in each other module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Diploma in Professional Legal Practice Office
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 4254/650 2004
  • Contact:
  • Edinburgh Law School
  • 9B Holyrood Road
  • Holyrood Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8FQ

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

Further information

  • Diploma in Professional Legal Practice Office
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 4254/650 2004
  • Contact:
  • Edinburgh Law School
  • 9B Holyrood Road
  • Holyrood Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8FQ