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.

These entry requirements are for the 2022/23 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2023/24 academic year will be published on 3 October 2022.

A minimum UK 2:1 honours degree from a UK university, or its international equivalent, in law.

We will also consider candidates with a degree in a related discipline which includes relevant prior study.

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.

Students from China

This degree is Band C.

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

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified*:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 7.0 in the writing component and 6.5 in each other component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 25 in writing and 23 in each other component.
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 with at least 185 in writing and 176 in each other component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: 70 overall with at least 70 in the writing component and 62 in each other component.

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, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

(*Revised 17 November 2021 to add accepted PTE Academic qualifications.)

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:

Additional programme costs

Living costs

You will be responsible for covering living costs for the duration of your studies.

Tuition fees

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

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