The UCL Laws Notarial Practice course is designed to enable legally qualified applicants to fulfil the professional stage of the three stages to becoming a Notary Public
A Notary Public is a legal officer of ancient standing. The functions of Notaries include the preparation and execution of legal documents for use abroad, attesting the authenticity of deeds and writings, and protesting bills of exchange. Notaries in England and Wales may also provide any non-contentious legal service, including Conveyancing and Probate activities.
Notaries are admitted and regulated in England and Wales by The Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The process of qualification and appointment as a Notary consists of three stages:
- Academic Training
Before commencing the Notarial Practice Course, applicants must hold a valid certificate issued by the Faculty Office exempting them from all 8 modules which comprise the ‘Academic’ stage of training. Applicants will not be able to commence the Notarial Practice Course until a Certificate of Exemption has been granted, although the provider may give a place to an applicant conditional upon obtaining a Certificate of Exemption.
- Professional Training
This is a two-year distance learning course, run on the Faculty Office’s behalf by an academic provider, to train candidates in Notarial Practice. The academic provider for the Notarial Practice Course is currently University College, London (UCL).
Upon successful completion of the Notarial Practice Course applicants will need to apply to the Faculty Office for appointment as a Notary and admission to the Roll of Notaries.
£8,500 for the full two-year course. The fees are split into 2 payments over the two-years of the course. However, if individuals are self-financing their course fees then it will be possible to split each year's fees into 10 x monthly instalments.
Watch the recordings of the open day from 2021 using the videos below OR watch large videos
- Applying for your Certificate of Exemption
Since applicants cannot commence the Notarial Practice Course until a Certificate of Exemption has been granted, all applicants are encouraged to apply for a Certificate at the earliest possible opportunity.
The Certificate is the single entry requirement for the course and you will need to make an application to the the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Information about Notaries, including a full information pack on the qualification requirements, appointment procedures and the application form for the Certificate of Exemption from the academic stage of qualification required prior to enrolment on the postgraduate stage of training, is available from the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury website.
NB for September 2023 start:
The last meeting of the Faculty Office’s Notarial Qualification Board (NQB) where applications for Certificates of Exemption are considered is in July 2023 - previous meetings are held in October, December, January, March, June. We strongly recommend that you get your application for your Certificate of Exemption in place for early consideration (October - March) to avoid the later rush. The Faculty Office will not make any exceptions for last-minute or late applications for the Certificate of Exemption and if you do not have your Certificate in place you will NOT be able to join the course in September 2023.
If your application has been considered at an earlier NQB and you have been asked to complete CILEX training to fulfil your exemption requirements with the exams in June 2023 then we will hold a place for you on the course pending the exam results which are usually released in late August.
- About the UCL Notarial Course structure
The course is normally completed within two years on a part-time basis, starting in late September of each year, and includes three modules of study:
Year 1 – September to December
Roman Law as an Introduction to Modern Civil Law Systems (“Roman Law”)
Year 1 – January to March
Private International Law
Year 2 – September to March
The majority of the course is delivered through electronic learning, which allows you to study at home or in the workplace. Your learning is also supported by an introductory workshop and 12-hours of workshops each year over the two years of the course. Some workshops are held on Saturdays and some are held as 2-hour tutorial sessions online on weekday (either daytime or evenings).
Throughout the course, you will have access to UCL’s Virtual Learning Environment (Moodle), where you can find information about your weekly learning schedules, written assignments, interactive activities, and links to recommended reading and other study materials held on within UCL’s digital library collections.
We estimate that the time commitment to studying for this course is around 10-12 hours per week.
You will be assessed by written examinations, taken at the end of each module.
- Course Brochure
- Open Day Recordings - 27 November 2021
Session 1: Introduction
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Session 2: Educational Requirements
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Session 3: The UCL Course
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Session 4: Post Qualification
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Session 5: Being a Notary
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- Applying and fees
How to apply
During the lockdown period UCL is not accepting paper application. Please make your application using the online form below. We will contact you for any other necessary documents, and will contact the Faculty Office for a copy of your Certificate of Exemption.
Course fees for 2023-25 (including examination fees):
£500 Course deposit
£1875 Roman Law
£1875 Private International Law
£4,250 Notarial Practice Course
UCL graduates receive a 15% discount on the fees.
Application deadline is Sunday 16th July 2023.
- Where to find more information about the profession
The Notaries Society has published two useful leaflets on becoming a Notary, intended for law graduates and for legal practitioners:
Becoming a Notary – An alternative legal career: A guide for law graduates
Becoming a Notary – A complementary legal career: A guide for legal practitioners