The College of Law has launched a new online part-time Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), which has a January start and allows students to complete in 18 months rather than the usual two years.
The course combines innovative e-learning techniques with one-to-one tutor supervision via email. Although students still need to attend some sessions in college the majority of the course is run online, giving them more flexibility to fit their learning around other commitments such as work and family.
The GDL is a post-graduate academic law conversion course, which gives non-law graduates an entry route into the legal profession and can be studied full- or part-time.
Interest in the College’s new part-time online GDL programme, called the ‘S-Mode’ (supervised mode) GDL, has been high and the first course, which begins this month, is fully subscribed with a waiting list.
Scott Slorach, Board Member, Design and Production with The College of Law, said: “The one-to-one support from a tutor, all of whom are qualified solicitors, replicates the professional relationship between a trainee in a law firm and their supervisor. Students will develop relevant knowledge, practical skills and professional attitudes by being required to submit to their supervisor, on a regular basis, ‘office quality’ work and by receiving individual feedback.
“We anticipate that most students choosing this mode will have work or family commitments. It gives them a better work/life/study balance by allowing them to choose their own study times and also reduces the travel and accommodation costs that students undertaking the traditional part-time courses may have to meet.”
The students will have access to the same materials as students on other College GDL programmes including the latest online learning technologies such as i-Tutorials and computer-based Test and Feedback exercises as well as more traditional resources such as textbooks. In addition they take part with their colleagues and tutor in online workshops.
The College of Law already uses the ‘S-Mode’ online teaching method on its LL.M Masters degree programmes and also piloted it on the Legal Practice Course (LPC) last year.
In a survey of the students who took part in the LPC pilot, 97% said that the online learning resources aided their learning and 87% said they helped them to achieve a good understanding of how law is applied in professional practice.
The S-Mode was also evaluated by legal technology expert Prof Richard Susskind as part of his five-year review of the College’s e-learning methods, published in November.
In the report he said: “My investigations suggest that the drive behind the S-Mode is not commercial but educational. The College, it seems to me, is genuinely determined to explore and exploit new methods of educating, training, and helping aspiring lawyers; and, through the S-Mode, is pursuing the plausible premise that students generally perform better when they are accountable to, and working closely with, tutors on a one-to-one basis. This is the essence of the Oxbridge tutorial system, admired throughout the world.”
More information about the S-Mode GDL.