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    Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)

    Fast-track your legal career with our GDL law conversion course, your first step into law if you have already completed a non-law undergraduate degree.

    Many employers favour GDL students in an increasingly competitive legal job market. Through studying another degree subject, and building your career in another discipline, you will have gained many transferable skills. By choosing law at a later stage than some others, you are showing motivation and determination to pursue a new career. Employers actively seek candidates with these benefits.

    Our structured course is taught by qualified lawyers with lectures** and practical workshops to develop your legal skills. Our reputation for teaching excellence is highlighted by our Gold ranking from the UK Government led Teaching Excellent Framework (TEF) for consistently delivering outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for our students.


    Why choose our GDL?

    Here are just some of the reasons why we’re best placed to help you prepare for your future career as a solicitor or barrister:

    • Learn to think like a lawyer and develop practical legal skills through small group workshops and problem-based learning

    • Explore an area of law that interests you via your own Research Project or our unique Law of Organisations module^   

    • With our structured study pattern, foundation module assessment and teaching is spread out so you can focus on selected modules each semester. 

    • Flexible study - choose to study at one of our ten locations nationwide with the choice of full-time, part-time, day, evening and weekend courses and online (i-GDL). 

    • Access award-winning careers support to help you with your training contract and pupillage applications

    * In 2016, 96% of our full-time LPC students who passed the course in the summer were employed within nine months

    ** For part-time and i-GDL students lectures will be made available as recordings.

    ^ Not available on the i-GDL.

    • To be eligible to take up your place on our GDL, you must comply with the following requirements:

      • A UK undergraduate degree in any discipline (minimum 2:2), or an equivalent qualification.

      • Overseas graduates and mature non-graduates:

        • Future barristers - please apply for a Certificate of Academic Standing from the Bar Standards Board (BSB)
        • Future solicitors - please send your qualifications through to the Admissions team who can deem whether you are eligible for the course 
      • A sufficient command of English is required to successfully complete the course. Please note that students providing a degree from a UK university as proof of English must have studied the whole degree in the UK.

      • If you have a legal qualification from outside England and Wales or have studied aspects of law as part of a non-qualifying degree course, you may be exempted from certain elements of the GDL. If this applies to you:

        • Future barristers - please apply for a Certificate of Academic Standing from the Bar Standards Board (BSB)
        • Future solicitors - please e-mail a copy of your degree transcript, certificate and syllabus information through to the Admissions team who can deem whether you are eligible for certain exemptions on the GDL
        • If you are claiming full exemptions for the GDL you will need to apply for a Certificate of Exemption from the Bar Standards Board or Equivalent Means from the Solicitors Regulation Authority

        Further information can be obtained from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) (for future solicitors) or Bar Standards Board (BSB) (for future barristers)

        If you have completed a degree outside the UK and you do not come from a majority English speaking country:

        A certified copy of any document that proves that you are qualified in English at CEFR level B2 or above in each of the four components of language learning.  Providers that we would suggest you contact are:

        GDL
        IELTS (academic) Overall band score of 6.5 with no one component below 6.0. 
        ISE III (Trinity College London) Pass in all four components
        Pearsons (academic) Score of 58 with no one component below 51 

        Cambridge English: First Certificate, Advanced and Proficiency (tests taken from January 2015)

        Overall 176 with no one component below 169 

        Cambridge English: First Certificate (test taken before January 2015)

        Pass at Grade A and Exceptional in all four components

        Cambridge English: Advanced (test taken before January 2015)

        Pass at Grade B or C and Borderline in all four components

        Cambridge English: Proficiency (test taken before January 2015)

        Pass at Grade C1 and Weak in all four components

        Failure to comply with these eligibility requirements means that the University will have no option but to cancel your place on the course. It is important you check out any queries before you apply. 

        Full-time and i-GDL selection criteria
        • Academic performance at school and university
        • Demonstration of an informed decision to study law
        • Any special circumstances revealed in your application
        • Academic or other references
        Part-time (Evening/Day/Weekend) selection criteria
        • Open access, subject to the above entry requirements

        The University of Law fully complies with equal opportunities legislation and actively encourages diversity within the legal profession. Our admissions process acts fairly and aims to enable students to make the best use of their talents. You are encouraged to tell us about any special requirements at the earliest opportunity. This will allow us to discuss how we may go about meeting your requirements.

    • Visa requirements

      Further information for visa students 

      Non-EEA students requiring a visa to study should refer to the UKVI Policy Guidance, which can be found on their website:  https://www.gov.uk/tier-4-general-visa. Please note that immigration regulations are subject to change at any time. Specific enquiries regarding University sponsorship of students under Tier 4 of the Points Based System can be e-mailed to  visaoffice@law.ac.uk 

      It is the responsibility of all students from outside the EU to ensure you have a visa covering the full duration of your course.

      Pre-sessional English Programme entry requirements
      We are now offering a pre-sessional English course to students who need to improve their English skills in order to meet the IELTS requirements for entry onto the course. Read more
    • i-GDL students - see here

      Pre-course study 

      Before you start your GDL you will need to complete our online pre-course study programme on legal method, designed specifically to prepare you for the GDL, so you're up to speed when you arrive.

      Our online pre-course study programme in legal method is a compulsory and integral part of the GDL and must be completed before you start the course. It has been designed to allow you to work at your own pace and should take you approximately 50 hours to complete.

      GDL modules

      The course is divided into nine modules, made up of seven foundations subjects, a module at the start of the course providing insight into the profession and a choice of module enabling you to study an area of law that you would like to specialise in.


      Ethics and Professional Legal Practice module

      This unique module taken at the start of the course includes:

      • Insight into the different areas of the legal profession
      • Consideration of the role of legal ethics within the profession
      • Development of key legal skills and professional attributes required by lawyers

      Foundation subjects

      You’ll then study the seven key areas of law:

      • Public law
      • European Union law
      • Criminal law
      • Tort
      • Contract law
      • Land law
      • Equity and trusts

      Choose* between one of the following modules:

      Research Project module

      In this module you will plan, research and write an essay, tailored to reflect the area of law in which you intend to specialise. You will have time dedicated in your timetable to undertake this work and detailed guidance on both legal research and legal essay writing skills.

      Law of Organisations module

      This module is for students intending to practice as a solicitor in a corporate law practice and is offered as an alternative option to the Research Project module. In this module you will study the principles of contract and corporate law that underpin the creation and running of business organisations. The module will develop your legal research skills in this area resulting in the preparation of a legal report on an allocated problem based question. On the full-time course, this module will be taught through face-to-face workshops and on the part-time course this module will be studied online. 

      *i-GDL students are required to take the Research Project module.

    • All students are required to complete our compulsory online pre-course study programme in legal method. It should take you approximately 50 hours to complete.

      Private study consists of directed study through Study Manuals, online test and feedback exercises, online interactive tutorials (i-Tutorials) and independent reading or research.

      You will be assessed by a 30 minute multiple choice question (MCQ) open book examination on Legal Method, a closed book three hour exam for each of the seven foundation subject modules and two pieces of research based coursework.

      Refer to our matrix showing the GDL structure and assessment

      i-GDL

      i-GDL course structure and assessment


      Assessment

      Regular informal assessments and written and oral feedback from tutors will help you monitor your progress in preparation for the final exams.

      Your final result is based on:

      • Passing a 30-minute, multiple choice open book examination on legal method.
      • Seven, three-hour closed book examinations - one for each foundation subject.
      • Two pieces of coursework: one short essay on ethical considerations in the legal profession and a longer essay based on your own study and research on a legal subject of your choice or legal report on law of organisations problem question (depending on option taken). 
      i-GDL

      i-GDL assessment information

    • Course locations
         Full-time  Part-time Evening  Part-time Weekend  i-GDL 
      Birmingham

      w/c 15 January 2018

      24 September 2018

      24 September 2018

      24 September 2018
      -
      Bristol  24 September 2018
      -
      24 September 2018 
      Chester 

      24 September 2018 

      24 September 2018
      Exeter  24 September 2018 
      -
      Guildford 

      24 September 2018 

      -

      24 September 2018 

      Leeds

      w/c 15 January 2018

      24 September 2018

      24 September 2018

      -
      London Bloomsbury

      24 September 2018

      24 September 2018 

      24 September 2018  

      6 - 7 January 2018

      22 - 23 September 2018

      London Moorgate 

      w/c 15 January 2018

      24 September 2018

      24 September 2018  
      -
       -
      Manchester  24 September 2018 
      -
      24 September 2018 
      Reading 24 September 2018   


      Start dates are subject to change.

      The GDL starts with an online pre-course study programme on legal method, designed specifically to prepare you for the GDL, so you are up to speed when you arrive. This is a compulsory and integral part of the GDL and must be completed before you start the course. It has been designed to allow you to work at your own pace and should take you approximately 50 hours to complete.

      Each centre will hold an induction programme, which will be scheduled during the first week of the course.

      Non-EEA students will have a separate induction. See induction dates for non-EEA students for further information.


      Course dates
      Full-time

      Part-time - Evening

      Part-time - Weekend

        i-GDL

        Occasional attendance is required.

        There is a compulsory induction for i-GDL students which takes place over two days (Saturday and Sunday) at the start of the course and a further seven days spread out over the duration of the course.


      • GDL fees for January 2018 start courses

        Centre

         Total fees payable

         Birmingham, Leeds
         £8,730
         London Moorgate  £10,890

        Further information about course fees and instalment options.

        GDL fees for September 2018 start courses

        Centre

         Total fees payable

         Birmingham, Bristol, Exeter, Guildford, Reading 
         £9,120
        Chester, Leeds, Manchester  £8,990
         London (Bloomsbury and Moorgate) £11,270

        Further information about course fees and instalment options.

      • Applications are open for our January and September 2018 GDL. 

        Apply now

      • GDL Factsheet
        GDL Structure and assessment by study mode

        GDL Full-time course dates - January 2018

        GDL Full-Time Programme Demands
        GDL Part-Time Programme Demands
        GDL Programme Specification

    • Enquire now
    • Thank you for registering your interest in our GDL programme. We will be in touch over the next couple of days with all the information you’ll need to know about the course.

      In the meantime, why not order a prospectus or book an open day at one of our eight centres?

      If you have any other questions feel free to call us on 0800 289 997

    • My law qualification is giving me a well rounded understanding of the corporate world

      Rana Al Alawi, GDL Student, Guildford