• Graduate Diploma
    in Law (GDL)

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    Our Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)


    The Graduate Diploma in Law from The University of Law is the first step for graduates wanting to convert to law after completing a non-law undergraduate degree. Our law conversion course offers unrivalled levels of face-to-face teaching, tutor support and a range of flexible study options.

    Our network of contacts, a dedicated employability service and a reputation in the legal profession mean we also have an outstanding track-record of finding students legal employment.


  • 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:

    • We’ve teamed up with leading law firms to design a course that encourages you to think like a lawyer from the start
    • You’ll develop essential legal skills, and learn by experience through practical workshops and problem-based learning
    • You’ll receive unrivalled face-to-face teaching and tutor support from qualified lawyers with practical experience; so you will know what to expect in real-life situations
    • Our GDL is endorsed by some of the leading law firms, and we're the preferred training provider to over 30 of them
    • You can choose to study full-time, part-time evening or part-time weekend at our locations or via our supported online learning programme

    • Eligibility
      • 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 Stand 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

      • 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 certificate 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 Academic Standing from the Bar Standards Board or 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) Score of 6.5 in all four areas
      ISE III (Trinity College London) Pass in all four components
      Pearsons (academic) Score of 58 in all four areas

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

      Overall 176 with no one component below 176

      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.

    • The practical application of the knowledge and skills learned in our lectures* and small group workshops, supported by our innovative online learning resources including recordings of live lectures, gives you the edge over other candidates in the competitive job market.

      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 self-study module enabling you to study an area of law that you would like to specialise in.

      You'll start with 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.

      * for i-GDL students lectures will be made available as recordings

      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:

      Contract law
      You’ll deal with how contracts are made, what happens when they work properly and the remedies available when they go wrong. You’ll look at contract issues which are relevant for both the consumer and business client. In practice, whether you are dealing with contracts in the corporate or commercial world you will be applying the basic principles of contract law that you cover on the course.

      Criminal law
      You probably feel you already know something about criminal law. In fact, the detailed workings of crimes like corporate manslaughter are even more intricate and fascinating than you might have thought. On this course, you'll also grapple with ethical issues, such as whether taking another person's life can ever be justified or excused.

      Equity and trusts
      On this module you'll deal with: the making of gifts, the creation of trusts, the role of trustees in both the family and the wider commercial context, and the remedies against trustees who commit a breach of trust.

      European Union law
      In EC law, you'll assess the impact that British membership of the European Community has had on the English legal system.

      Land law
      You'll study the law relating to the ownership of land, the creation of rights over land such as rights of way and the impact those rights have on the current and future owners of the land.

      Public law
      This module looks at the relationship between Parliament, the Government and the courts, and between the state and individual citizens. You’ll explore the most important aspects of this relationship, including the principles on which the UK constitution is based.

      Tort
      Tort simply means ‘civil wrong’ and on this course you will study the various ways in which individuals or businesses seek a remedy (often in the form of compensation) for harm which they have suffered or become liable for damage which they have caused.

      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.

    • 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.


      Structure

      Full-time 9 months (45 hours per week)

      • Courses start in January and late September each year.
      • Study three modules per 12 week semester over three semesters. 
      • Each semester comprises nine teaching weeks and three weeks for revision and assessment. You will be assessed on the modules you complete at the end of each semester.
      • Regular pattern of three tutor-led workshops of two hours and three lectures of one hour giving nine hours of face to face tuition per week.
      • Four-day timetable, with the same free day for private study each week.
      • Extra option of two-day timetabling, with face-to-face tuition concentrated into two set days per week. Assessments may be scheduled outside the two set days and this option is subject to availability at your centre of choice.
      • Up to ten hours of preparation for each workshop, using interactive study manuals and online interactive tutorials (i-Tutorials).
      • Before you start your GDL you will need to complete our online pre-course study programme on legal method. It’s a compulsory and integral part of the course. Designed to help prepare you for your career in law, with no need for advance reading. It takes approximately 50 hours.

        Part-time evening 21 months (22.5 hours per week)
        • Courses start in late September each year 
        • Study one full module and half a module per 12 week semester over six semesters. You will be assessed on those modules at the end of each semester in which study of that module is completed thereby spreading the study and assessments over the year
        • One or two evenings per week on alternate weeks each with two hours of tutor contact in workshops (22.5 hours per week)
        • Interactive study manuals and e-learning, including online interactive tutorials (i-Tutorials) for independent learning between study days 
        • Face-to-face sessions in workshops (recordings of lectures) 
        • Before you start your GDL you will need to complete our online pre-course study programme on legal method. It’s a compulsory and integral part of the course. Designed to help prepare you for your career in law, with no need for advance reading. It takes approximately 50 hours.

        Part-time weekend 21 months (22.5 hours per week)
        • Courses start in late September each year
        • Study one full module and half a module per 12 week semester over six semesters. You will be assessed on those modules at the end of each semester in which study of that module is completed thereby spreading the study and assessments over the year
        • Following induction there are 12 study weekends each year spread across three semester. 
        • Interactive study manuals and e-learning, including online interactive tutorials (i-Tutorials) for independent learning between study days
        • Face-to-face sessions in workshops (recordings of lectures)
        • Before you start your GDL you will need to complete our online pre-course study programme on legal method. It’s a compulsory and integral part of the course. Designed to help prepare you for your career in law, with no need for advance reading. It takes approximately 50 hours.

        GDL part-time Programme Demands (pdf)

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

        28 September 2015

        04 January 2016

        28 September 2015 -
         Bristol 28 September 2015  28 September 2015 
        -
         Chester 28 September 2015  28 September 2015
        -
         Exeter 28 September 2015  -
        Guildford 28 September 2015  28 September 2015
        -
        Leeds

        28 September 2015

        04 January 2016

        28 September 2015 
        -
        London Bloomsbury  28 September 2015 28 September 2015  28 September 2015

        03 October 2015

        09 January 2016

        London Moorgate 

        28 September 2015

        04 January 2016

         -
        Manchester   28 September 2015 28 September 2015 
         -



        Course dates
        Full time

        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.


        Part time - Evening


        i-GDL

        Occasional attendance is required.

    • The GDL isn’t just learning the law; it’s learning how to think like a lawyer.

      William Quamina, GDL Student, Manchester
    • 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