Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)

NEW FOR SEPTEMBER 2019: STUDY OUR FULL-TIME AND PART-TIME (WEEKEND) GDL IN NOTTINGHAM

Your legal career starts here. Our unique modular GDL is the pathway into practice for non-law graduates.

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 undergraduate 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 locations nationwide with the choice of full-time, part-time evening and weekend courses and online (i-GDL).
  • Access award-winning careers support to help you with your training contract and pupillage applications

The MA Law is an alternative to the GDL which is a Master's Level qualification. Study our MA Law, and you may be eligible for a postgraduate student loan.

 

* 97% of our full-time 2016/17 and accelerated 2017/17 LPC students graduating in summer 2017 secured employment, a training contract, or further study within nine months of successfully completing their course. ** 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 the course, 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 course. 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 course                               
    • If you are claiming full exemptions for the course, 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 listed below.

    Pre-sessional English course

    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

    English language requirements
    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/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.

    Progression for January start Full-time GDL and September start Full-time i-GDL students

    Please note that due to the projected end date of the course, you will not be eligible to commence the BPTC or LPC that year (i.e. January 2019 Full time GDL and September 2018 Full-time i-GDL students will not be able to commence the BPTC in September 2019). The earliest start date for the BPTC will be September 2020 and for the LPC, January 2020. 

    Important notice

    You are advised to make your own enquiries with any professional bodies to which you may seek admission, to determine whether you will meet all their requirements, including academic, character and suitability requirements. The University cannot be held responsible for any decisions subsequently taken by a professional body concerning these 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-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. More information about the i-GDL.

See below for an outline of the structure of the course for each study mode on campus.

Studying the GDL online? Read about the i-GDL course structure and assessment.

 

You are required to complete a compulsory online pre-course study programme on legal method. It should take you approximately 50 hours to complete.

 

Please note: 

  • Students on the January GDL Full-time cannot join the BPTC in September of the same year because the Bar Standards Board requires students to have all their exam results before commencing the BPTC. They can commence our BPTC in the following year on confirmation of a successful completion of our GDL.
  • Students from the EEA on the January GDL Full-time can join the September start of the LPC in the same year while awaiting the results of their September exams. Please note that this option is not available to students outside the EEA due to visa requirements. Alternatively students can await confirmation of their successful completion of the GDL and join the LPC or BPTC in the following year.  

 

Full-time September 2018 start
Autumn Semester  Spring Semester 
Ethics & Professional Legal Practice Contract Law 
Public Law  Law of Tort 
EU Law  Equity & Trusts 
Criminal Law  Land Law 
  Law of Organisations or Research Project 
 
Part-time (Evening & Weekend) September 2018 start
Year 1   Year 2   
Autumn Semester Spring Semester  Autumn Semester  Spring Semester 
Ethics & Professional Legal Practice Contract Law  EU Law  Equity & Trusts 
Public Law  Law of Tort  Criminal Law  Land Law 
  Law of Organisations or Research Project
 
Full-time January 2019 start
Spring Semester  Summer Term 
Ethics & Professional Legal Practice Criminal Law 
Public Law Land Law
Law of Tort Equity & Trusts 
Contract Law  
EU Law   
 Law of Organisations or Research Project
Full-time September 2019 start
Autumn Semester  Spring Semester 
Ethics & Professional Legal Practice Contract Law 
Public Law  Law of Tort 
EU Law  Equity & Trusts 
Criminal Law  Land Law 
  Law of Organisations or Research Project 
Part-time (Evening & Weekend) September 2019 start
Year 1   Year 2   
Autumn Semester Spring Semester  Autumn Semester  Spring Semester 
Ethics & Professional Legal Practice Contract Law  EU Law  Equity & Trusts 
Public Law  Law of Tort  Criminal Law  Land Law 
  Law of Organisations or Research Project

For an overview of all study modes, refer to the structure and assessment matrix.

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


Assessment

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. 

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).

 

 

 

 

 

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

w/c 14 January 2019 

w/c 23 September 2019

 

 

w/c 23 September 2019

 

 

w/c 23 September 2019

 
Bristol 

w/c 23 September 2019

 

w/c 23 September 2019

 
Chester 

w/c 23 September 2019

  w/c 23 September 2019  
Exeter 

w/c 23 September 2019

     
Guildford 

w/c 14 January 2019

w/c 23 September 2019



 

 

w/c 23 September 2019

 
Leeds

w/c 14 January 2019

w/c 23 September 2019

 

 

w/c 23 September 2019



 
Liverpool

w/c 23 September 2019

     
London Bloomsbury

w/c 14 January 2019

w/c 23 September 2019

 

 

w/c 23 September 2019

 

 

w/c 23 September 2019

 

London Moorgate 

w/c 14 January 2019

w/c 23 September 2019

 

 

w/c 23 September 2019 



 
Manchester 

w/c 23 September 2019



w/c 23 September 2019

 
Nottingham

w/c 23 September 2019

  w/c 23 September 2019  
Reading 

w/c 23 September 2019

w/c 23 September 2019    
Online        

5 January 2019

21 September 2019


w/c means week commencing. 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 campus will hold a compulsory 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.

Note i-GDL students have a compulsory online induction.

 


Course dates
Full-time
Part-time - Evening
Part-time - Weekend
More information on our locations

 

i-GDL course dates
GDL fees for January 2019 start courses
 Campus  Total fees payable
 Birmingham, Guildford £9,120 
 Leeds £8,990 
 London (Bloomsbury and Moorgate) £11,270 


Further information about course fees and instalment options.

GDL fees for September 2019 start courses

Campus

 Total fees payable

 

Birmingham, Bristol, Chester, Exeter, Guildford, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Reading    £9,350
London (Bloomsbury and Moorgate)  £11,650

Further information about course fees and instalment options.

Nottingham Postgraduate Award

To celebrate our inaugural year in the city of Nottingham, we are offering the Nottingham Postgraduate Award to all postgraduate students studying our GDL, LPC, MA Law, MSc Legal Technology and PG Dip Legal Technology starting in September 2019. The award will be for £1,000, to be offset against the course fee.

Nottingham Postgraduate Award Terms and Conditions

 

Applications are open for our January 2019 and September 2019 courses. 

Apply now

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