Online Graduate Diploma in Law

APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN FOR 2019

If you’re looking for a truly flexible route to your career as a lawyer, our supported online study programme is the perfect solution. With the i-GDL, you can study when and where you want and receive regular online support and feedback on work from a University of Law tutor. You’ll have access to world-class learning materials, including our unique methods of online engagement, and unrivalled online GDL tutor supervision and support.

Our structured course is delivered by qualified lawyers with online resources and learning tools to develop your legal skills.

Why choose our i-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 online 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
  • Our online learning resources and tutor guidance provide you with relevant knowledge and practical skills, so you will know what to expect in real-life situations
  • Flexible options: choose to study when and where you want with a choice of full-time (12 months) and part-time (21 months) options
  • Access award-winning careers support to help you with your training contract and pupillage applications with over 3,000 pro bono opportunities as soon as you accept your place

Interested in studying our GDL at one of our locations? Visit our GDL page.

Our i-GDL** is also available to Hong Kong students. The course will be studied online and commence from September 2019. Find out more >

* 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.
**This course is registered with the Hong Kong Non-local Courses Registry (NCR). It is a matter of discretion for individual employers to recognise any qualification to which this course may lead.

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 study@law.ac.uk 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 send your qualifications through to study@law.ac.uk who can deem whether you are eligible for 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:

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/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.

 

Full-time i-GDL students 

Please note that due to the projected end date of the course (6 September 2019), you will not be eligible to commence the BPTC, or (if you require a visa to study), the LPC. For example, 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 (if you require a visa to study the LPC), January 2020.

Visa requirements

If you are a non-EEA national who requires a visa to attend an assessment or study weekend, the University can provide you with a supporting letter to come to the UK as a Short-Term Student.  You can find further information about the Short-Term Study route on our Visa Requirements page.

 

Please note that i-GDL students will not be eligible for Tier 4 sponsorship, as this is not permitted for online courses.

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.

As soon as you accept your place, you’ll receive access to ELITE (Electronic Legal Interactive Training Environment), our online learning resources system. Through ELITE you can access the Employability and Careers and Library services and access all your online learning and support materials. Please note that all manuals and textbooks for the programme are provided online.

Pre-course study

Before you commence your studies, you will need to complete our online pre-course study programme on legal method, designed specifically to prepare you for the course, 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 course and must be completed before you start. It has been designed to allow you to work at your own pace and should take you approximately 50 hours to complete.


Online induction (I-GDL)

 

You do not attend a University of Law campus for induction. You will be enrolled into an induction module which will take you through necessary administrative requirements and also provide you with briefings in how the programme works and guidance about additional support, such as our Employability Service.

 

You will also complete online workshops in Ethics & Legal Professional Practice, based on the material you have access in the pre-course study.

The online induction process will take you up to 10 hours to complete.


GDL modules

The course is divided into nine modules, made up of seven foundation subjects, the Ethics & Legal Professional Practice module (including online study of legal method and an introduction to Ethics) and a Research Project. 

Ethics and Professional Legal Practice module

This unique module 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
  • Tort
  • Contract law
  • European Union law 
  • Criminal 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.

 

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 across all modes consists of online test and feedback exercises and independent reading and research via online interactive tutorials (i-Tutorials), online study manuals and e-learning.

You will be assessed in a variety of methods including a combination of open and closed book examinations, deadline driven research assessments, essays and written assignments.

Refer to our matrix showing the GDL structure and assessment.

Structure
  • Courses start in January and September each year. 
  • Induction for both options is online only. This will take you through necessary administrative requirements and also provide you with briefings in how the programme works and guidance about additional support, such as our Employability Service. You will also complete 3 online workshops in Ethics & Legal Professional Practice, based on the material you have access in the pre-course study. The online induction process will take you up to 10 hours to complete.
  • Full-time i-GDL: over 3 semesters, study three modules per semester in semesters 1 and 2, and 2 modules in semester 3. You will be assessed on a semester’s modules at the end of the semester. Hours required: 45 hours per week.
  • Part-time i-GDL: study 2 modules per semester over 4 semesters. You will be assessed on each module at its conclusion, thereby spreading the study and assessments over the duration of the course.  Hours required: 22.5 hours per week.

Assessment

Regular informal assessments and 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.  

Invigilated examinations

To be taken at a University of Law campus* or, by prior arrangement and with the approval of the University, may be sat overseas.

* This does not include Exeter, Reading or Liverpool. Please note that any assessments and examinations in London may be held at either our London Bloomsbury or London Moorgate campuses. 

 

Course dates & locations
Online inductions open

23 September 2019 

13 January 2020

 

Start dates are subject to change.

Attendance is required at a University of Law campus for examinations at the end of modules (examinations may be taken overseas by arrangement with the University).

 

Course dates

iGDL Full-time January 19 Course Dates

iGDL Part-time January 19 Course Dates

i-GDL fees for September 2019
Study mode  Total fees payable 
Online £9,350
Online (Hong Kong) HKD$95,350

Further information about course fees and instalment options.

i-GDL fees for January 2020
Study mode  Total fees payable 
Online £9,350
Online (Hong Kong) HKD$95,350

Further information about course fees and instalment options.

 

Important notice

Please note that students who apply, accept a place on and enrol on University of Law programmes that are registered in Hong Kong will be subject to different Terms and Conditions and pay different course Fees compared to students who apply, accept a place on and enrol on University of Law programmes that are registered in the United Kingdom and other online programmes. The Terms and Conditions and Fee Schedule that you accept when applying for your course (and which you are subsequently sent with your confirmation email) will be the Terms and Conditions and Fee Schedule for your particular course. Payment must be made in accordance with this Fee Schedule.

Students who apply, accept a place on and enrol on a University of Law online programme registered in Hong Kong must attend induction at The University of Law Hong Kong campus at the start of their course. 

Come and meet us at one of our open days or at a number of our law experience events where you can take advantage of our excellent connections with firms and practising lawyers.

Book an open day or event here.

Applications are open for September 2019 and January 2020. 

Apply now

Enquire Now

The teaching staff have been a highlight, everyone is so friendly and welcoming

Ella Caine , GDL Student, Leeds