Online Graduate Diploma in Law

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New for 2018: Study our i-GDL full-time over 12 months**

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 personalised feedback on your work from a University of Law tutor. You’ll have access to world-class learning materials, including our unique i-Tutorials and webinars, and unrivalled online GDL tutor supervision and support.

Our structured course is delivered by qualified lawyers with online lectures and with practical workshops completed online 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 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.
  • Our online learning resources and individual supervision 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.

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

**Subject to approval.

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 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 certificate 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:

      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 an-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.

      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

      You are not required to 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 three 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
      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 year planner to undertake this work and detailed guidance on both legal research and legal essay writing skills.

      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 September each year with an additional January start for Part-time i-GDL students only.
      • Induction for both options is online. 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 full module sequentially, every 8-9 weeks over 21 months. 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 written 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.  

          *Subject to approval.

          Course dates & locations
          Online inductions open

          22 September 2018

          5 January 2019 (part-time i-GDL only)

           

          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

           

          i-GDL fees for September 2018 & January 2019

          Fees are the same for full-time and part-time options:

          Study mode Total fees payable 
          Online£11,270 

          Further information about course fees and instalment options.

          Applications are open for full-time* and part-time i-GDL starting in September 2018 and for the part-time course starting in January 2019.

          Apply now

          *Subject to approval.

          Enquire Now

          Thank you for registering your interest in our i-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

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

          Ella Caine , GDL Student, Leeds