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Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) Online

The online Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL Online) is your pathway into practice. It is the conversion course you need to complete if you have an undergraduate degree in a non-law subject and want to study law at a postgraduate level. If you’re looking for a truly flexible conversion course to kick-start your route to a career as a lawyer, our supported GDL Online is the perfect solution.

Thinking of continuing onto the LPC?

You can continue with the current LPC route if, on or before 31 August 2021, you complete, start, accept an offer, or pay a non-refundable deposit for this course. Alternatively, we’ve developed a range of new courses for the SQE route that will prepare you for a career as a solicitor, as well as SQE success.

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Key Facts

Entry requirements

An undergraduate degree at 2:2 or above in any discipline (or equivalent).

Full requirements

Duration options

12 months (full-time)

21 months (part-time September)

24 months (part-time January)

Next start date

September 2021

See all Start Dates



You can apply directly with The University of Law to study one of our online courses.


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All our law tutors are qualified lawyers with real-life experience in practice allowing students to learn in a realistic, professional and contemporary context.

Start your legal journey and explore an area of law that interests you: choose between your own Research Project or our unique Law of Organisations module.

Study when and where you want and access world-class learning materials, including our unique methods of online engagement and unrivalled online tutor support.

Course Details

GDL Online

With the GDL Online you will receive regular online support and feedback on work from one of our expert legal tutors. 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. Not only will you learn to think like a lawyer and develop practical legal skills through online workshops and problem-based learning, but you get the chance to explore an area of law that interests you via your own Research Project or our unique Law of Organisations module.

We have made sure that you will have access to comprehensive online learning resources and plenty of professional tutor guidance, providing you with relevant knowledge and practical skills so you’ll know what to expect in real-life situations.

In addition to the course and learning materials, you’ll also have access to our expert careers support services, who can help you with your training contract and pupillage applications. Our pro bono team have over 3,000 pro bono opportunities, which are available to you from as soon as you accept your place, so you can get loads of experience of working on real life cases and get “on-the-job” advice from practising lawyers.

Whether you choose to progress onto the LPC or BPC, you will benefit from our excellent employment and pupillage rates -

  • 95% of our 2017/18 full-time, UK, LPC graduates secured work or further study within fifteen months of successfully completing this course (based on Graduate Outcomes data).
  • 59% of our full-time UK/EEA BPC students graduating in 2018 secured a pupillage (based on student data collated September 2020). Previously the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC).

Required attendance

Although the vast majority of this course is studied entirely online, all invigilated exams must be sat* in a University of Law campus; these may be sat overseas, however, with prior arrangement and approval from the University.

*Birmingham, Bristol, Guildford, Leeds, London Bloomsbury, Manchester and Nottingham only.

Important Information

Progression for full-time GDL and MA Law students starting in September or January

Due to the projected end date of some of our courses, you may not be eligible to commence the Bar Practice Course (BPC) or Legal Practice Course (LPC) in September of the same year.

Please note: If you require a visa to study in the UK and wish to progress on to one of our on-campus vocational courses, please refer to our UK visa requirements page for information about applying for a Student Route visa.

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Programme Demands

This document explains the demands of the course in order to assess your ability for the course.

Download GDL full-time (online) programme demands ➔

Download GDL part-time(online) programme demands ➔

Course Structure

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

You don’t need to attend a campus for induction. Instead, you’ll be enrolled into an online induction module which will take you through necessary administrative requirements and provide you with guidance on how the programme works and additional support, such as our Employability Service.

Ethic and Professional Legal Practice

This module is taken at the start of the course. It 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 modules

There are seven foundation modules that you’ll study over the course of the year:

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

Choose one:

Research Project

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

This module is for students intending to practise 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 through 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.

Course Start Dates

  • Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)
    • Full-time: Online
    • Part-time: Online

Online Taster Session

If you want to find out what it’s like to study an online course with us, why not try our free online taster session?

Our taster sessions can be completed at your own pace and include short, structured exercises to help you experience what it will really be like to study online with us. All you need to do is visit our online learning platform (Blackboard ELITE) and, if you've already applied to study with us and received login details for ELITE, click 'sign in' on Blackboard ELITE. Alternatively, click 'sign up' and complete the short registration form.

Online taster session ➔

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Study On Campus

You can also study this course at one of our campuses across the UK. If you’re looking for a more traditional university experience, why not consider studying on campus?

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study on campus

Course Information


To get a full picture of how studying this course works during the year, take a look at our course date breakdowns.



This modular course is assessed by coursework essays and invigilated exams throughout your studies.

Please note that invigilated exams must be completed at our campuses*, or a British Council Office if you wish to sit your exam abroad. There will be an additional fee if you wish to sit your exam outside the UK.

*Birmingham, Bristol, Guildford, Leeds, London Bloomsbury, Manchester and Nottingham only

For more information email: Overseas-Assessments@law.ac.uk

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Each of our full-time and part-time GDL study options has its own structure, with different assessments to suit.

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Employability We Set You Up For Success

We care about your career, which is why we offer support with job applications and other work experience opportunities as soon as you accept your place.

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Fees and Applying


You can apply for the GDL Online directly with the University.

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September 2021

  • UK campuses: £9,850
  • Hong Kong campus: HKD $98,500

You can get full details about course fees and payment structures in the fees section of our website.



We have students from over 120 different countries throughout our campuses, with a dedicated team to help international students.

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