The LLM Common Professional Examination, also known as the Graduate Diploma in Law, is the route for non-law graduates wanting a fast-track pathway to a professional law qualification. Successful completion of the course provides you with a dual purpose qualification that completes the academic stage of legal training to progress onto the Legal Practice Course (LPC) or Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) and an LLM (Master in Laws). This combination is rarely offered elsewhere and may be completed in one year.
If you are looking for the chance to change career direction, this course provides the same opportunities open to those who have graduated with a qualifying LLB (Hons) degree – that gives exemption from the academic stage of training for progression to the final course for qualification as a solicitor or a barrister. In addition, this course gives you the opportunity to gain a postgraduate degree in law which will enhance your employability.
Drawing on the expertise of law academics and teachers within the Wolverhampton Law School, the course satisfies the academic stage of legal training required by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Bar Standards Board, and provides you with the essential knowledge and skills to succeed in the legal profession. The course is approved by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and meets the Joint Statement on legal academic qualification of the Bar Standards Board and the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
Drawing on the expertise of law academics and teachers within the Wolverhampton Law School, the course satisfies the academic stage of legal training required by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority and Bar Standards and provides you with the essential knowledge and skills to succeed in the legal profession. The course is approved by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and meets the Joint Statement on legal academic qualification of the Bar Standards Board and the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
The course is taught over one year full-time or two years part-time. The part-time course usually involves attendance on two evenings per week, although day-time attendance would be permissible but will be subject to the University’s timetabling of classes. In relation to the full-time course, class sessions are flexible and can be attended by a mix of day and evening classes.
You will experience a variety of teaching methods including framework lectures, group-led discussions and debates, workshops, oral presentations and independent research. Assessments on the course consist of coursework and examinations.
For Distance Learning Applicants
The distance learning course begins with an induction programme that includes an introduction to using the on-line learning platform – CANVAS, and to ensure that you are familiar with the University’s systems. The induction programme is designed to introduce you to techniques for the study of law such as using the law library, research methodology, and an introduction to the English Legal System and skills which provides a background on the law-making processes of England and Wales.
The distance learning mode of study provides the opportunity for students around the world to undertake this course. The course will be delivered using e-learning study materials with on-line support from academic staff. In addition, you will be able to access the electronic learning resources provided by the University’s Directorate of Academic Support (DAS). Therefore, it is essential that you have the use of a computer with ‘broadband’ internet access. You will also need to set aside time and arrange quiet study space to undertake your studies on the course.
Exemptions from undertaking the whole course
If you have studied and passed at degree level a few ‘foundation’ modules, you may apply for partial exemption from undertaking the full course programme, see reference to this in the Academic Stage Handbook. However, where exemptions are granted, so that you do not study the full course programme, you will not be eligible for the Master’s award. You will only be eligible for postgraduate credits for the modules you have successful completed.
The LLM [CPE] course consists of seven compulsory foundation modules. These are prescribed by the JASB, ensuring that you have the relevant knowledge base in each of the following areas: Constitutional and Administrative Law; Criminal Law; Equity and Trusts; European Union Law; Land Law; Law of Contract and Law of Tort.
The induction which is studied over two weeks provides a background of the English Legal System, including topics on court structure, common law and equity, the anatomy of a statute, the anatomy of a case, and civil and criminal procedure.
The LLM [Common Professional Examination] is a very popular course within the School of Law and is based on the study of the essential modules for entry into one of the legal professions.
In the recent Research Assessment Exercise (“RAE”) the School's average ranking was the joint highest ranking of all new universities within the Region with 65% of law staff ranked at an international level or above.
Mooting and other legal skills competitions provide the opportunity to experience what it is like to be a lawyer. Also, a purpose built courtroom gives you a taste of life in a real court with purpose-built legal equipment and special acoustics.
There are also regular visits to The Inns of Court, Houses of Parliament as well as career talks from local firms, police and other relevant organisations.
We pride ourselves on our supportive culture with a large team of support staff to provide excellent pastoral care and support with a welcoming academic environment in which to undertake your degree.
"I chose to study law at Wolverhampton because I visited the School and was impressed by the helpfulness and enthusiasm of all the staff." "There are many good points about the course including the excellent teaching, the support provided by staff and the international mix of students. The facilities are also very good especially the Learning Centres."
This highly rewarding, intensive, fast-track year-long qualification offers graduate level legal studies to students who already possess a degree in a non-law subject. Our conversion course, known as the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) or Common Professional Examination (CPE) meets the academic stage requirements of the Bar Standards Board and the Solicitors Regulation Authority, and can set you on the road to a legal career.
In addition to the theory, you’ll be able to hone your legal practice skills with the potential chance to enter local, national and international competitions, to enhance your curriculum vitae and widen your professional network.
You’ll learn through core modules. Assessment includes exams, essays and a dissertation.
In addition to the learning opportunities and skills competitions noted above Sussex, as a leading academic law school, offers students the opportunity to engage with visiting speakers and to benefit from traditional, high-quality , face-to-face teaching as part of a relatively small, select, GDL cohort.
Our conversion course helps to prepare you for a future career as a barrister, solicitor or other legal professional. At both Law School and University levels there are opportunities to engage with expert careers specialists to guide you.
If you choose not to pursue one of these routes, graduate level law skills may be useful for a range of other opportunities, for example:
-Business and finance
-Intellectual Property (e.g. Patent and Trademark) work
-Graduate careers in the police service
-Advice work and more
Find out more at our open day on 25 April 2018.
“I was looking for a place to help me achieve my academic goals and experience living abroad in an amazing city. Sussex truly gave me both.”
Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)/Common Professional Examination (CPE)
Fast-track your legal career with our Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) conversion course. Designed for students who want the challenges and rewards of a legal career, but don't have an undergraduate degree in law, or for those who have significant work experience, but no formal qualifications.
Many employers are attracted to GDL students in an increasingly competitive legal job market, as you offer additional skills and experience to their organisation.
This course will provide you with a thorough grounding in core legal subjects. Offering high levels of face-to-face teaching contact in lectures and workshops, and an open door policy for academic or pastoral advice, the environment is supportive and friendly. We also offer a Careers and Employability adviser to help you take the steps into a fulfilling legal career.
Mooting at Manchester Law School is part of a specialised unit on the GDL course, and we have become a leading centre for mooting and advocacy in the UK. The mooting society at the law school is extremely active, organising regular mooting sessions and debates supported by a team of expert tutors. Our Mooting teams have competed at and the highest level from 2013-16 and have enjoyed regular national competition success.
Award-winning Faculty environment
Manchester Law School is an inspiring and highly professional environment in which to study, housing modern lecture theatres, study zones, legal libraries and a mock courtroom. You will benefit from an award-winning Faculty building, including spacious study and IT zones, laptop counters, cafes and coffee shops, and free WiFi. Highly modern facilities are available to you on our thriving campus at the heart of the UK’s second city.
Top quality teaching by professionals
You will be taught by experienced professionals and will receive the best possible teaching and direct access to the profession. You’ll benefit from tutors who have a real passion for their subjects.
There are opportunities for GDL students to take part in pro bono (voluntary) work experience in a wide range of areas. Manchester Law School is continually adding to our portfolio of pro bono partners, to extend and improve the opportunities for GDL students to experience legal work first-hand.
The School of Law produces internationally recognised research, and is dedicated to educating highly effective trainee solicitors. Join an established professional legal network and continue your professional development with the experts.
The Legal Practice Certificate programme produces highly skilled, commercially aware and effective Trainee Solicitors, who are prepared for the rigours and demands of a Training Contract.
We are fully committed to the provision of professional legal education and believe that our experience in this area allows us to understand the particular demands this course places on you. We also believe that we have effective systems in place to provide good support mechanisms.
Considerable emphasis is placed on practice and you will acquire a range of essential lawyers’ skills by carrying out realistic transaction-based tasks. Part of the programme will also involve taking part in role-plays, simulations, case studies and electronically recorded exercises and assessments.
The course does not follow the standard University calendar and runs from the beginning of September until June with only two weeks holiday at Christmas and two weeks at Easter/Spring Holiday.
The part-time course is offered in day release or evening modes. You will attend all day Tuesday in year 1 and all day Wednesday in year 2, or Tuesday and Wednesday evenings in both years.
What you will study on this degree
Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.
Business Law and Practice (including taxation and business accounts)
Develops a sound understanding of Business Law and Practice, in terms of primary source materials, constitutional documents and other relevant agreements
Litigation (criminal & civil)
Equips you for work in a solicitors' practice in the fields of civil and criminal litigation, and identifies the critical steps in the process of litigation
Property Law and Practice
Prepares you for practice in property law in the context of domestic and commercial transactions and freehold and leasehold property
Combined Legal Skills and Probate
Provides opportunities for you to develop a thorough and critical understanding of the skills that underpin the practice of law at a professional level. This will be in a variety of legal contexts, including Wills and Administration of Estates (Probate)
Professional Conduct and Regulation (PCR)
Enables you to to identify and act in accordance with the core duties of professional conduct, professional ethics and the Solicitors' Accounts Rules
The following option modules are typically offered:
Advanced Criminal Litigation Law
Develops and enhances your existing knowledge of procedure and practice obtained during the Criminal Litigation course completed in Stage 1
Advanced Personal Injury Law
Provides the relevant knowledge, skills and procedure to deal with the main areas of personal injury practice including clinical negligence, disease, and fatal accident
Commercial Property Law
Prepares you for practice in understanding a commercial property transaction from site acquisition to letting and tenant default, by examining in detail the sequential series of steps in a commercial property transaction – excluding legal acquisition
Provides you with substantive knowledge and practical application in the foundation and operation of contracts of employment, employment protection rights, discrimination issues and commercial realities from both an employee's and employer's perspective
Prepares you for practice in family work to enable you to acquire the relevant knowledge and skills relevant to this area
General Commercial Law
Develops a sound understanding of General Commercial Law and Practice, in the context of Mergers and Acquisitions, using primary source materials, sale and purchase-related documents and other relevant agreements/documents
Covers the rights, responsibilities and remedies of residential tenants and their landlords, duties of local authorities and claims for possession against residential borrowers by secured lenders
Private Client Law
Introduces you to a range of matters you may encounter within a Private Client department, including: developing skills of fact analysis; identification of legal issues and client goals; research; problem solving and advising; presentational skills; planning and drafting of wills
Further guidance on modules
The information listed in the section entitled 'What you will study' is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.
Academic Framework reviews are conducted by LJMU from time to time to ensure that academic standards continue to be maintained.
Please email [email protected] if you require further guidance or clarification.
Our Postgraduate Diploma in Law/CPE is recognised as a qualifying law degree. It will expand the knowledge of those working in the justice, social and consumer sectors, as well as supporting a move to a career as a barrister or solicitor. Accredited by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the bar Standards Board, this course enables graduates in non-law related studies to convert to a career in law.
Experienced lecturers will support you through this practice-led, skills-based course, integrating guest talks from local practitioners and judges. Extracurricular activities, such as mooting, client interviewing and pro bono work, allow you to develop practical skills in legal research, problem-solving, critical analysis and communication.
Classes are taught in small groups of exclusively postgraduate law students by enthusiastic, expert lecturers who are committed to research and teaching excellence. You can take this course either full-time or part-time.
After finishing the Law CPE, you can achieve a masters in Law (LLM) by successfully completing a dissertation module.
The part-time course is based on an average study commitment of 20 hours per week, 14 hours of which is private study. Full-time students are expected to devote 30 hours per week to study outside class time.
Before you start this course, you need to complete a programme of preliminary reading. The programme begins in September with a module on the English legal system, which provides you with the foundation needed to underpin your legal studies.
Teaching methods include lectures, seminars and workshops. Assessment is by means of coursework and exams.
Core modules will give you practical knowledge in a variety of logistics and supply areas as well as key business skills such as financial analysis. In term 3 you will be able to tailor your course through a choice of two option modules and a final project or work placement.
On successful completion of the CPE conversion course, you can either go directly into the vocational stage of your legal training or enrol for a further year of study to obtain the Masters in Law (LLM) award.
The LLM degree is essentially an optional learning module that involves researching and writing a dissertation on a legal topic of your choice. Recent topics have included media law, medical law, family law, housing law and international law.
You will be allocated a subject-specialist supervisor drawn from the law subject group who will be available to support you, advise you and discuss your personal research needs during the year. In addition, LLM students have the opportunity to attend workshops covering research methods and ethical issues and to share ideas and strategies.
Many law firms prefer job candidates with an LLM degree because it indicates that a lawyer has acquired advanced, specialised legal training.
Assessment for the LLM award comprises a 15,000-20,000 word dissertation.
Our Law CPE is recognised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board as a qualifying law course.
The course provides you with exemptions from the academic stage of legal training, allowing you to progress onto the vocational stage to become a barrister or solicitor. Other successful graduates can also pursue careers in occupations within the justice sector, the prosecution service, the police and social services.
Our University of Brighton Innocence Programme provides you with the opportunity to investigate wrongful criminal convictions, referring them back to the Court of Appeal. Supervised by academics and working with practising lawyers, you provide pro bono assistance to prisoners who maintain their innocence and have exhausted their appeal rights.
Through our Community Legal Outreach Collaboration initiative, you can also gain real experience and training from legal firms and HM Courts by volunteering as a legal companion, providing vital help and support to disadvantaged communities.
On successful completion of the Common Professional Examination (CPE), you will be awarded a postgraduate diploma in Law. The diploma satisfies all the requirements of the Joint Academic Stage Board for completing the academic stage of professional legal training. You can progress onto the Legal Practice Course to become a solicitor, or the Bar Professional Training Course to become a barrister.
The course is also highly relevant to a range of other occupations within the justice sector and those with a significant law aspect, such as consumer, housing and welfare advice work, social work, the prosecution service and the police.
Upon completion of the Law CPE, you can obtain a masters in Law (LLM) by successfully completing a dissertation module.
The Bournemouth University Graduate Diploma in Law/Common Professional Examination (GDL/CPE) is a one year (or two year part-time) course, intended primarily for non-law graduates planning to enter the legal profession.
This course is primarily aimed at non-law graduates from UK universities who are planning to enter the legal profession. If you do not have a UK or Irish undergraduate degree but do have relevant academic qualifications or significant vocational experience, you may also be eligible to join the course – contact us for more details.
Although it is fundamentally aimed at entry to the legal profession, it is a highly valued qualification in its own right and supports a wide range of career opportunities. The course is approved by both The Bar Council and the SRA.
The course offers a learning environment with focused support and attention. The course is based around a small group which means you will benefit from individual time with our academic staff. The teaching team is made up of experienced academics whose education is informed by their professional qualifications and experience and by their research and publication interests.