Meet the legal issues that face society today head on in our new Graduate Diploma in Law course.
Our GDL is designed and taught by experienced lawyers and legal professionals; it will provide you with the necessary platform for the skills needed in the legal profession and will support your transition into your legal career from your previous subject discipline.
This intensive one year full time course centres on ‘practice-based’ learning; it aims to develop your understanding of law in the context of everyday life and modern legal practice. This approach emphasises training in legal & transferrable skills and involving practitioners and ex-practitioners in your teaching and learning.
You will have the opportunity to put law into action through engaging and optional work experience with the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB). Alongside our other pro-bono activities, you can apply for the CAB Gateway Programme that gives you experience in assisting and advising members of the public at a local CAB centre.
IMPORTANT: Further information on the study of law: post-university training and routes to qualification
Professional regulators in the legal sector are currently conducting an extensive consultation about legal education and training. This includes review about the routes and qualifications to become a solicitor or barrister. Some of the considerations include changing or ending existing routes, or opening new ones. We are informed that the current routes of a qualifying law degree or the GDL, and the BPTC to become a barrister will remain in place until at least summer 2017. The current route of a qualifying law degree or GDL and LPC will remain in place until at least summer 2018.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board will make announcements after their consultations and reviews at the end of 2015. These decisions will then inform the different routes to qualification as a solicitor or barrister.
A high proportion of your time will be spent working face to face with tutors in your seminars and workshops, developing your understanding of legal issues and skills. You will be encouraged to engage from the start of the course with legal issues and develop the skills of a reflective practitioner.
Studying legal subjects from scratch on an intensive course like the GDL can be a challenging transition in terms of learning styles. Therefore each student will have a personal tutor – in our previous experience of running GDL courses at other law schools, this is a tremendous support system which will help you succeed on our GDL course.
Our GDL prepares graduates for a range of legal careers including practising solicitors, barristers, paralegals, academic law or any career which demands critical reasoning skills. Working alongside the academic team is our Law School Careers Advisor, who comes from a law graduate careers background and has worked with law firms and barristers chambers in recruiting GDL students into practice. The Careers Programme we run will give you the platform you need to advance to the next stage of working in the law.
The Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) is the first step for graduates wanting to convert to law after completing an undergraduate degree in another discipline.
This reputable conversion course enables you to access legal training to become a solicitor or barrister. At Reading, you can apply for this accelerated legal training course, which is taught on campus by the award-winning University of Law.
Your GDL qualification offers basic legal training to prepare you to transition onto further legal training - via the Legal Practice Course (LPC) or Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) - required in order for you to enable you to become a solicitor or barrister in England and Wales.
The PGDL is an ideal stepping stone into either a full-time law career or advanced legal study. If you do not have an LLB Law degree awarded by a university of England and Wales, completing this course enables you to go on to professional training as a barrister or a solicitor.
Upon completion of the PGDL, you are eligible to undertake the Bar Professional Training Course if you want to qualify as a barrister, or the Legal Practice Course if you want to qualify as a solicitor. If you do not intend to qualify as a solicitor or barrister, the PGDL can also be a stepping stone into further advanced legal study.
We have an established record of providing this course and have excellent links with Birmingham Law Society and professional practice in the area. We also have a successful LPC course, which our PGDL students can progress to. Our innovative approach to legal education is demonstrated by our very successful American legal placement scheme and our active Student Mooting Society.
PGDL courses at all institutions necessarily have a degree of similarity in content and assessment. However, the PGDL at Birmingham City University focuses on supporting you to develop relevant legal skills as well as knowledge content and at the same time offers you a unique opportunity to apply for our US internship scheme.
We have active student-led Legal and Mooting Societies. Our Student Mooting Society is one of the most successful in England. Our students have reached numerous finals and semi-finals in the past few years and have regularly beaten teams from some of the country’s most prestigious universities. In the past 10 years, we have beaten eight of the elite Russell Group of universities, including Cambridge, Oxford, Nottingham, Leicester and Warwick.
As well as strategic partnerships with respected legal firms such as Irwin Mitchell and Squire Patton Boggs, the School of Law also works closely with Birmingham Law Society and voluntary organisations in the legal sector such as local citizens advice bureau and the Legal Ombudsman based in Birmingham city centre.
With excellent links with Birmingham Law Society and professional practices in the area, this course provides you with the attributes and knowledge you’ll need to progress in the law field.
By choosing to study this course, you’ll be part of the School of Law, providing you with a wide range of activities and opportunities to gain valuable experience.
You’ll be part of a friendly and inclusive learning environment, with regular access to friendly and supportive tutors, ensuring your individual study needs are met. You’ll be taught through face-to-face seminars, with opportunities for formative assessment and supported by online materials.
The course is aligned to the Joint Academic Stage Board, which represents the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Bar Standards Board of England and Wales.