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Masters Degrees (Graduate Diploma In Law)

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The Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), also sometimes referred to as the Common Professional Examination, (CPE), is a programme for non-law graduates, or those with equivalent qualifications, wishing to either enter the legal profession or work in law-relevant employment. Read more
The Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), also sometimes referred to as the Common Professional Examination, (CPE), is a programme for non-law graduates, or those with equivalent qualifications, wishing to either enter the legal profession or work in law-relevant employment. No prior knowledge of law is required.

Key Features of Graduate Diploma in Law

The Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) is a full-time, 36-week, intensive course designed to facilitate the acquisition of sound legal knowledge in those areas of law which are known as the Foundations of Law plus one additional area of law.

- The Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) course is preceded by a two-week period of directed reading on the English Legal System and the principles of legal scholarship (no attendance required, home study)
- Teaching of the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) course commences with an induction period which includes a short block of lectures and seminars concentrating on the English Legal System, the acquisition of legal skills, and European Union Law
- The foundation subjects of Contract, Tort, Public Law, Equity & Trusts, Land Law and Criminal Law are taught by means of a series of lectures and compulsory seminars spanning two teaching blocks during the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) course;
- A further legal subject is studied by means of a supervised research project;
- Class contact averages 16 hours per week. Students on the the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) course should expect to spend a minimum of 40 hours per week, attending classes and undertaking private study.

What next after the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)

In order to qualify as a solicitor or barrister you will have to complete the vocational stage of training. The School of Law at Swansea offer both a full-time and part-time, Legal Practice Course (LPC), successful completion of which satisfies the requirements of the Solicitors Regulation Authority. (For more information on our LPC, contact Michaela Leyshon, LPC Admissions Tutor at ).

For intending barristers, visit the Bar Standards Board at http://www.barcouncil.org.uk/careers/students/

Information on Swansea University Careers and Employability Service can be found here: http://www.swan.ac.uk/careers/

Career Prospects

Non-law graduates are being welcomed into the legal profession at an increasing rate, as they are perceived as bringing a fresh perspective to the practice of law, and now make up approximately 50% of all new lawyers. Successful completion of the Swansea Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), which is accredited by the SRA, Bar and ILEX satisfies all of the academic requirements for admission to the vocational stage of training as a solicitor, barrister or legal executive.

UK qualified lawyers have the opportunity to not only work in local and nationally based firms and chambers, public bodies and businesses but also in legal environments around the world.

In addition, the Swansea Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) is also relevant to those wishing to enhance their job prospects in areas such as business management, the probation service, forensic psychology, trading standards, politics, human resource management, education to name a few.

Student Quote

“I completed the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) at Swansea University in 2010. I wanted to gain practical legal experience before continuing my studies, so found a position as a paralegal at a local high street firm. Whilst the work was interesting and challenging, I knew I wanted to work for a larger commercial firm. I moved to London and began applying for training contracts whilst working as a paralegal in Herbert Smith. I was lucky enough to be offered a contract with Edwards Wildman, a small city firm which combines a small trainee intake with top quality work and high calibre clients.

Before beginning my training I worked in-house for a start-up technology company to acquire a further diversity of experience. The position allowed me to gain valuable exposure to IP work, which is an area of law I am particularly interested in.I am currently in my first seat in the Commercial Litigation department which so far has been interesting and varied. I am enjoying my training contract and look forward to the next two years”.

Isabel Roszkowski, Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)

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Who is it for?. Students come from leading institutions across the world and from a range of undergraduate disciplines including history, economics, English, and policy, philosophy and economics. Read more

Who is it for?

Students come from leading institutions across the world and from a range of undergraduate disciplines including history, economics, English, and policy, philosophy and economics. Students often know whether they want to become a barrister or work as a solicitor when they arrive, but some students use the programme as a means to make that decision. A significant proportion of our GDL students go on to become barristers.

Objectives

The City Law School’s Graduate Diploma in Law programme is nationally renowned. Since its inception in 1977, it has trained students at an extremely rigorous level, covering the seven core foundation subjects that are prerequisites for progression to professional legal training.

The programme is unique in that it introduces students to legal ethics as well as covering the core content. Students are encouraged to think about their reasons for practising law, and how they will find value in practice. The course has also been designed to be accessible and student-focused; at The City Law School we welcome students’ questions and offer significant one-to-one support.

From Martha Spurrier, Director of Liberty, to Dinah Rose, the QC Barrister who helped Julian Assange fight his extradition from the UK to Sweden, our alumni set the benchmark for legal practice across the world. Our academic team is also globally renowned and includes Professor Panos Koutrakos, the Jean Monnet Professor of European Law and Joint Editor of European Law Review, and Professor Martin Dixon, Specialist in Land Law from Queens’ College Cambridge.

Accreditation

The seven modules are prescribed by two external bodies which have jurisdiction over the course - the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board.

Placements

Placements are not a formal requirement of the programme, but gaining experience of legal practice is encouraged. If students secure a mini pupillage, (a week in chambers), we support this use of their time.

Academic facilities

As a City Law School student you will benefit from everything City has to offer including the Learning Success department and Lawbore, an online resource designed to help you find the information you need for the course modules.

The City Law School has its own dedicated administration team and you also have access to two legal libraries, one at the Gray’s Inn campus and the other based on site at our Northampton Square campus.

Within the Gray’s Inn library you will find rooms for group study sessions and rooms for recording demo advocacy sessions.

As part of the University of London you can also become a member of Senate House Library for free with your student ID card.

Teaching and learning

The seven foundation subjects and additional legal ethics course are taught over one year by lectures and tutorials which occupy around 16 hours each week. Every week you will attend a two-hour lecture in six of the seven foundation subjects (Contract law lectures are in an online format) and a tutorial in each subject every fortnight.

In addition to The City Law School's own lecturers, you will also be taught by visiting lecturers from other prestigious institutions, including Cambridge and Oxford. There will also be time for personal study to prepare for lectures and tutorials. Instruction in the use of legal materials and in legal research methods (including use of electronic retrieval systems) is also an integral part of the course. The City Law School's award-winning Lawbore website also offers an online portal of resources from a legal link directory to a careers and alumni blog.

Assessment

Formal assessment is based on written examinations held at the end of the course; formative coursework set throughout the year will help to prepare you for these examinations. You will be awarded City's Graduate Diploma in Law upon successful completion of coursework and examinations.

Opportunities

As a student at City, University of London you will have unlimited access to City's Careers, Student Development & Outreach service where dedicated careers advisors will provide you with tailored advice. Our strong links with the profession mean that we can bring the legal world to you.

Throughout the year we organise a variety of events, so you can build your network and meet representatives from leading solicitors’ firms and barristers’ chambers.

At The City Law School we run an annual internal mooting competition where you can act as a counsel to argue a point of law before a judge. Mooting is a great way to develop your research and analysis skills whilst also learning how to structure and present a legal argument.

Another way in which you can gain invaluable experience and develop your legal skills is to volunteer with one of our pro bono organisations. Pro bono work gives you an excellent opportunity to use your time and knowledge to offer legal advice to those who may otherwise not have access it.

Modules

In just one year, you will study the seven core foundation subjects that you would cover during a qualifying undergraduate law degree. The academic programme and examinations are of first-degree level with some elements of Masters level study, and involve work that is normally covered by undergraduates over at least 18 months. A strong emphasis is placed on developing your analytical and research skills to make sure you are fully prepared for practice.

Career prospects

By successfully completing this course students are qualified to progress to either of the two professional courses that all UK lawyers are required to take: the Legal Practice Course (LPC) for solicitors and the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) for barristers.

As a School we are ambitious for our students. You can progress to the LPC if you are looking to be a solicitor, or choose the BPTC if you see yourself working as a barrister. The School’s graduates are guaranteed a place on our LPC and we strongly advise you to apply for our BPTC.



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If you are a non-law graduate looking to enter the legal profession, the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) provides your starting point for graduate legal study. Read more
If you are a non-law graduate looking to enter the legal profession, the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) provides your starting point for graduate legal study. It takes you through the academic stage required to become a barrister or solicitor, before you then go on to either the Legal Practice Course (LPC) or Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC).

The GDL at UWE Bristol is highly regarded by both branches of the profession, and many solicitors and barristers choose this route into law, building on the knowledge they have obtained in another academic field to establish a successful legal career.

Key benefits

The GDL satisfies the requirements of Bar Standards Board (BSB) and the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA,) showing that you have successfully completed the academic stage of your legal training.

Course detail

As the first stage of your legal learning, the GDL takes you through the basics of law in England and Wales and introduces you to legal reasoning, methods and research. As well as this, you will learn how to apply your legal knowledge to the real world, giving you practical insights and skills to take into your vocational training.

The GDL is taught by a dedicated team of solicitors and barristers, who have all practised for many years, and bring their experience to bear on the course with plenty of examples, practical advice and face-to-face support.

You will also have access to an impressive range of facilities in our Professional Law Centre as well as the chance to hear from expert legal speakers and take part in our placement scheme. Our aim is to provide as much realism as possible and to equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to move confidently along the path towards becoming qualified.

Pre-course preparation

• English Legal System - provides you with a basic understanding of the legal system in England and Wales and covers the legal terminology, reasoning and methods that you will practise and develop throughout the course.

Teaching block one (September-January):

• Public Law - introduces you to the constitution of England and Wales and the theoretical principles that underlie it, as well as the judicial review process and how we use the law to protect human rights.
• Obligations I (Contract Law) - takes you through the area of contract law and what is involved in forming and enforcing contracts.
• Obligations II (Law of Tort) - introduces you to tortious liability, in other words how we can enforce obligations to avoid harm being caused to our neighbours.
• Criminal Law - provides an introduction to criminal law, particularly the underlying policy issues and the difference between theory and practice.

Teaching block two (January-June):

• Equity and Trusts - introduces you to equity and trust law, including defining what a trust is and looking at the relevance of trusts today.
• Property Law - explores land as an area of law, the rights and obligations associated with it, and how to transfer land from one party to another.
• European Union Law - provides you with an understanding of what constitutes European Union law, how it works and how we take account of EU law within domestic law in England and Wales.
• Independent Research Project - you will also study a research topic of your choice in depth (out of a range of subjects of current topical interest) and write a 4,000-5,000 word mini dissertation.

Format

Highly experienced and supportive tutors, drawn from legal practice, as well as the academic side of law, will enable you to develop your knowledge quickly.

Each topic will be based on an introductory lecture, followed by a workshop in a large group and then a smaller-group seminar. Both the workshops and seminars are highly interactive, and are designed to give you a deeper understanding of the material covered, and how it can be applied to practical contexts.

You will research and discuss real cases and legislation, based on current developments in law, giving you a valuable insight into situations you are likely to face in your legal career.

Assessment

As is required by the professional regulatory bodies, the main form of assessment for the GDL is through examinations, which are held at the end of each teaching block. Some modules also include a coursework element of 25%.

The Independent Research Project will be assessed through your 4,000-5,000 word mini dissertation, which you will write in response to your allocated research task.

Mock assessments with feedback will be given to help you monitor and improve your performance, and help you deal effectively with all forms of assessment. Two past examination papers will also be available in order to prepare you for examinations.

Careers / Further study

Studying for the GDL is a stepping stone in achieving a successful career as a solicitor or barrister. Many students who complete the GDL go on to study the Legal Practice Course (LPC) or Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) to achieve these career ambitions.

How to apply

Information on applications can be found at the following link: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/study/applyingtouwebristol/postgraduateapplications.aspx

Funding

- New Postgraduate Master's loans for 2016/17 academic year –

The government are introducing a master’s loan scheme, whereby master’s students under 60 can access a loan of up to £10,000 as a contribution towards the cost of their study. This is part of the government’s long-term commitment to enhance support for postgraduate study.

Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.

More information can be found here: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/students/feesandfunding/fundingandscholarships/postgraduatefunding.aspx

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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. Read more

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.

Why Choose Sussex?

  • Our conversion course is designed with high level academic input and relevant skills training at its core, preparing you to think analytically and logically about legal problems, to think laterally, to formulate and present persuasive arguments and to communicate precisely.
  • You will have the opportunity to take part in skills competitions such as: client interviewing, mooting and negotiating. 
  • The Sussex GDL offers the rare opportunity for a law conversion course to undertake a dissertation project. This allows you to work with our leading lawyers to research and write in-depth about a subject of your choice.

How will I study?

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.

Careers

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 
  • Trading standards 
  • Human Resources
  • Graduate careers in the police service 
  • Probation service 
  • Advice work and more 

“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.”

Hamad Nourmohammadian

Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)/Common Professional Examination (CPE)



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If you are a non-law graduate looking to enter the legal profession, the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) provides your starting point for graduate legal study. Read more
If you are a non-law graduate looking to enter the legal profession, the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) provides your starting point for graduate legal study. It takes you through the academic stage required to become a barrister or solicitor, before you then go on to either the Legal Practice Course (LPC) or Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC).

Key benefits

The GDL satisfies the requirement of the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), showing that you have successfully completed the academic stage of your legal training.

Course detail

As the first stage of your legal learning, the GDL takes you through the basics of law in England and Wales and introduces you to legal reasoning, methods and research. As well as this, you will learn how to apply your legal knowledge to the real world, giving you practical insights and skills to take into your vocational training.

The GDL is taught by a dedicated team of solicitors and barristers, who have all practised for many years, and bring their experience to bear on the course with plenty of examples, practical advice and face-to-face support.

You will also have access to an impressive range of facilities in our Professional Law Centre as well as the chance to hear from expert legal speakers and take part in our placement scheme. Our aim is to provide as much realism as possible and to equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to move confidently along the path towards becoming qualified.

Structure

The part-time course is structured into two teaching blocks (each of which is studied over a year) and covers the seven foundations of legal knowledge, as identified by the professional legal bodies. An independent research project then enables you to cover another area of legal study in depth.

Pre-course preparation

English Legal System - provides you with a basic understanding of the legal system in England and Wales and covers the legal terminology, reasoning and methods that you will practise and develop throughout the course.

Year one:

• Public Law - introduces you to the constitution of England and Wales and the theoretical principles that underlie it, as well as the judicial review process and how we use the law to protect human rights.
• Obligations I (Contract Law) - takes you through the area of contract law and what is involved in forming and enforcing contracts.
• Obligations II (Law of Tort) - introduces you to tortious liability, in other words how we can enforce obligations to avoid harm being caused to our neighbours.
• Criminal Law - provides an introduction to criminal law, particularly the underlying policy issues and the difference between theory and practice.

Year two

• Equity and Trusts - introduces you to equity and trust law, including defining what a trust is and looking at the relevance of trusts today.
• Property Law - explores land as an area of law, the rights and obligations associated with it, and how to transfer land from one party to another.
• European Union Law - provides you with an understanding of what constitutes European Union law, how it works and how we take account of EU law within domestic law in England and Wales.
• Independent Research Project - you will also study a research topic of your choice in depth (out of a range of subjects of current topical interest) and write a 4,000-5,000 word mini dissertation.

Format

Highly experienced and supportive tutors, drawn from legal practice, as well as the academic side of law, will enable you to develop your knowledge quickly.

Each topic will be based on an introductory large group session and then a smaller group seminar. Both the large group session and seminars are highly interactive, and are designed to give you a deeper understanding of the material covered, and how it can be applied to practical contexts.

You will research and discuss real cases and legislation, based on current developments in law, giving you a valuable insight into situations you are likely to face in your legal career.

Assessment

As is required by the professional regulatory bodies, the main form of assessment for the GDL is through examinations, which are held at the end of each year of the course. Some modules also include a coursework element of 25%.

The Independent Research Project will be assessed through your 4,000-5,000 word mini dissertation, which you will write in response to your allocated research task.

Practice questions with feedback will be given to help you monitor and improve your performance, and help you deal effectively with all forms of assessment. Two past examination papers will also be available in order to prepare you for examinations.

Careers / Further study

Studying for the GDL is a stepping stone in achieving a successful career as a solicitor or barrister. Many students who complete the GDL go on to study the Legal Practice Course (LPC) or Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) to achieve these career ambitions.

How to apply

Information on applications can be found at the following link: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/study/applyingtouwebristol/postgraduateapplications.aspx

Funding

- New Postgraduate Master's loans for 2016/17 academic year –

The government are introducing a master’s loan scheme, whereby master’s students under 60 can access a loan of up to £10,000 as a contribution towards the cost of their study. This is part of the government’s long-term commitment to enhance support for postgraduate study.

Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.

More information can be found here: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/students/feesandfunding/fundingandscholarships/postgraduatefunding.aspx

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Why study at Roehampton. Equip yourself for legal practice with our ‘practice-based’ law approach taught by experienced academics and tutor practitioners. Read more

Why study at Roehampton

  • Equip yourself for legal practice with our ‘practice-based’ law approach taught by experienced academics and tutor practitioners.
  • Work with our dedicated Law School Careers Advisor who will help you to target the law career you choose.
  • Build upon your legal skills and obtain work experience through our partnership with the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Course summary

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.

Content

Personal Tutoring

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.

Career options

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.

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This conversion course will allow you to go on to the next stage of training to qualify as a solicitor or barrister if you are a non-law graduate. Read more

This conversion course will allow you to go on to the next stage of training to qualify as a solicitor or barrister if you are a non-law graduate. As with the LLM Qualifying Law Degree, this course covers the key foundation subjects needed to complete the academic stage of your training for either profession, as required by the major professional bodies in law.

You will have the opportunity to be partnered with a mentor, a Leeds-based legal professional, who will be able to advise on your career aspirations and provide practical support to help you deepen your understanding of legal practices. You will benefit from tailored career development sessions focusing on interview skills, CV writing and networking.

You could opt to study on campus and learn through a mix of online activities, directed study and small group workshops, or you could choose the distance learning option with your course delivered entirely online. 

Changes to legal education and training

Legal education and training is currently under detailed review by professional regulators in the legal sector. The review will examine the routes currently open and the qualifications required to become a solicitor or barrister, and includes a reflection on changes to and removal of existing routes, as well as the possibility of establishing new ones. 

Currently, students can complete a qualifying law degree, the Graduate Diploma Law (GDL) and then the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) to become a barrister, this route will remain unchanged until summer 2017 at the earliest. The route of a qualifying law degree or GDL, and then the Legal Practice Course to qualify as a solicitor will remain in place until summer 2019.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and the Bar Standards Board (BSB) will announce their findings as soon as possible and their decisions will then affect the available routes to qualification as a solicitor or barrister.

For more information visit the SRA and BSB websites:

Course Benefits

Our course is delivered by staff with significant professional expertise. You will engage in activities designed to optimise your employment prospects and enhance professionalism. All students on the course have a professional mentor - a legal practitioner in the local area who can provide practical support and advice during the period of study and provide work-based learning and career opportunities. Local law firms engage with us by teaching, leading career development sessions, acting as mentors and judging and providing prizes for a number of legal competitions.

Caroline Acton of Berwins Solicitors in Harrogate completed both the PG Dip Law and the Legal Practice Course at Leeds Law School. She says, "Throughout the course I developed vital professional skills such as interviewing and advising within legal areas."

Core modules (Full-time/Part-time)

  • Independent Legal Research Project
  • Criminal Law
  • Equity & Trusts Law
  • Contract Law
  • Law Institutions & Skills
  • Property Law
  • Public Law
  • Law of the European Union
  • Tort Law

Core modules (Distance Learning)

  • Law Institutions & Skills
  • Foundations of Public Law
  • Foundations of Criminal Law
  • Foundations of Contract Law
  • Foundations of Tort Law
  • Foundations of Property Law
  • Independent Legal Research Project
  • Foundations of Equity & Trusts Law
  • Foundations of the Law of the European Union

Job prospects

On successful completion of this course, you will be able to proceed to the next stage of your legal training. To qualify as a solicitor, you could choose to study the Legal Practice Course (LPC) with us. If you intend to become a barrister, you could apply to take the Bar Professional Training Course.

  • Lawyer
  • Legal Adviser
  • Solicitor


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An intensive conversion course to law for non-law graduates. You will study the English and Welsh Legal System, Contract Law, Criminal Law, Equity & Trusts, EU Law, Land Law, Public Law and Tort. Read more

An intensive conversion course to law for non-law graduates. You will study the English and Welsh Legal System, Contract Law, Criminal Law, Equity & Trusts, EU Law, Land Law, Public Law and Tort. You will also research a topic and submit an extended essay on it at the end of your study.

Overview

The Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) offers intensive, graduate-level legal studies to students who already possess a degree in a non-law subject and wish to qualify as solicitors or barristers.

As the course is recognised by the Bar Standards Board and Solicitors Regulation Authority as satisfying the academic stage of legal training, the GDL allows a full-time student to complete this stage in one year (or two years part-time) instead of the two or three years normally required for a qualifying law degree.

After successful completion of the GDL, you may progress to the professional stage of legal training, either the Bar Professional Training Course or the Legal Practice Course, either of which may be studied at the School of Law and Politics.

To become fully qualified, completion of the BPTC or LPC will need to be followed by a period of work-based learning, either pupillage in a barristers’ chambers or a training contract with a solicitors’ firm. Alternatively, the GDL or one of the professional courses may be directly followed by legal work in some other capacity, with the option of seeking full qualification at a later date.

Distinctive features

The GDL is a very intensive course, but our model lets you combine your studies with other commitments. Apart from the first two weeks, you will only need to attend the School on Thursdays and Fridays (full time). The remainder of your time will be used for independent study, including listening to lectures, reading and preparing for tutorials.

All our tutorials are on site where you will have access to learning and pastoral support from your tutors. Most lectures are delivered electronically, so you can listen when most convenient for you but you will also have ample opportunities to see and speak to your tutors – this is not a distance learning course.

You will also benefit from pro bono opportunities, excellent career prospects and a full programme of talks and sessions to help you plan the next stage of your legal career.

After completing the GDL you can stay with us to carry out the LPC or BPTC course.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

The two contact days each week will usually include two or three tutorial-type sessions each typically lasting two hours. A range of teaching methods will be used in tutorials, including teamwork based exercises. 

Your preparatory work will involve extensive reading, listening to lectures, carrying out legal research and grappling with problems and essay questions or other preparatory exercises. For example, you might be asked to research different points, summarise cases or journal articles on behalf of a whole tutorial group. Although a minority of lectures will be delivered live in a lecture theatre, all will be recorded and made available on the University’s virtual learning environment for students to access off-campus at a convenient time.

How will I be supported?

All modules within the programme make extensive use of Learning Central, on which you will find course materials, links to related materials and multiple-choice tests. Hard copies of key teaching materials will also be provided. You will be allocated a personal tutor who will not only assist with reflection on performance on the course but will also help with CVs and job applications, in conjunction with the University’s Career Service. A programme of careers lectures and workshops is delivered within the School. Reasonable adjustments will be made as appropriate for students with disabilities.

Career prospects

Completion of the GDL allows you to progress to the professional stage of legal training, either the Bar Professional Training Course or the Legal Practice Course, either of which may be studied at the School of Law and Politics.

The GDL route to legal qualification is very well established, with many lawyers qualifying via this route. The qualification is also valued by potential employers, who appreciate the wide range of expertise, confidence and maturity often associated with such candidates. For example, a significant proportion of solicitors in large commercial law firms have qualified via the GDL route.

To become fully qualified, completion of the BPTC or LPC then needs to be followed by a period of work-based learning, either pupillage in a barristers’ chambers or a training contract with a solicitors’ firm. Alternatively, the GDL or one of the professional courses may be directly followed by legal work in some other capacity, with the option of seeking full qualification at a later date.



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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. Read more

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.

Features and benefits of the course

Mooting opportunities

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.

Placement options

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.



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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. Read more

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.

  • Develop the mind-set of a lawyer by learning practical legal skills
  • Pursue your individual interests and explore a specific area of law
  • Benefit from structured study pattern and focus on selected modules each term
  • Learn first-hand from qualified lawyers with real-world knowledge and experience
  • Take the first step towards a successful career in legal practice

Find out more about the GDL and The University of Law

What career can you have?

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.



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Northumbria’s GDL is taught using a practical, student-focused approach providing a solid grounding in the major areas of law. It covers the foundations of legal knowledge which are taught by means of lectures, group sessions and seminars. Read more

About this course

Northumbria’s GDL is taught using a practical, student-focused approach providing a solid grounding in the major areas of law. It covers the foundations of legal knowledge which are taught by means of lectures, group sessions and seminars. Students are provided with comprehensive study materials, textbooks and step-by-step workbooks to support their studies.

At the beginning of the programme students are required to study the English Legal System by means of a pre-attendance package and induction programme.

In addition, students must study the following seven subjects, which are stipulated by the professional bodies as being the foundations of legal knowledge:
- Contract Law
- Criminal Law
- Equity and Trusts
- European Union Law
- Property Law
- Public Law
- Law of Tort

All students are required to undertake research into a further area of law. Past options have included Company Law, Commercial Law, Employment Law, Family Law, Evidence and Legal History among others. Students receive initial guidance on the subject and advice on how to conduct legal research.

Successful GDL students who continue to study at Northumbria are guaranteed a place on the LPC and are entitled to a substantial discount off LPC or BPTC fees.

Please note that although an undergraduate qualification is required for access to the Graduate Law Degree (GDL), the programme is an undergraduate award and adheres to the University’s undergraduate regulations and procedures. Students who apply for the GDL are not eligible for the postgraduate scholarship scheme but on completion of this programme those who progress to the LPC or BPTC at Northumbria will qualify for the scholarship at that stage.

See the website https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/study-at-northumbria/courses/graduate-diploma-in-law-common-professional-examination-gdlcpe-ft-dtfcpe6/

Please note that students with exemptions who pass the outstanding subjects will pass the programme, but will not generally be awarded the Diploma.

Who would this Course suit?

This course would suit a student with a non-law undergraduate degree who would like to go on to study either the Legal Practice Course with a view to becoming a solicitor, or the Bar Professional Training Course with a view to becoming a barrister.

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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. Read more

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. 



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This intensive course is designed for non-law graduates of any discipline, or overseas law graduates who wish to qualify as either barristers or solicitors. Read more

This intensive course is designed for non-law graduates of any discipline, or overseas law graduates who wish to qualify as either barristers or solicitors. The course begins with a two-week introduction to the English legal system and the legal profession. You will then study the seven foundation subjects.

If you successfully complete the course you will be eligible for entry on to the LLM in Legal Practice Course (LPC) or the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC).

We have been successfully running this conversion course since 1977 and our students have taken a variety of first degrees at a wide range of universities. Our teaching team contains a rich mix of those who are professionally qualified and others who are active researchers. The course therefore provides a stimulating learning experience. This is reinforced by our small class sizes and the supportive atmosphere within the Westminster Law School.

The Graduate Diploma in Law will enable you to develop your knowledge and understanding of basic legal principles, their application to the formulation and resolution of legal problems, and an enquiring, logical and critical approach to legal analysis. It builds upon the academic and professional expertise previously acquired by graduate students and develops the relevant skills needed to demonstrate competence in legal practice.

By the end of the course, you will have a greater understanding of the areas of law studied, of the legal process and the inter-relationship between different areas of law in a national and European context. You will also be able to identify, find and use a range of sources of legal information to assist in legal research, analyse legal information and apply it to the solution of problems.

Course structure

The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course.

Foundation subjects

Career development activities

Westminster law students benefit from the following:

  • Dedicated 1-2-1 appointments with careers advisors.
  • Feedback and advice on CVs, applications and interview preparation.
  • Employer panel events and talks.
  • Law vacancy jobs bulletin.
  • Annual Law Fair Consortium.
  • Mock Assessment Centres and Interviews.


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This is a one year full-time conversion course for non-law graduates who wish to qualify as a solicitor or barrister. Successful completion of the course allows candidates to proceed to the LPC or BPTC. Read more
This is a one year full-time conversion course for non-law graduates who wish to qualify as a solicitor or barrister. Successful completion of the course allows candidates to proceed to the LPC or BPTC. It is also available by distance learning. Overseas students should note that the GDL is usually only recognised as a qualifying law programme within the UK.

For non-law graduates interested in becoming a solicitor or barrister, it is the stepping stone to the Legal Practice Course or Bar Professional Training Course and a career as a solicitor or barrister thereafter. The course is approved by the Law Society and Bar Standards Board. Lectures and tutorials are designed to encourage interactive learning, where students learn in small groups.

Students who successfully complete this course are guaranteed a place on Nottingham Law School's excellent-rated Legal Practice Course (LPC). Successful candidates intending to be barristers are also looked upon favourably for a place on our Bar Professional Training Course.

Students who successfully complete the GDL followed by Nottingham Law School's LPC or BPTC have the opportunity of obtaining a full LLB (known as a graduate LLB), reflecting the significant effort and achievement of the combination of a GDL and an LPC/BPTC.

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With the enormous growth in international commerce over the last few decades knowledge of international commercial law has become an essential element of legal practice in all major law firms. Read more
With the enormous growth in international commerce over the last few decades knowledge of international commercial law has become an essential element of legal practice in all major law firms. The programme is also especially relevant to those seeking opportunities in the commercial world. Members of staff in the Sutherland School of Law have engaged in major research in this area spanning the full range of international commercial law from the World Trade Organisation through competition law in the domestic, European and international contexts to the issues arising out of the complexities of regulation.

A sound knowledge of international commercial law is increasingly necessary given the demands imposed by globalisation, whether
you wish to join a major law firm or be engaged in a company with european and international aspirations.

Directed at well-qualified graduates in law and related disciplines, this programme promotes critical analysis of different aspects of international commercial law. Leading the analysis and discussion, the members of staff in the Sutherland School of Law involved in the programme have engaged in major research. This spans the full range of international commercial law from the World Trade Organisation through competition law in the domestic, European and international contexts to the issues arising out of international
commercial arbitration.

See the website http://www.ucd.ie/law/graduateprogrammes/llminternationalcommerciallaw/

Your studies

The Sutherland School of Law and the Smurfit School of Business offer a wide range of modules for this Master’s programme. Of special interest to those undertaking this programme are modules such as: Corporate Governance; International Economic Law; International Commercial Arbitration; International Tax Law; International Aviation Law; and, Law of International Finance. Having completed six modules, students will complete the LLM by undertaking a supervised dissertation.

On completion of this programme, students will be able:
- to understand and think critically about various facets of Law;
- to apply their knowledge and understanding of Law to real and hypothetical factual situations; and,
- to conduct independent research and write coherent, well-structured papers.

Studying abroad

The School affords its students the opportunity to spend a semester abroad as part of the Comparative, International and European Law (CIEL) Graduate exchange programme with our partner Universities in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain. Students participating in the programme will have their dissertations jointly supervised by staff in UCD and in the institution which
they are visiting. Successful completion of the semester abroad will lead to the award of a Certificate in Comparative, International and European Law.

Your future

The deeper understanding and knowledge of International Commercial Law acquired through the programme is highly regarded by employers and has been the basis for many successful careers, both domestically and internationally. The legal skills acquired through the programme will be particularly useful if you intend to practise with the large Irish and international specialist corporate law firms, or want to work as an in-house legal adviser.

Features

The Sutherland School of Law offers a wide range of modules for the Masters programmes. Modules of especial interest to those undertaking this programme include:

- Corporate Governance which examines the legal and regulatory environment and the informational and market infrastructures which apply in Ireland and the wider EU to promote an understanding its importance to companies and their stakeholders.

- Insolvency Law which examines the legal principles relating to the insolvency of corporations and individuals in Ireland and other common law jurisdictions to develop an understanding of the legal mechanisms available for the distribution of the estates of insolvent debtors.

- EU Competition Law which offers a critical examination of how EU competition law governs particular actions of private market actors, considering the rationale behind this area of law and how it fits into the EU's economic order and philosophy.

- Regulatory Governance which offers insights into competing conceptions of regulatory governance and explanations both for emergence of and variety in regulatory regimes as well as normative arguments concerning arrangements for regulatory regimes.

CIEL

Any student admitted to an LLM programme in the Law School also can apply on a competitive basis to spend their second semester at one of our sister Law Schools:
- University of Antwerp
- Maastricht University
- The University of Mannhein
- Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona
- Universite de Toulouse 1 – Capitole

Students must score 6.5 in IELTS or 90 in the internet TOEFL exams in the relevant language of instruction (English, French or German). Spaces are allocated on a competitive basis. Students who are accepted onto this programme graduate with an LLM and are awarded a certificate in International and Comparative Law (CIEL).

Careers

The LLM in International Commercial Law is highly regarded by employers and has been the basis for many successful careers both domestically and internationally. It is particularly useful for students wishing to practise with the large Irish and international specialist corporate law firms or wishing to work as an in-house legal adviser.

We have an excellent Careers Development Centre here at UCD, designed to help you with information regarding future employment or studies. UCD hold a number of graduate events throughout the year including a dedicated law fair at which at which many of the big Law firms will be in attendance. The School of Law has a dedicated careers advisor on it’s Academic staff, Dr. Oonagh Breen, and a staff member from the careers office will be in attendance at the School of law on a number of occasions throughout the academic year. To see the full range of services offered by the careers office go to http://www.ucd.ie/careers/

Find out how to apply here http://www.ucd.ie/law/graduateprogrammes/llminternationalcommerciallaw/apply,80078,en.html

See the website http://www.ucd.ie/law/graduateprogrammes/llminternationalcommerciallaw/

Scholarships

The University and UCD Sutherland School of Law have a list of scholarships that are open to Irish, EU and International applicants.
For further information please see http://www.ucd.ie/scholarships
International students may wish to visit: http://www.ucd.ie/international

Why you should choose UCD

In the state-of-the-art UCD Sutherland School of Law, graduate students engage in advanced study with internationally renowned specialists to develop the transformative potential of law.

The School is ranked by the authoritative QS World University Rankings as Ireland's number one law school and amongst the world's 100 leading law schools. Students benefit from the School’s strong links with university partners; businesses; NGOs; and, domestic, EU and international governments.
We place particular emphasis on the quality and breadth of our graduate programmes across Diploma, Masters and Doctoral levels. Our graduate degrees are available on a full-time or part-time basis, beginning in either January or September.
We also offer part-time Diploma programmes and single subject certificates with the possibility of securing CPD points and building study up to achieve diploma or masters awards.

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