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Masters Degrees (Pgdl)

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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. Read more

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.

What's covered in the course?

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.

Why Choose Us?

  • By being part of the School of Law, you’ll have the option to take part in a number of extracurricular activities, as well as being able to take advantage of the School’s close relationships with Citizens Advice Bureau, and Birmingham and Coventry Law Centres.
  • The School has strong professional links with the Birmingham Law Society (the UK’s largest law society outside of London), the four Inns of Court and respected firms such as Squire Patton Boggs.
  • Our courses are held in the University’s newest facility, The Curzon Building, ideally located on our City Centre Campus and containing a range of excellent resources.
  • You’ll be able to take advantage of the School’s cutting-edge facilities, including two mock courtrooms that can be used to bring study to life.
  • As the course has a smaller intake than others, you’ll receive proactive and attentive tutor support, ensuring you get the best out of your studies. Our team of staff have extensive experience, providing you with relevant and in-depth knowledge and information.
  • Birmingham City University has just launched the UK's first Centre for Brexit Studies, researching all aspects of the UK's vote to leave the EU, including the impact it has on domestic law and legislation.


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Our LLM Professional Law course, which incorporates the Postgraduate Diploma in Law (PGDL) / Common Professional Examination (CPE), will provide you with a Master’s-level qualification. Read more
Our LLM Professional Law course, which incorporates the Postgraduate Diploma in Law (PGDL) / Common Professional Examination (CPE), will provide you with a Master’s-level qualification. You don't need a Law degree to apply - the course is available to any student with a qualifying honours degree in any subject.

While most providers deliver the course at graduate level as the Common Professional Examination / Postgraduate Diploma in Law (PGDL), we have designed this course so that successful completion provides both a qualification at Master’s level and professional body accreditation.

This course is accredited by the Joint Academic Stage Board, which represents the Solicitors Regulatory Authority and the Bar Standards Board of England and Wales, and upon completion you are eligible to undertake the next stage of legal training (the Legal Practice course if you want to become a solicitor or the Bar Professional Training course if you want to become a barrister).

Why Choose Us?

-You’ll have regular support from tutors in a friendly and supportive learning environment.
-This course is a conversion LLM – you don’t need a degree in Law to be eligible to study it.
-The course is focused on practice-led, skills-based teaching and assessment.
-You may have the opportunity to undertake an internship in the US, strengthening your employability prospects.
-You’ll also have the chance to get involved with pro-bono projects in the UK, as well as other legal work experience that contributes towards your final award for the course.
-Birmingham City University has just launched the UK's first Centre for Brexit Studies, researching all aspects of the UK's vote to leave the EU, including the impact it has on domestic law and legislation.

Course Structure

For the first part of the course, you will learn primarily through a focus on problem-based learning supported by face-to-face teaching sessions and directed learning exercises provided through the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (Moodle).

In this first part of the course (the PGDL stage) you will learn about how to study law and how to present legal argument, as well as the key substantive legal rules and principles relating to certain ‘foundation’ areas of law. For those who have enrolled for the LLM version of the course, the Masters stage of the course enables you to further develop your legal knowledge, research, presentation and analysis skills either in relation to a particular theoretical topic of interest to you or in the context of a practical placement.

Teaching sessions and directed learning exercises will be designed to help develop the skills and techniques needed to successfully complete the module assessments, and to forge a successful career in the legal sector. Engagement with teaching sessions and materials on the VLE is monitored by teaching staff to encourage engagement and provide a basis for individual and group feedback.

There are a range of assessments on the course, including oral assessment, written coursework, portfolios, employer assessment, reflective essays and more traditional exams. The range of assessments has been designed to ensure achievement of the course learning outcomes and the development of skills that we view as essential for a future successful career in practice or the further study of law, while retaining balance to ease assessment pressure points.

Employability

Previous students have gone on to successful careers in the legal professions. We have recent ex-students currently working as solicitors at regional law firms such as Duncan Lewis, Syeds Law Office Solicitors and Wragge & Co, as well as national and international firms, such as and at national and international firms such as DLA Piper. We also have ex-students who have qualified as barristers and one who is a QC.

We also have a number of students who have used the course to further their own business or current career paths and those who have entered non-legal professions (such as banking).

Our GDL includes several ways you can help improve your employability:
-Graduate Plus Scheme
-US internship (within an optional module)
-UK work placement (within an optional module)
-Pro bono projects that provide voluntary legal work experience opportunities and networking opportunities
-Parliament and Supreme Court trip
-Legal careers sessions and networking events
-Debating and Mooting societies

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