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Graduate Diploma in Law (Common Professional Examination)


Course Description

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.

You will begin by developing a strong understanding of the English Legal System, alongside an introduction to legal research and law-related information technology. You will then move onto the Foundations of Legal Knowledge, a series of units that will introduce core legal concepts. This knowledge will lay the foundation for your future training at LPC or BPTC level. The Legal Skills and Practice module is specifically designed to bridge the gap between academic and professional study.

These courses are delivered at the University’s purpose-built Law School by a highly experienced academic team from a range of professional legal backgrounds. Your tuition will be delivered through a variety of methods including lectures, seminars, directed learning and electronic learning. There is the opportunity to expand your legal network through attendance at our guest speaker and careers events, and to hone your legal skills through involvement in one of our voluntary legal work schemes providing pro bono legal services to those who would otherwise be unable to access them.

The course runs from September to June but prior to this you will receive an induction pack, including a link to our online revision and self-testing resources. Our induction programme is designed to provide you with a sound understanding of the English legal system and an introduction to Manchester Law School and the facilities we offer.

Part-time students learn via a mix of lectures, face-to-face and online workshops. Classes are typically on Mondays and Wednesdays, 6-9pm. An evening consists of a one hour lecture in two subjects together with an hour long tutorial in one of those subjects (with the other subject tutorial the following week).

Manchester Law School alumni have found success in a range of law firms, barristers chambers and non-legal organisations in the UK and internationally, including some of the most well known names in the profession.

Special Features

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.

Pro Bono

Manchester Law School offers excellent Pro Bono opportunities, allowing students to undertake voluntary legal work with our partner organisations. Our dedicated careers adviser will provide assistance with finding mini pupillages and initiating new links to the profession. You will also receive support with careers from your tutors and you will have the opportunity to increase your network at our many events including external speakers and members of the Northern Circuit.

Visit the Graduate Diploma in Law (Common Professional Examination) page on the Manchester Metropolitan University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

You should have an honours degree from the UK or the ROI. International students with a degree are eligible to apply as long as equivalence to a UK/ROI honours degree is demonstrated.International applicants or students without a degree but with work experience should contact for further details on entry requirements. Due to the popularity of the GDL, preference is usually given to higher classifications.International students, please visit mmu.ac.uk/international or contact

Course Fees

Please refer to mmu.ac.uk for the latest fee information.


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Recipient: Manchester Metropolitan University

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