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  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    1 year full-time

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees

    For information on course fees, please visit our website.

  • Last Updated

    07 August 2019

The Bournemouth University Graduate Diploma in Law/Common Professional Examination (GDL/CPE) is a one year 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.

Core units

  • Legal System, Process & Skills: Learn about the main characteristics of the English legal system and legal methodologies. Through building on previously gained transferable academic skills, the unit initiates work with legal sources, processes and reasoning and, in particular, legal research. You'll be placed in a position to become more effective in Stage 2 where research and other skills will be developed further. Another aim of this unit is to expose you to an area of law outside of those specified by the professional bodies as foundation subjects.
  • Law of Contract: This unit builds on the Legal System, Process and Skills unit, ensuring you can find legal sources and materials and apply the law to a range of formats. This unit links directly with the Land Law, European Union Law and the Law of Torts units. It's relevant to all areas of the course where you'll need a systematic and structured approach.
  • Law of Torts: Gain a sound understanding and appreciation of theories and principles of the Law of Torts.
  • Land Law: Develop your understanding of the foundations of Land Law.
  • Law of Trusts: This unit links with Land Law, especially on the division between legal and equitable ownership and in relation to trusts of land.
  • Constitutional & Administrative Law: After completing this unit, you'll be able to show an understanding of Constitutional and Administrative Law.
  • Criminal Law: Learn about the foundations of criminal liability with particular reference to the major offences.
  • Law of the European Union: Appreciate the European legal method, the relationship of European community law to the English legal system and particular areas of substantive law.
  • Another Area of Law: You'll take another unit covering another area of law.


Although your degree will typically prepare you for a career in the legal profession, it is a highly valued qualification in its own right. This means it could open up a broad variety of career opportunities across a range of sectors.

Employers of BU Graduate Diploma in Law graduates include 3PB Barristers, Harold G Walker Solicitors, the Court of Justice and Spoor & Fisher, and we have alumni working across areas such as PR and finance, as well as law.

Graduates from the course are now undertaking roles such as:

  • Legal Secretary
  • Paralegal
  • Translator
  • Associate Director
  • Senior Lawyer.

Visit the Graduate Diploma in Law/CPE page on the Bournemouth University website for more details!




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