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    Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law Logo
  • Study Type

    Full time available

  • Subject Areas

    Law

  • Start Date

    September

  • Course Duration

    1 year full-time

  • Course Type

    Other

  • Course Fees

    For current fees visit our website

  • Last Updated

    14 September 2018

Course content

Swansea University’s 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-related employment. The GDL is designed to provide the legal knowledge necessary to satisfy the academic requirements of the Solicitors Regulation Authority, Bar Standards Board and the Institute of Legal Executives.

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 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 commences with an induction period which includes a short block of lectures and seminars concentrating on the English Legal System and the acquisition of legal skills.
  • The foundation subjects of Contract, Tort, Public Law, Equity & Trusts, Land Law, Criminal Law, and European Union Law are taught by means of a series of lectures and compulsory seminars spanning two teaching blocks.
  • A further legal subject is studied by means of a supervised research project.
  • Class contact averages 16 hours per week. Students should expect to spend a minimum of 40 hours per week, attending classes and undertaking private study.

The Swansea Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) is a full-time, 36-week intensive course, commencing 6th September 2018. It is designed to provide the legal knowledge necessary to satisfy the academic requirements of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), Bar Standards Board and the Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX).

Assessment

The Swansea Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) employs a wide range of assessment methods, including multiple choice tests, coursework, mini-dissertation and traditional 3-hour, unseen examinations. The pass mark for all assessed work is 40%.

Modules

Modules on the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) may include:

  • Eighth Legal Subject for Graduate Diploma in Law regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Bar
  • Contract Law for Graduate Diploma in Law regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Bar
  • Criminal Law for Graduate Diploma in Law regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Bar
  • English Legal System for Graduate Diploma in Law regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Bar
  • European Union Law for Graduate Diploma in Law regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Bar
  • Land Law for Graduate Diploma in Law regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Bar
  • Tort for Graduate Diploma in Law regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Bar
  • Equity & Trusts for Graduate Diploma in Law regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Bar
  • Public Law for Graduate Diploma in Law regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Bar

What next after 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 Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law offers a full-time and part-time Legal Practice Course (LPC), successful completion of which satisfies the requirements of the Solicitors Regulation Authority. 

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:

  • Advice worker
  • Barrister
  • Barrister's clerk
  • Chartered accountant
  • Chartered legal executive
  • Civil service
  • Company secretary
  • Lecturer
  • Licensed conveyancer
  • Paralegal
  • Patent attorney
  • Police
  • Researcher
  • Solicitor
  • Stockbroker
  • Trading standards officer

Meet our student

After gaining a degree in Economics, I decided I wanted to be a criminal defence solicitor, but have ended up on a completely different path after studying the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), followed by the Legal Practice Course (LPC) at Swansea University

Studying two subject areas has given me a huge advantage in the job market and made me exceptionally employable, as I can combine my economics skills with legal knowledge.

After finishing my studies, I travelled to Western Australia and worked for the Iron Ore Mining industry, where I negotiated, drafted and disputed high end construction contracts, including an Iron Ore Mine in the Pilbara Desert valued at $10 Billion Dollars.

I moved back to London and worked for nationwide building services contractor TClarke, consulting on the finance and contracts for the 22 Bishopsgate project, formerly known as the Pinnacle; which will be the tallest skyscraper in the City.

I’ve just been bitten by the travelling bug again, and taken up a position in Fort St John, Canada, providing consulting on a new hydro-electric dam.

To say that taking the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) was life-changing is an understatement. I’ve found my niche and it has opened some incredible doors for me around the world. It’s never too late to change your mind!

Alex Lewis, Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)


Visit the Graduate Diploma in Law GDL page on the Swansea University website for more details!

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