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    Dundee Law School Logo
  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    9 months

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees



The Diploma in Professional Legal Practice is a postgraduate, vocational qualification which must be obtained by students who wish to pursue a career in the legal profession in Scotland, either as a solicitor or advocate.

We aim to give you confidence that when you leave Dundee Law School, you will be professionally trained to cope with real situations that you will encounter in practice.

To be eligible for admission applicants must have successfully completed a qualifying LLB in Scots Law, or, have passed the professional examinations of the Law Society of Scotland.

The DPLP at Dundee Law School runs over two semesters, from September to April. Primarily delivered by practising solicitors, the programme acts as a bridge between the academic study of law and the requirements of legal practice. The emphasis is therefore on equipping students with the practical knowledge and skills required for practice, as well as introducing the values and ethics of the legal profession in Scotland.

Candidates who complete the DPLP successfully will then be eligible to undertake a two year traineeship within Scotland and qualify as solicitors. g.

Flexible study routes

This course is offered on both a full-time and a part-time basis, taking either 9 months (full-time) or 2 years (part-time) to complete.

Professional accreditation: Law Society of Scotland

All teaching of the Diploma is based on achieving the outcomes set by the Law Society of Scotland. These outcomes emphasise the development of practical legal skills within a backdrop of ethical and professional behaviour.

You will consolidate and build on the black letter law and the research and analytical skills that you acquired as undergraduates and apply them to practical situations through interactive learning.

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

The University of Dundee has been given a Gold award – the highest possible rating – in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Read more about the Teaching Excellence Framework

Teaching & Assessment

How you will be taught

The assessments are continuous and the focus is on learning by doing, receiving feedback, giving feedback to your peers, practising to improve, and reflecting on your progress.

How you will be assessed

Students are required to reach a satisfactory standard overall in the Diploma modules which they are taking. All aspects - attendance, completion of coursework, participation in tutorials, performance in examinations - are taken into account in judging student performance.

What you will study

The Diploma curriculum runs over two semesters, from September to April. Primarily delivered by practising solicitors; the programme acts as a bridge between the academic study of law and the requirements of legal practice. Dundee Law School aims to provide a modern, progressive general Diploma programme with a range of specialist electives.

The Law Society framework for the Diploma consists of several compulsory core areas which all students must complete. The modules at Dundee which satisfy these areas are taught in semester 1 with the exception of Business and Financial Services which is taught within Semester 2.

  • Conveyancing (there are presently three sessions of Conveyancing in semester 2)
  • Criminal Court Practice
  • Civil Court Practice
  • Private Client
  • Professional Practice

In semester 2, students will have a choice of a number of electives of 20 credits each and totalling 60 credits. The modules are subject to availability. In 2018-2019 the available elective choices are expected to be:

  • Advanced Advocacy (civil & criminal)
  • Company / Commercial
  • Employment Law
  • Family Law
  • Advanced Private Client
  • Personal Injury

What you will study (part time)

Part time Diploma in Professional Legal Practice

The part time route to undertaking the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice at Dundee is a flexible pathway and one which can readily be adapted to suit individual needs and other commitments over the two year period of study.

Part time students will study alongside full time entrants and fulfil all the requirements over two academic years normally undertaken by full time students in one. There are compulsory Law Society modules to be completed and these, with the exceptions detailed below, are generally undertaken in Semester One which runs from September to December.

The face to face teaching structure of the compulsory subjects is restricted to three days being Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Students then select three Elective topics over the two years which are all taught in Semester Two which runs from January to March. Both Semesters consist of ten teaching weeks with a Reading Week in each. Additionally students must attend events run by The Law Society as well as a Risk Management Workshop in Semester Two and it is suggested that these are best attended in the last year of study as they relate directly to going into practice as a trainee solicitor.

Those part time students who wish to study the Advanced Private Client and Advanced Advocacy Electives will require to have completed the Core Course in the subject prior to beginning these. The number of modules chosen by each student can vary in each year over the course of study to accommodate particular wishes and need not represent an equal division of the requirements as a whole.


This course will give you the skills necessary to work as a solicitor or advocate.

We have close links with employers and we offer programmes to support and develop the employability of our students. Our good reputation throughout the profession and close links to employers help Dundee graduates find employment.

The Law School runs an annual Law Fair which attracts law firms and employers from around the UK and further afield. Law firms also regularly visit the law school on an individual basis for recruitment purposes.

Find out more about legal careers from our Careers Service.

Your Application

Admission to the DPLP is competitive and not automatic.

If you are an undergraduate, you need to submit your application to the Director of the Diploma at your University regardless of which University you plan to study at. If you are not a graduate, you need to submit your application to the Director of the Diploma of the University of your choice.

Visit the PGDip Professional Legal Practice page on the University of Dundee website for more details!





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