An intensive conversion course to law for non-law graduates. You will study the English and Welsh Legal System, Contract Law, Criminal Law, Equity & Trusts, EU Law, Land Law, Public Law and Tort. You will also research a topic and submit an extended essay on it at the end of your study.
The Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) offers intensive, graduate-level legal studies to students who already possess a degree in a non-law subject and wish to qualify as solicitors or barristers.
After successful completion of the GDL, you may progress to the current professional stage of legal training, either the Bar Training Course* or the Legal Practice Course, either of which may be studied at the School of Law and Politics
To become fully qualified under the current system, completion of the BTC or LPC will need to be followed by a period of work-based learning, either pupillage in a barristers’ chambers or a training contract with a solicitors’ firm. Alternatively, the GDL or one of the professional courses may be directly followed by legal work in some other capacity, with the option of seeking full qualification at a later date.
If you intend to pursue the BTC you will be required to become a member of one of the four Inns of Court. To be eligible for admission to an Inn a person must be assessed by the Inn as being a “fit and proper” person to become a practising barrister. For more information on the matters that must be declared on an application to join an Inn please visit the Bar Standards Board website
If you are worried that you may have a “character and suitability” issue which may prevent you from qualifying as a solicitor, you can ask the SRA to assess this before you start the Course. Please visit the SRA website for further guidance.
Please note that the route to qualification both as a solicitor and as a barrister will be changing in the near future. For further information please refer to the websites of the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board.
*Subject to validation
The GDL is a very intensive course, but our model lets you combine your studies with other commitments. Apart from the first two weeks, you will only need to attend the School on Thursdays and Fridays. The remainder of your time will be used for independent study, including listening to lectures, reading and preparing for tutorials.
All our tutorials are on site where you will have access to learning and pastoral support from your tutors. Most lectures are delivered electronically, so you can listen when most convenient for you but you will also have ample opportunities to see and speak to your tutors – this is not a distance learning course.
You will also benefit from pro bono opportunities, excellent career prospects and a full programme of talks and sessions to help you plan the next stage of your legal career.