For more information about Law at Nottingham Trent University, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award
Graduate Diploma

How long you will study
2 years

Domestic course fees
GBP 9250 per year

How you will study

Course starts

International course fees
find out

All study options

About Law at Nottingham Trent University

For non-Law graduates interested in becoming a solicitor or barrister, this course is the stepping stone to the LLM Legal Practice Course or LLM Bar Professional Training Course and your legal career. This flexible, distance-learning course lets you combine study with work and other commitments. Extensive support and 24-hour access to learning resources ensure that you achieve your full potential.

About the course

This is a two-year conversion course designed for non-Law graduates intending to become solicitors or barristers in the UK, or wishing to enhance their career prospects with a legal qualification. The intensive course covers the seven core academic subjects of an undergraduate law degree. It enables progression to the LLM Legal Practice Course (LLM LPC), or the LLM Bar Professional Training Course (LLM BPTC), and a legal career thereafter. This course is also available on a full-time basis. Overseas students should note that the GDL is usually only recognised as a qualifying Law course within the UK.

Why choose this course?

  • You have the flexibility to study around work and family commitments.
  • There's comprehensive support available that has been highly valued by past students.
  • Students who successfully complete this course are guaranteed a place on Nottingham Law School's excellent-rated LLM Legal Practice Course (LLM LPC). You can also apply for our acclaimed LLM Bar Professional Training Course (LLM BPTC). We encourage you to submit your application as early as possible to avoid disappointment. These courses can reach maximum capacity prior to the course start date.
  • Scholarships are available.

How you're taught

  • Lectures

Distance learners are provided with all the online materials they will require to assist their study.

  • Tutorials

Tutorial contact takes place at all four weekend schools, attendance at which is compulsory. The emphasis on small group work (and sub-group work) enables us to offer a student-centred approach to learning, with exercises designed to encourage student activity rather than passive listening. Students get the benefits of individual tuition and those of group support.

  • Coursework

There is continuous assessment by course work which tests the ability of students to analyse, research and persuade, as well as reinforcing the understanding of topics. The coursework element of the seven core modules accounts for 21% of the mark for each subject. The research project in Year Two accounts for 9% of the overall mark.

  • End-of-year exams, testing individual subjects:

70% of the mark of each of the seven taught modules.

  • Oral skills

Lawyers obviously need good debating and mooting skills. These are required informally throughout the course in tutorials.


Each subject is assessed individually, by coursework in three subjects (throughout the year) and an exam (at the end of the year).

Resources and facilities

Attendance is compulsory at the four residential weekends per year. Teaching is normally held at the City site of Nottingham Trent University and utilises all the facilities available to full-time students, including a well-stocked library with electronic access.


Students who have previously studied Law may be eligible for exemptions, and direct entry to Year Two of the distance learning course. In this situation enquirers should contact the Solicitors' Regulation Authority or Bar Standards Board for clarification.

Course dates 2018/19

Course dates for 2018 entry to be confirmed.

Careers and employability

Your future career

Although a career in the law is potentially very rewarding, you should be under no illusions that the current market is anything other than highly competitive. However, some firms will prefer you to be a non-Law undergraduate because of your broader knowledge base from previous studies or qualifications; your maturity and commitment; and your practical, relevant, well-rounded legal knowledge gained by studying the core subjects in context on the GDL.

As most city and larger provincial firms recruit two years in advance, it is worth writing to them now in order to see if they will offer you a work placement or an interview. Some will pay your fees if they offer you a training contract. Obtaining some form of work experience is important in showing your interest to potential employers and for finding out what a career in law is really like.

Nottingham Law School has a specialist Careers Service which is available to GDL, LPC, and BPTC students. Careers talks will be given at weekends in the UK. All enrolled students will have access to careers information via their Virtual Learning Portal.

This course does not currently offer placements, but there are opportunities to gain work experience through involvement in pro bono projects in our Legal Advice Centre.

Learn a new language

Alongside your study you also have the opportunity to learn a new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have.

Learning a new language can:

  • enhance your communication skills
  • enrich your experience when travelling abroad
  • boost your career prospects.

Find out more about the University Language Programme (ULP).

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardGraduate DiplomaHow you will studyDistanceHow long you will study2 years
    Course startsSeptemberDomestic course feesGBP 9250 per yearInternational course fees find out

Entry requirements

International qualifications

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our UG and PG degrees. If you're not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

Foundation courses

If you need to do a foundation course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you're already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our foundation courses page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

For a list of our language requirements please visit our English language page.

If you need to do a pre-sessional English language course to meet the English requirements please visit our pre-sessional English course page.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please contact our international team for advice.

What students think about Nottingham Trent University

    Claudia Agyemang-Yeboah, Human Rights and Justice – LLM, (Ghana)

    Testimonial from Claudia Agyemang-Yeboah, Human Rights and Justice – LLM, (Ghana), student at Nottingham Trent University

    “The city is ideal. I’ve been to London a couple of times and frankly it is too busy and too big for me. Nottingham has a city vibe but it’s smaller and as I am based on City Campus there are so many places that you can go without having to even use transportation which economically is very good as well!”

    “There are so many opportunities when you are at NTU. Take advantage of every opportunity that you have. Sign up and do something, it builds up your experience and confidence. NTU is such a relaxing, comfortable environment with so many friendly people.  I’ve met most of my friends from my classes and have met people from so many places. It was a goal of mine to make friends not only from Africa, but from all over the world. The Global Lounge is a great place to meet new people, have a cup of coffee and hang out.

    “It’s a good decision coming here. I’d do it over and over again. I’ve learnt a lot in so many ways. If you have the opportunity, you should really consider here. The experience has been wonderful and I’m enjoying every second of it.”

    Read Claudia's profile

    Makayla Martinez, BA (Hons) Fashion Communication and Promotion, (United States of America)

    Testimonial from Makayla Martinez, BA (Hons) Fashion Communication and Promotion, (United States of America), student at Nottingham Trent University

    "I am 21 and have changed my plans but I think it is the best decision I have made in my life. Fashion has always been my dream and since being here last year, I had never felt such a sense of belonging.

    "I chose NTU because of the social side and the sense of community. This seemed so prevalent here; I have made so many friends from all over the world. There is so much to do in the city. It is so friendly and unified!"

    “My main piece of advice would be to do research about the city before you arrive. Make sure you know where your accommodation is in relation to the rest of the city and where you will be studying, that is really important. I had no idea how big the city was so at the beginning it took time to find out what grocery stores there were and where was good to eat out. Research will help with this as well as not being afraid to explore and find new things. You can ask anyone for help too as it is a really friendly city."

    Read Makayla's profile

    Kamakshi Marwah, MSc Applied Child Psychology, (India)

    Testimonial from Kamakshi Marwah, MSc Applied Child Psychology, (India), student at Nottingham Trent University

    “While applying I considered other university courses but NTU had better facilities to offer and the course offered a proper melange of theories and real world applications. I was very particular about module structure, programme-based ranking and university rankings. NTU has a prestigious reputation and the quality of learning they provide is something I considered while applying to this University.”

    “Location was one of the key features of this University as you will find everything conveniently located. Another important aspect is that it is very student friendly. Nottingham has been like living a dream - it has given me a once in a life time opportunity to explore and live independently.”

    “Every day has become a new learning chapter. I believe that my learning as a postgraduate student has significantly enhanced my capabilities and skills set which will help me for my future career. Postgraduate study has given me a new dimension to my career plans as I have discovered new career opportunities where I can work and give back to society. I plan to work as a counsellor or child psychologist in a school or charitable organisation and, after gaining few years of professional experience, I would also consider pursuing a PhD.”

    Read Kamakshi's profile

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