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PGDip

Postgraduate Diploma in Law

Law Courtroom

Year Of Entry

2021
  • Level(s) of study: Professional
  • Study mode(s): Distance learning / Full-time
  • Location: City Campus
  • Starting: September 2021
  • Course duration: Full-time 1 academic year / 2 academic years Distance learning (Year 1 September 2021 – June 2022; Year 2 September 2022 – June 2023)


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Why choose this course?

This course is designed for non-law graduates interested in becoming a solicitor or barrister. The Postgraduate Diploma in Law (PGDL) provides you with the foundation of legal knowledge and skills required for your legal training. For aspiring barristers, it satisfies the Bar Standards Board’s academic requirements to permit you to commence the vocational stage of training (e.g. the Barristers Training Course). For aspiring solicitors, it provides a solid grounding in the fundamental legal knowledge and skills required for key parts of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination.

This course provides a thorough consideration of the foundational law subjects, whilst allowing you to keep your options open before deciding which branch of the legal professions (solicitor or barrister) to train for. Beyond the core subjects, you will also have the opportunity to undertake practical experience at an early stage in our award-winning Legal Advice Centre.

You will be taught by our outstanding teaching team, consisting of both experienced legal professionals and leading researchers in Law.

Why study at Nottingham Law School?

  • We have a long-established reputation for delivering excellence in legal education.
  • We offer a multi-award-winning pro bono programme, including a Legal Advice Centre.
  • Every student will take part in career enhancing opportunities during the course.
  • We offer excellent career support, through our dedicated Employability team.
  • Lectures and seminars are designed to encourage interactive learning, as our students learn in small groups by supportive teaching staff.
  • You will have a dedicated personal tutor. We get to know our students and support and encourage you in both your studies and in your employment applications at the start of your legal career.
  • We are a full-service Law School. At the end of your PGDL, you will be able to continue your legal training with us, whichever branch of the profession you decide to train for. On the basis of their positive experience, many of our students choose to stay with Nottingham Law School to complete the next stage of their legal training.
  • Scholarships are available.
  • Our summer schools programme will provide you with an insight into international law.
  • You will have all the facilities a large Law School can offer plus the advantages of studying within a university environment which offers an outstanding library, IT support, sports, language and student union services.
  • NTU is 1st for number of Law students taking Professional Qualifications (HESA, 2019/20).

What you'll study

This is a fast-track conversion course which effectively covers the seven core modules of a Law degree in one year.

You will study:

  • Legal and Professional Environment (including EU law )
  • Contract Law
  • Tort Law
  • Law of Trusts
  • Criminal Law
  • Land Law
  • Constitutional and Administrative Law

Reflecting the graduate entry point of the course and assessment at master’s level (Level 7), these are covered at a more intensive pace and in greater depth. Whilst this means it is a demanding course, it also means that you can be confident you will have the necessary depth of understanding to excel in the following stages of your legal training.

Beyond the law itself, the Legal and Professional Environment module will cover key areas of the English legal system and commercial awareness – an increasingly important expectation of law firms and chambers.

How you’re taught

Full-time

Teaching will principally take place through regular intensive seminars/workshops. These interactive sessions provide a vital opportunity to test knowledge and understanding. The sessions will develop skills through student-focussed debate and discussion, problem solving, application of the relevant law and analysis, synthesis and evaluation of your own independent learning. All workshops involve directed and self-directed study and research and facilitate the development of communication skills. Tutor feedback provided in these workshops then provides a platform for continued progress and improvement.

Further learning is facilitated by lectures in each subject area and E-learning activities. In particular, students will be given a considerable number of formative assessments based on Multiple Choice Questions. These are a useful revision tool in themselves, but will also be of assistance to aspiring solicitors in familiarising you with the format of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination.

As the programme progresses, you will be expected to demonstrate greater independence in your planning, preparation, research and reflection to exhibit increased autonomy in your learning and develop the ability to self-assess performance and respond incrementally to feedback provided.

Distance learning

On the distance learning course, teaching is structured around four compulsory residential study weekends in each year, when you come on to campus in Nottingham and learn in small groups alongside your classmates. During these weekends, you will participate in intensive seminars. These interactive sessions provide a vital opportunity to test knowledge and understanding and to develop skills through student-focussed debate and discussion, problem solving, application of the relevant law and analysis, synthesis and evaluation of your own independent learning. All seminars involve directed and self-directed study and research, allowing you to develop the communication skills you’ll need as a lawyer. Throughout the year, you receive tutor feedback on your work, allowing you to progress and develop your skills.

As a distance learning student, we see you as just as much a part of the Law School as those students who study with us full-time. The residential study weekends are an important part of that. During those weekends, you will be able to discuss your work directly with your tutors in a group setting and meet the other students in your year, giving you a strong link to face to face support from the Law School itself and the social and peer support element which is of vital importance on a distance learning course.

Between the residential study weekends, you will also receive further tuition in the form of online lectures and e-learning activities. You’ll have the opportunity to practice and consolidate your learning online using formative assessments based on Multiple Choice Questions. These are a useful revision tool in themselves, but will also be of assistance to you if you are intending to go on to become a solicitor and take the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE), where MCQs are the preferred means of assessment.

As the course progresses, you will be expected to demonstrate greater independence in your planning, preparation, research and reflection to exhibit increased autonomy in your learning and develop the ability to self-assess performance and respond incrementally to feedback provided.

Careers and employability

Your future career

Successful completion of this course allows you to progress onto our excellent-rated LLM Legal Practice Course (LLM LPC) for students who have accepted a place on our PGDL before the 31st August 2021 or onto one of our courses preparing you for the Solicitors Qualifying Exam. It also enables you to progress on to the LLM Barristers Training Course (BTC) or PGDip BTC for intending barristers.

We have a dedicated Employability team who will support you in your search for work experience, pupillage and other opportunities. We ensure we provide the support required to give you the best possible start to your legal career:

  • Our Employability team provide seminars with advice about applications and interview techniques.
  • We will review your applications and formulate individual career plans. We also provide a practical interview preparation service.
  • We provide a mentoring scheme with trainees from local law firms to provide support and guidance and a personal view of what to expect from life in the profession.
  • We provide opportunities for mooting and advocacy practice before local magistrates.
  • Employability and commercial awareness are given appropriate focus, which provides a true bridge into practice.

Many firms will appreciate your well-rounded knowledge and the commitment demonstrated by completing the PGDL, and even if you decide not to pursue a career as a solicitor or barrister, you will have gained a range of transferable skills that will be highly valued by employers.

The Solicitors Qualifying Exam

Starting in September 2021, the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) is a new common assessment that those wishing to qualify as a solicitor must pass. We’ve been preparing for the implementation of the new SQE system since the SRA decided to make the changes. As the SRA finalise different parts of the system, we are incorporating them into our courses. Find out more about the SQE and what it means for you, and our SQE Preparation courses, including our Masters course for non-law graduates and what it means for you.

Students who have completed, started or accepted an offer to start on the PGDL by 31 August 2021 have the option to qualify through the existing route and take the Legal Practice Course or choose to take the new SQE route to qualify.

Our dedicated and experienced careers consultants provide guidance and support to help you secure qualifying work experience or other legal employment.

Entry requirements

Students who enrol on this course will normally be required to have a minimum 2:2 undergraduate degree. However, please also refer to the section on “Recognition of Prior Learning” below.

Certificate of Academic Standing (CAS)

Anyone intending to qualify as a barrister with non-standard qualifications may need to obtain a Certificate of Academic Standing (CAS) from the Bar Standards Board before they enrol on the PGDL. Full details of who is required to obtain this Certificate can be found on the Bar Standards Board website. Please be aware that this is a requirement in order to proceed onto the Barristers Training Courses.

Recognition of Prior Learning

NTU may admit a student with advanced standing beyond the beginning of a course, through an assessment of that student's prior learning, whether it is certificated or uncertificated. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available to these prospective students, such as recognising experiential learning or transferring to a similar course at another institution, otherwise known as credit transfer.

All prospective students who wish to apply via Recognition of Prior Learning should initially contact the central Admissions and Enquiries Team who will be able to support you through the process. Please note that if you may be considering applying for the Barristers Training Course (BTC)  you will need to consult the BSB if you are asking to be exempt from any of the modules on the BTC.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please contact Nottingham Law School.

Students who enrol on this course will normally be required to have a minimum 2:2 undergraduate degree. However, please also refer to the section on “Recognition of Prior Learning” below.

English language requirements

For students whose first language is not English there is currently a requirement that they have IELTS academic test grade of 6.5 with minimum of 5.5 in each component or equivalent qualification.

Certificate of Academic Standing (CAS)

Anyone intending to qualify as a barrister with non-standard qualifications may need to obtain a Certificate of Academic Standing (CAS) from the Bar Standards Board before they enrol on the PGDL. Full details of who is required to obtain this Certificate can be found on the Bar Standards Board website. Please be aware that this is a requirement in order to proceed onto the Barristers Training Courses.

Recognition of Prior Learning

NTU may admit a student with advanced standing beyond the beginning of a course, through an assessment of that student's prior learning, whether it is certificated or uncertificated. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available to these prospective students, such as recognising experiential learning or transferring to a similar course at another institution, otherwise known as credit transfer.

All prospective students who wish to apply via Recognition of Prior Learning should initially contact the central Admissions and Enquiries Team who will be able to support you through the process. Please note that if you may be considering applying for the Barristers Training Course (BTC)  you will need to consult the BSB if you are asking to be exempt from any of the modules on the BTC.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please contact Nottingham Law School.

How to apply

Applications for the full-time and distance learning courses are to be made online via the Central Applications Board. For further information on application you can also contact the Central Applications Board at:

Central Applications Board
PO Box 84
Guildford
Surrey
GU13 1YX

Telephone: +44 (0)1483 301282

Application closing date

The closure date is the 31st August 2021 but please note this course can reach its maximum capacity prior to the course start date, which will result in early closure. We encourage you to submit your application as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

Keeping up to date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU in our postgraduates’ guide. Here you’ll find advice about how to write a good personal statement and much more.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please contact our Admissions Team or call +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Good luck with your application!

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Applications for the full-time and distance learning courses are to be made online via the Central Applications Board. For further information on application you can also contact the Central Applications Board at:

Central Applications Board
PO Box 84
Guildford
Surrey
GU13 1YX

Telephone: +44 (0)1483 301282

For advice on applying for a visa please visit our visa information page

For advice on how to write a good personal statement please visit our personal statement page.

Application closing date

The closure date is the 31 August 2021 but please note this course can reach its maximum capacity prior to the course start date, which will result in early closure. We encourage you to submit your application as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

Keeping up to date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Fees and funding

Home fees for 2021 entry

Study modeHome fees
Full-time (9 months)£8,890
Distance learning (2 years)Year 1:£4,445
Year 2:£4,445*

*The course fee for the second year may be subject to annual review.

Discounts available

Launch discount£750
NTU alumni discount£1,000
University of Nottingham fee concession£750

Discounts are applicable to applications for 2021 entry only and are applied over the duration of the course. More details, including terms and conditions, can be found on the NLS funding page.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

International / EU fees for 2021 entry

Study modeInternational / EU fees
Full-time (9 months)£8,890
Distance learning (2 years)Year 1:£4,445
Year 2:£4,445*

Discounts available

Launch discount£750
NTU alumni discount£1,000
University of Nottingham fee concession£750

Discounts are applicable to applications for 2021 entry only. More details, including terms and conditions, can be found on the NLS funding page.

For information on how to pay your fees to the University please visit our international fee payment page.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

Still need help?

NLS Enquiries
+44 (0)115 941 8418