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GDL (Full-time)

Congratulations on your offer to study the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) at Nottingham Law School (NLS). During your GDL, we’ll provide you with many opportunities that will assist in your development towards a successful career in law.

Clare Smith

Congratulations on your offer to study the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) at Nottingham Law School (NLS). During your GDL, we’ll provide you with many opportunities that will assist in your development towards a successful career in law. We don’t view our GDL in isolation – it’s part of a two-year course with the LLM LPC, LLM BTC or BTC. Our dedicated Employability team will provide you with practical advice, and they’ll support you in your search for a training contract or pupillage. Many firms will appreciate the well-rounded knowledge and commitment demonstrated by completing the GDL. Even if you don’t end up pursuing a legal career, our GDL will also provide you with a wide range of transferrable skills that are highly valued by employers.
I look forward to welcoming you in September.

Clare Smith
Course Leader
Graduate Diploma in Law (full-time)

Why choose us?

  • We have a dedicated Employability team that will provide you with useful advice and help you plan your career.
  • We have a multi-award winning Legal Advice Centre which offers outstanding pro bono opportunities for you to get involved in.
  • The Legal Advice Centre runs in conjunction with the Free Representation Unit (FRU), meaning you could get the chance to represent clients at employment and social security tribunals.
  • Our vocational focus and strong links with the legal profession mean that many members of our academic staff have extensive practical experience.
  • Students who successfully complete this course are guaranteed a place on our LLM Legal Practice Course (LLM LPC) and are looked at favourably for the LLM Barristers Training Course (LLM BTC). Please note our LLM Legal Practice 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.
  • Scholarships are available and we offer progression discounts to mour current students and alumni.
  • Students are taught in small groups in high-quality teaching facilities.
  • You’ll benefit from guest lecturers and visiting professors, who’ll share their insights and experiences from various legal sectors.
  • We have a strong network of professional contacts helping us to ensure that our courses reflect the latest theory and practice.
  • All students will participate in an Employability Challenge to enhance their career prospects.

The Legal Advice Centre has recovered over £4 million in compensation and benefits for its clients.

Your offer

Accepting your offer

All details of your offer can be found on the Applicant Portal.

If you wish to accept your offer, log onto the Applicant Portal and follow the instructions set out in your offer email. We aim to acknowledge your acceptance straight away. If you don’t hear from us, please contact us via Ask NTU or call +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Please remember that the rules of the Central Applications Board allow you to hold only one place. If you have an offer of a place from another GDL provider, you may accept only one offer.

Useful course information

Pre-course reading

We require you to do some pre-course reading and tasks. We’ll provide you guidance and further information about this before the start of your course.


This is an intensive full-time course and classes may be scheduled throughout the day. In the early part of the course, we may run lectures until 6 pm. For most of the academic year, we do endeavour to timetable classes over four days in order for you to have sufficient time for preparation, consolidation and extra-curricular activities such as volunteering.

Degree Certificates and Certificates of Academic Standing prior to enrolment

We’ll need evidence that you’re qualified for entry onto the GDL. Further information about enrolment and the induction process will be sent to you in due course. This will include details about the documentation we’ll require and when it must be submitted.

If you intend to become a barrister, you might need to obtain a Certificate of Academic Standing (CAS) from the Bar Standards Board. If you fall into any of the below categories, you should apply to the Bar Standards Board for your CAS as soon as possible. If you’re in any doubt as to whether or not you need a CAS, you should contact the Bar Council.

  • Students whose undergraduate degree was not obtained from a UK university.
  • Students who do not have a UK degree but who have degree equivalent qualifications.
  • Students seeking mature non-graduate status.

In addition, if you do need a CAS and you’re not sure at this stage whether you wish to become a barrister or a solicitor, we strongly advise you to obtain the certificate from the Bar Standards Board to ensure you keep all your future options open.

If you require a CAS, you’ll need to bring it with you when you enrol.

Academic exemptions

Students who have previously studied law may be eligible for exemptions. In this situation, you should contact Ask NTU for clarification.

Any requests for exemptions must be submitted to us before 29 May 2020. Exemptions will only be considered for the GDL by distance learning – there are no exemptions available if you wish to study the GDL full-time.


As a postgraduate student, you can apply for University accommodation. To guarantee yourself a place, you should apply and pay your deposit before the end of May.

Useful links

Fees and funding

Nottingham Law School is delighted to offer a number of generous scholarships and loyalty schemes to students starting our GDL in September 2020 including;

  • Dean's Professional Courses Scholarships for Academic Excellence
  • Progression and alumni discounts
  • Postgraduate loans

For more information visit our NLS Funding page.

Course fees

For further detail on course fees please visit the course page.

Payment of course fees by instalments

You can pay by instalments while attending the course. You’ll be able to set up your payments as part of the online enrolment process. Further information will be provided once you have accepted a place with us.

If your fees are to be met by a sponsor, please note the following.

  • On receipt of a letter from your sponsor indicating full payment of fees plus VAT, we’ll invoice them directly in September.
  • We’re registered for VAT and are required to charge sponsoring firms VAT on the course fees.

International students

International students are required to make an advance payment. To find out more find out how and when to pay your fees.


Our dedicated Employability team will support you in your search for a career. They’ll provide guidance to help you identify which area of the legal profession is right for you.

The Law School’s Employability team offer you the following services:

  • individual advice on career strategy
  • seminars on CV preparation, how to complete firms’ application forms, and interview techniques
  • workshops delivered by firms on a selection of recruitment topics such as online applications, commercial awareness, and psychometric testing
  • presentations from firms and other organisations that are seeking to recruit trainees
  • the opportunity to participate in our mentoring scheme, which includes firms such as Eversheds, Browne Jacobson, and Geldards
  • access to the FutureHub website, which allows students to keep in touch and receive notice of vacancies after completion of the course
  • practice interviews and assessment centres
  • updates about pupillage, training contracts, and paralegal opportunities.

Find out more about your future career.

International summer schools

Everyone in the Law School has the chance to take part in our International Summer School scheme and get a real taste of the profession from a European perspective.

Visit us

Visit us at one of our Postgraduate open events, find out more about student life and meet our academics.

Any questions?

Call +44 (0)115 848 4460 or contact us via Ask NTU.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418