Graduate Diploma in

Law

Student reading in library
  • Level(s) of study: Postgraduate taught / Professional
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: City Campus
  • Starting: Monday 18 September 2017
  • Course duration: 1 year

For non-Law graduates interested in becoming a solicitor or barrister, this course is the stepping stone to the Legal Practice Course or Bar Professional Training Course and a career as a solicitor or barrister in the UK. The course is approved by the Law Society and Bar Standards Board.

Why choose this course?

  • It provides non-Law graduates with a route to becoming a solicitor or barrister in the UK.
  • It's accredited by the Joint Academic Stage Board.
  • You can gain legal work experience through our award-winning pro bono programme, including a Legal Advice Centre for the local community.
  • We offer a Commercial Awareness / Business Skills module which will help you to increase your employability.
  • Students who successfully complete this course are guaranteed a place on Nottingham Law School's highly regarded LLM Legal Practice Course (LLM LPC). Successful candidates intending to be barristers are also looked upon favourably for a place on our LLM Bar Professional Training Course (LLM BPTC).
  • You will be taught in small groups by supportive teaching staff.
  • Scholarships are available.
  • Our summer schools programme will provide you with an insight into international law.
  • 97% of  postgraduate leavers of this course are employed or engaged in further study six months after leaving (DLHE survey, postgraduate leavers 2014-15).

What you'll study

Course content

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

The course begins with a three-week induction programme giving an introduction to the English legal system, legal method, and legal research. You will then study the seven core subjects of Law.

During the course you will also cover an additional area of study as a research project. You will produce an extended essay of around 5000 words to improve your research skills in an area that interests you. Alternatively, you can choose to be involved in our pro bono module rather than submit a research project.

  • Course modules

    English Legal Method

    This module provides students with an understanding of the English Legal System that can be transferred into the study of other compulsory elements of the course. This module covers the concept of law and sources of law, as well as statutory interpretation and the role of the Crown Prosecution Service. By the end of the module students should have an understanding of the English Legal System and the inter-relationship with the law and institutions of the European Union.

    Law of Torts

    This module aims to develop students ability to analyse and interpret case law and to determine relevant legal principles. To achieve this the module covers a range of topics including negligence and occupiers liability. Upon completion of this module students should have an awareness and understanding of the legal process within the context of the law of torts and, where relevant, its relationship with other areas of law.

    Criminal Law

    To enable students to develop knowledge and understanding of the principles and rules of criminal law. In order to achieve this the module covers elements of criminal liability including external conduct and inchoate offences. Upon module completion students should have an understanding of the legal process within the context of criminal law and, where relevant, its relationship with other areas of law in a national and European context.

    Land Law

    To develop knowledge and understanding of property law with an emphasis upon real property. The module covers a range of topics including nature of land, estates and interests and adverse procession of land. The module will develop students ability to apply rules in order to solve legal problems in relation to land ownership.

    Constitutional and Administrative Law

    The constitutional and Administrative Law module develops students’ knowledge and understanding of constitutional law concepts with particular reference to the main institutions of the state both at domestic and EU level. In order to achieve this the module covers the nature of constitutional law and the key sources of constitutional law. The module also focuses on a range of topics in relation to constitutional and administrative law including; the rule of law, parliamentary sovereignty and prerogative powers.

    Law of Contract

    To develop knowledge and understanding of the law of contract by exploring a range of topics including the underlying theories, such as the freedom of contact and vitiating elements such as duress and economic duress. Upon completion of the module students should demonstrate an in-depth, coherent, and detailed knowledge and understanding of selected topics relating to the law of contract. Students should also be able to apply their knowledge of the law in the solution of legal problems.

    European Union Law

    This module provides an international perspective combining commercial, political and social elements within a core legal context. Providing an introduction to the European Union and continuing constitutional developments whilst also covering topics such as; direct actions in the court of justice and competition law. The module should develop students awareness and understanding of the legal process within the context of the law of the European Union and, where relevant, its relationship with other areas of law.

    Law of Trust

    This module enables students to acquire high-level knowledge and understanding of the Law of Trusts; developing students ability to examine decided cases in detail. The module covers a range of topics including classification of property, generation of property and management of property. Upon module completion students should have an understanding of the legal process within the context of trusts and, where relevant, its relationship with other areas of law.

    Research project

    The research project exposes students to an area of law in addition to those set out in the seven foundation modules. The research project allows students to develop their research and communication skills and the ability to critically analyse in the context of an agreed project title. The student will select a project title from an approved list supplied. A student may submit a title not on the approved list, in appropriate circumstances.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

Study the seven core subjects of a Law degree in one year.

How you’re taught

The Law School has a reputation for teaching Law in a practical and relevant way. The GDL aims to combine academic study with a practical focus. Lectures and tutorials are designed to encourage interactive learning, where students learn by doing in small groups rather than by passive listening in old-style "chalk and talk" lectures. Weekly tutorials are designed to allow time for consolidation and analysis.


There are six or seven one-hour lectures and six or seven one-hour tutorials per week, plus significant independent study. Modules are taught on weekdays, with class hours usually between 9 am and 5 pm. Depending on your timetable you may be expected to attend more than one a day.

Assessment

You will be assessed by a combination of in-course assessments (approximately 30%) and end-of-year examinations (approximately 70%).

You'll receive excellent support with top-quality teaching materials available 24-7 through our virtual learning environment.

Careers and employability

Your future career

Successful completion of this course guarantees you a place on our excellent-rated LLM Legal Practice Course (LPC) for intending solicitors. It also enables you to progress on to the LLM Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) for intending barristers.

At Nottingham Law School we do not view the GDL in isolation, but as part of a two-year programme with the LPC or BPTC. We have a dedicated careers and placements service, which provides practical advice and will support you in your search for a training contract or pupillage. Many firms will appreciate your well-rounded knowledge and the commitment demonstrated by completing the GDL, 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. 97% of  postgraduate leavers of this course are employed or engaged in further study six months after leaving (DLHE survey, postgraduate leavers 2014-15).

Continuing professional development

Nottingham Law School also offers a suite of practice-based practitioner programmes specifically designed to meet the personal development needs of legal practitioners. We offer courses that qualify for CPD with the Solicitors Regulation Authority, in-house training, and bespoke programmes. These courses are highly flexible and can be delivered throughout the year both nationally and internationally.

There are opportunities to get involved with pro bono projects and Nottingham Law School's Legal Advice Centre, which enable you to gain practical legal work experience.

Our aim is to provide reliable, high-quality legal advice and information to the local community and individuals in need. It also provides practical experience for you to undertake your professional legal training at Nottingham Law School.

Successful completion will guarantee you a place on our highly regarded LLM LPC.

Gain pro bono experience in our Legal Advice Centre, a "teaching law firm" licensed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Entry requirements

Undergraduate degree (2.2 or above).

Applicants should ensure that their referee provides a full reference in support of their application.

Certificate of Academic Standing (CAS)

The course is only open to those holding qualifications approved by the SRA or Bar Standards Board under the regulations in force from time to time. Anyone with non-standard qualifications may need to obtain a Certificate of Academic Standing (CAS) from either the Bar Standards Board or Solicitors Regulation Authority before they enrol on the GDL.

Full details of who is required to obtain this Certificate can be found on the relevant website:

Bar Standards Board

Solicitors Regulation Authority

Undergraduate degree (2.2 or above).

Applicants should ensure that their referee provides a full reference in support of their application.

Certificate of Academic Standing (CAS)

The course is only open to those holding qualifications approved by the SRA or Bar Standards Board under the regulations in force from time to time. Anyone with non-standard qualifications may need to obtain a Certificate of Academic Standing (CAS) from either the Bar Standards Board or Solicitors Regulation Authority before they enrol on the GDL.

Full details of who is required to obtain this Certificate can be found on the relevant website:

Bar Standards Board

Solicitors Regulation Authority

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our postgraduate 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 and pre-masters 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.

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.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Just click the Apply button at the top of this page. This will take you to the Central Applications Board. Make sure you have checked the entry requirements above carefully before you start!

Applications open in the autumn of the year preceding commencement of the course in September. Applications can be made throughout the year.

Writing your application

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. Make sure you include as much information as possible, including uploading evidence of results already achieved, as well as a personal statement.

You will find information and advice about applying to NTU on our postgraduates’ guidance pages.

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.

Getting in touch

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

Or you can contact the Central Applications Board directly:

CPE / Diploma in Law Courses
Central Applications Board
PO Box 84
Guildford
Surrey GU3 1YX
Tel: +44 (0)1483 451080

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

Decided on this course? Click the Apply button at the top of this page now. This will take you to the Central Applications Board.

We advise you to start applying as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies. If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.

Applications open in the autumn of the year preceding commencement of the course in September. Applications can be made throughout the year.

Applying to NTU

For advice on how to make an application to the University, please visit our see our applying guidelines for international students. You should also check out how to write a good personal statement.

Stressing over your student visa application? Visit our visa information page now.

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.

Getting in touch

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

Or you can contact the Central Applications Board directly:

CPE / Diploma in Law Courses
Central Applications Board
PO Box 84
Guildford
Surrey GU3 1YX
Telephone: +44 (0)1483 451080

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

Fees and funding

For details about tuition fees for this course, please visit our fees page.

You may be able to get a competitive scholarship to help fund your studies, We award scholarships to those students who can demonstrate excellent achievement, passion and dedication to their studies.

Please take a look at our postgraduate funding page for information about postgraduate funding opportunities.

Getting in touch

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

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

Please visit our postgraduate fees page for further information on course fees.

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study on eligible courses at the University.

For more information on these and other opportunities for funding please visit our international scholarships 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

Half fee scholarships available.

Still need help?

NLS Enquiries
+44 (0)115 848 4460