Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)

The Graduate Diploma in Law is sometimes referred to as the conversion course for non-law graduates who want to qualify as either Solicitors or Barristers. The GDL satisfies the professional body requirements of the academic stage of training for Solicitors and Barristers.

BPP University Law School’s GDL gives you more weekly contact time and more ways to study than any other leading provider with full-time, part-time and online study options, at locations across the UK. It’s a highly flexible programme, and we’ve created extra optional content (including Company Law) as well as an additional professional skills programme developed in conjunction with some of the leading city law firms. All designed to prepare you for practice, polish your performance and boost your prospects.

We're a highly respected law school and provide legal training exclusively to 60 leading law firms because of the professional relevance of our education and the high quality of our teaching, facilities and learning materials. .

The Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) is awarded by BPP University..


Programme details
Locations*
Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Leeds, Liverpool, London Waterloo, Manchester and online
Study Options Duration Start date Fees
Full time and part time 1 year full time
1.5-2 years part time
September, January 2015-16 from £8,325
Delivery Mode UCAS Code School Subject Area
Classroom, online, both N/A Law School Law
Exemptions Funding Available Scholarships Pathway
Available (contact our Admissions team) Yes Yes N/A
*Subject to demand. Please note programmes/modes may not run at all locations. 

^ Further details of eligibility requirements, interest rates and other key terms of the loan are available by visiting the Future Finance website. BPP University Limited acts as a credit broker and is not a lender for this arrangement.

Key Information

  • Weekly catch-up or consolidation sessions in all subjects
  • All classes and materials are available online for consolidation and revision catch-up
  • Dedicated personal tutor support throughout your studies
  • Learn about specialist areas of practice in GDL Extra
  • Funding available through Scholarships, interest-free payment plans and Future Finance student loans^
  • Tutorials are live at all locations for all modes. Online students receive live, interactive online tutorials
  • Enhance your employability with our professional skills programme
  • More ways to study choose face-to-face, online or both
  • Access specialist careers advice from the moment you accept your place, until you secure your first legal position
  • Flexibility when you study; weekdays, weekends, daytime or evening (dependent upon location and mode of study)
  • All GDL January lectures are delivered online. September lectures are delivered face to face, online, or a combination of both dependant on location and mode of study.
  • Two start dates a year in January or September.

Benefit from our Career Guarantee

If you start your GDL and go on to study our LPC or BPTC you'll benefit from our Career Guarantee.

If you don't get obtain a training contract or pupillage within six months of completing your LPC* or BPTC** you can study another qualification at BPP for free. To find out more please visit our Career Guarantee page

* LPC Terms and conditions
** BPTC Terms and conditions

Preparing you for practice

The BPP University GDL is designed to help you make a smooth transition from being a non-law graduate into a career in law. We don't just give you an excellent qualification, we give you an insight into life in practice, so you enter the next stage of your training more informed, more prepared and more effective, and able to demonstrate a higher competency when applying for training contracts and pupillages.

Once you have successfully completed your GDL exams, you have the opportunity to specialise or develop an understanding in alternative areas, take two extra modules and you could graduate with a Graduate LLB (Hons) awarded by BPP University. The Graduate Diploma in Law is awarded by BPP University and is recognised as completion of the academic stage by the SRA and BSB.

Term dates

When you have passed your GDL, you're guaranteed a place on our LPC, the next step to becoming a solicitor. Or you can apply for our BPTC, the next step to becoming a barrister.

How the programme is taught

We assume you have no prior knowledge of law when you start your GDL, so you get a full induction programme and a high level of support from day one. This includes outstanding learning materials and online resources. All study materials are included in the fee. All lectures and resources have online equivalents.

You'll be taught by our experienced legal professionals and academics with time split evenly between tutorials and lectures as well as regular consolidation sessions and a wealth of online resources. For full details view our Locations tab.

What you will experience in the classroom

BPP University's ethos is learning by doing. Classes are designed with an interactive focus, based on discussions, debates and resolving practical case studies. You will learn the academic knowledge, but as importantly you will learn how it's applied in practice, with a logical approach, presenting your arguments persuasively and in a structured manner.

You will study up to 21 hours a week consisting of face-to-face and online lectures and classes dependent on location and start date. Tutorials are taught in groups of around 18 students, giving you a high level of student/tutor contact time. For full details of delivery of lectures, tutorials and consolidation classes view our Locations tab.

All our students also have a Personal Tutor and access to a Student Advisor, should you need any guidance or additional support outside of class time.

The Online GDL

Our online programme is a flexible, fully taught mode of study. You will follow a structured weekly study programme of classes using BPP University’s Online Classroom Live. This is live, synchronous classes with the same BPP University Law School tutors who teach in our study centres.

You will experience the same classes, study with the same materials and online library resources and take the same exams as all GDL students. We recognise that distance learning students have specific study needs and have been successfully supporting distance learning students through their studies for over 15 years. You will also have a dedicated academic tutor in each module and pastoral tutor support you in your progress on the programme.

Although the GDL exams take place in the UK, we can permit students to sit their examinations overseas in agreement with our overseas examinations office as to an appropriate examination centre and appropriate times synchronous with the UK examinations. Each year, over 100 GDL exams are taken overseas.

We run a range of extra-curricular activities for online students, such as mooting and our award winning pro bono opportunities. Students can also access the BPP University Careers Service as soon as they accept a place.

The online programme is offered on a full-time, part-time weekend and part-time evening basis and we welcome all students globally to these online study options.

Study Options

Personalise your GDL timetable

BPP gives you more control over the way you study with face-to-face, online learning, or a combination of both available. Classes are offered morning, afternoon, evening and weekends.

You can start in January or September. For full-time study, both options take nine months. Or if you choose part-time and start in January, you'll finish in 18 months – ready to start the LPC or BPTC in September. If you start part-time in September the programme takes two academic years.

Part-time GDL

Our part-time programme is designed to fit around your other commitments such as work and family. We offer a variety of part-time modes:

  • Evenings: taught between 6.00pm and 9.00pm. Each module is taught by a one-hour tutorial per week. All our lectures are recorded and made available to students online for flexibility of study
  • Weekends: one Saturday every fortnight, consisting of tutorials. Lectures delivered online
  • Day: taught on one half-day per week from 9am - 1.30pm in year 1 and from 9am - 2.40pm in year 2. Lectures are delivered online
  • Distance learning: weekly online lectures and tutorials

Optional modules

You're given access to an unrivalled range of additional modules, designed to get you ahead and give you the edge in interviews. Highlights include:

  • Company law module
  • Further specialist law modules – start specialising early in areas such as Intellectual Property or Public International Law, so you can demonstrate more expertise than other graduates.
  • Professional Skills modules developed with leading city firms – Featuring areas like legal writing and legal research.
  • Mandarin Chinese – Gain an insight into the language used in one of the world's most important markets with free Mandarin Chinese lessons (London only).

Specialist careers advice

From the moment you accept your place until you secure your first legal position, you can use our careers service. With our one-to-one support, we aim to give you the edge when it comes to getting a training contract or pupillage. You'll have everything from access to our vacancies database to advice on filling out application forms, intensive interview coaching, employer research and networking opportunities with top firms.

Assessment

The programme is assessed using:

  • One examination per module
  • Statute analysis test
  • Case analysis test
  • EU Project and CBT assessment
  • Multiple choice test on the English Legal System
  • Independent research essay

 

Independent research essay options

We offer a wide range of titles, and will always consider individual topics suggested by students. Current options include intellectual property, succession, company law, family law, housing law, medical law and public international law.

Modules

You will study an introduction to the English legal system followed by the seven foundation modules, through a one-hour tutorial and a one-hour lecture per week – plus regular consolidation in each module.

As a part-time GDL student your modules will be structured as follows:

  • Year one: Contract Law, Law of Torts, Constitutional Law
  • Year two: Land Law, Law of Equity and Trusts, Criminal Law, Law of the European Union, Independent Research Essay

Whether you're a full-time or part-time student, you can also choose to study our additional optional professional skills modules:

  • Legal Research
  • Legal Writing


You can also choose from various specialist legal subject modules:

  • Evidence and Forensics
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • International Law
  • Law in the City
  • Company Law

Please note that modules run subject to demand, therefore all modules may not run in all locations.

Compulsory Credits
Contract Law 20
Constitutional and Administrative Law 20
Law of Torts 20
Land Law 20
Research 30
Criminal Law 20
Law of the European Union 15
Law of Equity and Trusts 20
English Legal System 15

 


Entry requirements

UK/EU Students

The BPP University Graduate Diploma in Law is right for you if you:

  • Are a non-law graduate
  • Are an overseas law graduate
  • Have a non-qualifying law degree
  • Are a non-graduate with significant managerial experience.

If you are a UK graduate, you'll need a minimum 2:2 honours degree (or equivalent) in any subject from a recognised UK institution. You are guaranteed a place if your honours degree is a 2:1 or above. Students without a 2:2 honours degree from the UK or Republic of Ireland are required to evidence that they meet the academic entrance requirements of the relevant professional body. This includes applicants with overseas degrees or mature students without an undergraduate degree. Intending solicitors should contact our Admissions Team on 03331 226 834 for assistance. Intending barristers should contact the Bar Standards Board directly at barstandardsboard.org.uk.

Non-EU international students

We welcome students from all over the world. For our GDL programme you will need:

  • Evidence that you meet the academic entrance requirements of the relevant professional body. This includes applicants with overseas degrees or mature students without an undergraduate degree. Intending solicitors should contact our Admissions Team on 03331 226 834 for assistance. Intending barristers should contact the Bar Standards Board directly at barstandardsboard.org.uk
  • If you have completed a degree outside the UK and you do not come from a 'majority English Speaking Country' an IELTS level 6.5 score or equivalent, with a minimum of 6.0 in each area.

Once you are accepted on the programme, we are able to offer specialist support for arranging visas and other matters. If you need help or advice, please call our support team on 03331 226 834.

If you do not hold an undergraduate degree

To apply for a place on the GDL request a call back

To find out more about whether you may be eligible on the basis of your professional experience you can:

How to apply

We recommend you apply as soon as you're ready – priority is given to applicants who have placed BPP as their first choice.

If you have any questions about your application you can contact Admissions on 03331 226 834 or request a call back

Start dates and study locations

You can study your GDL face-to-face at our study centres across the UK for our September starts. Here you'll find high quality facilities and comfortable classroom environments. View a full list of dates and locations.

Study centres in:

Please note international students with Tier 4 student visas cannot study the GDL in our Cambridge study centre.

September 2016 start

Lectures and consolidation classes are delivered online in all centres, except in London, Leeds and Manchester where these can also be studied face-to-face.

GDL January start tutorial classes are all delivered face-to-face in Leeds, London and Manchester. All GDL January Start lectures are delivered online.

If you prefer to study from home or overseas, you can also choose our Graduate Diploma in Law online option with our high quality online media and materials. Students studying online will be required to attend in the UK for all programme examinations except where BPP University has agreed alternative arrangements with the student prior to enrolment.

  Tutorials Lectures Consolidation Revision Lectures Revision Seminars
Birmingham Live Online Online Online Live
Bristol Live Online Online Online Live
Cambridge Live Online Online Online Live
Leeds Live Live Live Live Online
Liverpool Live Online Online Online Live
London Live Live Live Live Online
Manchester Live Live Live Live Online

 

Paying for your GDL

Future Finance student loan

A student loan, from Future Finance, of between £2,500 to £40,000 is available to BPP's full and part time GDL students.

Further details of eligibility requirements, interest rates and other key terms of the loan are available by visiting the Future Finance website. BPP University Limited acts as a credit broker and is not a lender for this arrangement.

September 2016 start

Full-time and part-time programmes

Location Total (inc £250 deposit)
Birmingham £8,580 
Bristol £8,580
Cambridge £8,580
Leeds £8,470
Liverpool £8,470
London £10,600
Manchester £8,470
Distance Learning £10,600

 

Part-time study may not run at all locations

GDL exemptions

Fee per module for GDL Exemption Students is 1/8th of the full price at each centre.

Payment plans and schedules

A deposit of £250 will need to be paid within 48 hours of accepting your offer, in order to secure your place.

Additional charges

In addition to your programme fees, there may be additional charges associated with your studies, which include:

Resit fees for exams £75
Resit fees to repeat a 15 credit module £400
Resit fees to repeat a 20 credit module £530
Resit fees to repeat a 30 credit module £800
Exemption entries £1,100

Scholarships

BPP welcomes and supports applications for student scholarships. We offer £300,000 of scholarships and discretionary awards for our law programmes.