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. 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.

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

We're a highly respected law school and provide legal training exclusively to over 50 leading law firms.

Programme details
BirminghamBristolCambridge, LeedsLiverpoolLondon Waterloo and Manchester
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
  • Two start dates a year in January or September
  • Flexibility when you study; weekdays, weekends, daytime or evening (dependent upon location and mode of study)
  • 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
  • Learn about specialist areas of practice in GDL Extra
  • Funding available through Scholarships, interest-free payment plans and Future Finance student loans^

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 live 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 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

International students with Tier 4 student visas CANNOT study the GDL in our Cambridge centre

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.

Study Options

Personalise your GDL timetable

BPP gives you more control over the way you study with face-to-face, online distance learning, or a combination of both available. Classes are offered morning, afternoon, evening and weekends. Face-to-face GDL classes are taught on two set days per week during the core teaching term, at the following centres, Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge and Liverpool.

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.

Study the GDL 100% online

With our high-quality distance learning materials you can study the entire GDL online. Watch or listen to lectures in MP4 format whenever and wherever you want, and log into online tutorials at scheduled times.

In accordance with the General Academic Regulations of BPP University it is possible to take examinations overseas in an assessment centre approved by BPP University. For more details please contact admissions

Although you may opt to study 100% online, we still offer you the reassurance of optional face-to-face tutorials if you ever want to switch. In London these are run through weekend and/or block sessions at regular intervals over the year.

Optional modules

With the BPP GDL, 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.

Part-time GDL

Our part-time programme is designed to fit around your other commitments such as work and family. BPP offers 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 with optional face-to-face tuition.

Please note live lectures for part-time programmes are only offered in London (Waterloo). Modes are subject to availability and vary between centres.


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
Consitutional 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

Constitutional and Administrative Law
There is arguably no area of more fundamental importance to us all than constitutional and administrative law. Every time the Government exceeds its powers; or a minister of state resigns; or a citizen's rights are abused, it is the law covered in this module which governs their fate.

This has recently moved to the forefront of public debate, with the passing of the Human Rights Act of 1998 and the resultant flow of litigation.

During the study of this module you will become acquainted with the following notable areas:
  • Nature of the UK Constitution
  • Rule of law
  • Separation of powers
  • Institutions and mechanics of the state
  • Human rights
  • Judicial review

Contract Law

This module introduces you to the law of obligations in the private sphere.

You will learn about:

  • What is needed for a contract to come into existence and be enforced
  • The content of contracts, including the relative importance of different types of terms and defence mechanisms built into contracts
  • Vitiating factors which may undermine the validity of contracts
  • What happens when things go wrong

Throughout the module, you will be introduced to the principles of contract law within the context of the socio-ethical and commercial world in which these principles are applied. In particular, the module will aim to develop a commercial awareness alongside knowledge of black letter law, for example the commercial imperatives behind exemption of liability and the concept of shared risk.

Our aim is to equip you with a sound knowledge and skills base, as well as an understanding of the underlying policy issues, to progress onto the professional stage of training and ultimately for practice as a commercial solicitor or barrister.

The syllabus typically includes:

  • Introduction
  • Offer and acceptance
  • Intention to create legal relations
  • Capacity
  • Consideration
  • Promissory estoppel
  • Duress
  • Terms
  • Exemption clauses
  • Misrepresentation
  • Contracts against public policy
  • Mistake
  • Discharge
  • Remedies
Land Law
Many students find Land Law one of the most interesting and helpful modules on the GDL. This is for several reasons. Firstly, whether buying a property, renting or living with parents, it helps to know your legal rights.

Secondly, it is arguably the most lucrative field of practice, particularly given the national obsession with the property market. Finally, study areas such as leases, mortgages and freehold cases involving anything from unscrupulous landlords to family in-fighting undoubtedly give rise to some genuinely interesting cases. Land Law is your chance to find out who really owns what.

In particular, your Land Law studies will take in the following areas:

  • Difference between a lease and a licence
  • Differences between registered and unregistered land
  • Mortgages
  • Easements
  • Freehold covenants

Law of the European Union

Perhaps few subjects are as dogged by the discrepancy between myth and reality than the law of the European Union. Your study of this subject will examine the origins and nature of laws created by the institutions of the European Union. It will also explore practical concepts which run through European law and affect the way every one of us lives our lives.  

In particular, you will study:

  • Free movement of people, enabling citizens of the Union to move around Europe unimpeded – to study, work or just reside in any member state
  • Free movement of goods
  • EU competition law
  • Sex discrimination

Criminal Law

Many people's first introduction to the legal system is criminal law, whether through reading the true crime stories which frequently dominate the newspaper headlines, or the fictionalised courtroom dramas ever present on our television screens.

Studying Criminal Law, you will now have the opportunity to uncover the reality behind the headlines and dramas. In particular, your criminal studies will include:

  • Elements of some of the most prolific offences in our Criminal Justice System e.g. theft
  • What happens when criminals fail and the principles behind attempted offences
  • What defences may be available to those accused of committing criminal offences
Law of Equity and Trusts

The module is designed to provide you with a thorough understanding of the fundamental principles of equity, the concept of the trust and their practical relevance. You will study both traditional deed-created trusts and the evolving role of equity and trusts in the commercial context.

The focus of the module is the practical application of this topic to real life scenarios. You will learn how to analyse problems and offer advice on complex legal principles, taking into account commercial factors as well as the relevant legal principles.

This is intended to aid the transition to the professional programmes by giving you greater commercial awareness and ultimately to enhance your prospects in professional legal practice.

The module is split into five parts, comprising the following topics:  

Part 1

  • Fundamental Principles
  • Introduction to Equity
  • Introduction to Trusts

Part 2

  • Express Trusts
  • The Three Certainties
  • Formalities
  • Constitution
  • Secret trusts
  • Purpose trusts
  • Charitable trusts

Part 3

  • Implied Trusts
  • Resulting and Constructive Trusts
  • Implied Trusts of the Home

Part 4

  • Administration of Trusts
  • Fiduciary Duties
  • Investment and Delegation
  • Maintenance and Advancement

Part 5

  • Breach and Remedies
  • Breach of Trust
  • Tracing
  • Liability of Strangers
  • Equitable Remedies
Law of Torts
The law of tort has a profound effect upon society, for good and ill. Anybody familiar with the phrase 'ambulance chasing' will have made the acquaintance of tort law in its unpopular guise, where unscrupulous lawyers seem to be making ill-gotten gains out of the misfortune of others. On the other hand, the term 'old boy network' as applied to professionals like doctors, shows tort law in a better public light in bringing accountability to professionals who have traditionally been seen as almost above the law.

The study of Tort Law will fairly and impartially examine this growing and controversial area of litigation.

In particular, you will study the following:

  • Elements of the tort of negligence
  • Clinical negligence
  • Employers' liability
  • Defamation

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

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
  • 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

Key dates

January 2016 start

  • Applications are now open
  • The programme starts during the week commencing 11th January 2016

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.

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. Lectures and consolidation classes are delivered online in all centres. GDL January start tutorial classes are all delivered live 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 distance learning 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.

Study centres in:

International students

International students with Tier 4 student visas cannot study the GDL in our Cambridge study centre.

January 2016 start

  • London Waterloo
  • Leeds
  • Manchester
  • Online

September 2016 start

  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

Instalment options

UK and EU students can study part or full-time, and we offer several interest free instalment plans to spread the cost of your GDL programme. Download a full list of fees payment plans. Please scroll through the PDF to find your programme.

View GDL dates and locations

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.

January 2016 start

Full-time and part-time programmes

Location Total (inc £250 deposit)
Leeds £8,220
London £10,290
Manchester £8,220
Distance Learning £10,290

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


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

International students

For more information:
Tel: +44 020 7061 1301
Request a call back