Course options

There are other course options available which may have a different vacancy status or entry requirements – view the full list of options

Make sure you check on the university, college or conservatoire website for any updates about course changes as a result of COVID-19.

Course summary

Our Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) enables you to gain the legal skills necessary for the best possible preparation in beginning vocational training for a career in legal practice. The GDL teaches you the seven foundations of law as required by the Bar Standards Board for the vocational training for barristers. It also equips you to embark on the necessary preparation for the Solicitors Qualifying Examination. You will develop the ability to:

  • critically engage with sources of law, including cases, and scholarship from law and related fields
  • apply principles of law
  • engage in basic legal research using specific legal resources.
If you already have an undergraduate degree and want to gain the skills to help you qualify, but are not yet ready to commit to a full master's degree, this GDL is for you. Birkbeck’s GDL is unique in teaching you to understand and apply the law, as well as teaching you about the law in its political, social and economic context. We want our graduates to not only go on to be successful lawyers, but also to be able to participate in important contemporary debates at the junction of law and public life. Please note: you will need to apply for our Graduate Diploma in Law via LawCAB (Law Central Admissions Board). Highlights
  • Our Graduate Diploma in Law offers a fast-track route to retrain as a lawyer, with numerous opportunities to network with law practitioners and legal scholars.
  • The course will give you plenty of opportunities for professional development and networking, and you will benefit from our School of Law’s vibrant annual cycle of inspiring expert-led public lectures and conferences, in which school and cross-school research centres and institutes play a key role.
  • Birkbeck is a hub of expertise on creative, innovative and critical thinking and Birkbeck School of Law has a strong tradition of research across its departments of Law and Criminology. Our academic staff are international authorities in their respective fields.
  • Our city centre campus is in Bloomsbury WC1, a lively student-centred place that is home to a number of universities and other colleges of the University of London. You will be able to take advantage of the rich research collections of University of London libraries as well as Birkbeck Library, which has a strong collection in critical, theoretical and interdisciplinary legal studies, including access to key specialist journals and an extensive range of online materials.


For information about course structure and the modules you will be studying, please visit Birkbeck’s online prospectus.

Assessment method

Assessment consists of quizzes, examinations and essays.

How to apply

International applicants

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests. If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses and foundation programmes to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

Entry requirements

A second-class honours degree (2:2) in a subject other than law. Applicants with less than a 2:2 will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Applications are reviewed on their individual merits, and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £4930 Year 1
Northern Ireland £4930 Year 1
Scotland £4930 Year 1
Wales £4930 Year 1
International £7270 Year 1

Additional fee information

Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases.
Law at Birkbeck, University of London - UCAS