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Course summary

"Our students come from leading institutions across the world and from a range of undergraduate disciplines including history, English, mathematics, science and philosophy. This course is best suited to students who are focused upon practice in the UK, either at the Bar or as solicitors. You may use your time on the programme as a means to make that choice. An above-average proportion of our GDL students go on to become barristers, but the strong grounding in law we offer is valued by committed law students wherever they practice in the end. Our students enjoy the fact that our course is demanding. It has an emphasis upon reading case law directly and developing their skills of legal analysis, oral argument and writing. Objectives The City Law School’s Graduate Diploma in Law programme is nationally renowned. Since its inception in 1977, it has trained students at an extremely rigorous level, covering the seven core foundation subjects that are prerequisites for progression to professional legal training. The programme is unique in that it introduces you to legal ethics as well as covering the core content. You will be encouraged to think about your reasons for practising law, and how you will find value in practice. The course has also been designed to be accessible and student-focussed; at The City Law School we welcome students’ questions and offer significant one-to-one support. From Lord Leggatt of the Supreme Court, to Martha Spurrier, Director of Liberty and Dinah Rose QC the Barrister who helped Julian Assange fight his extradition from the UK to Sweden, our alumni set the benchmark for legal practice across the world. Our academic team is also globally renowned and includes Professor Panos Koutrakos, the Jean Monnet Professor of European Law and Joint Editor of European Law Review, and Professor Martin Dixon,Specialist in Land Law.


In just one year, you will study the seven core foundation subjects that you would cover during a qualifying undergraduate law degree and take an additional legal ethics course. The academic programme and examinations are of first-degree level with some elements of Masters level study, and involve work that is normally covered by undergraduates over at least 18 months. A strong emphasis is placed on developing your analytical and research skills to make sure you are fully prepared for practice. You learn through lectures and tutorials which occupy around 16 hours each week. Foundation Subjects: The seven foundation subjects are taught over one year.

  • Public Law (30 credits)
  • Contract Law (30 credits)
  • Criminal Law (30 credits)
  • Equity & Trusts (30 credits)
  • European Union Law (30 credits)
  • Land Law (30 credits)
  • Tort Law (30 credits)
Introduction to legal studies (5 credits) In addition to the foundation subjects, you take another academic law subject unique to City: Introduction to legal studies. This subject directs your attention towards the ethical challenges which lawyers might face in practice and to the values that characterise the profession. You will also take a 10 credit English Legal System module and a 5 credit Research Requirement module. You also have the option to convert the GDL to an LLB degree by taking further law modules.

Assessment method

The seven foundation subjects and additional Introduction to legal studies course are taught over one year by lectures and tutorials which occupy around 16 hours each week. Every week you will attend a two-hour lecture in six of the seven foundation subjects (Contract law lectures are in an online format) and a tutorial in each subject every fortnight. In addition to The City Law School's own lecturers, you will also be taught by several distinguished visiting lecturers. There will also be time for personal study to prepare for lectures and tutorials. Instruction in the use of legal materials and in legal research methods (including use of electronic retrieval systems) is also an integral part of the course. The City Law School's award-winning Lawbore website also offers an online portal of resources from a legal link directory to a careers and alumni blog. Formal assessment is based on mainly upon written examinations held at the end of the course. Formative coursework set throughout the year will help to prepare you for these examinations. You will be awarded City's Graduate Diploma in Law upon successful completion of the relevant examinations in the seven core subjects, English Legal System, Legal Ethics and a research case-study.

Entry requirements

A degree (in any subject), of at least an upper second-class honours standard, conferred by a institution in the United Kingdom or Republic of Ireland. Or, an approved degree conferred by a institution outside the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, and a very good knowledge of the English language. The rules governing admission to practise law vary from country to country. Before applying, applicants wishing to take the GDL as a step towards becoming a lawyer outside England and Wales are strongly advised to check that these courses are accepted with the appropriate body in the country in which they wish to qualify/practise. In reaching our selection decisions we will take account of: - Academic performance - Evidence of intellectual ability - Professional and legal work experience - Personal statement - Commitment to studying law - References Applicants whose first language is not English should hold the following qualification: - IELTS: 7.0 or above with a minimum of 6.5 in writing and 6.0 in all other components. - TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition: 95 overall with no less than 24 in Writing and Reading, 22 in Listening and 25 in Speaking - LanguageCert ESOL International online: C1 Expert Pass (combined written and oral test) - PTE Academic: 65 or better

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £12940 Year 1
Northern Ireland £12940 Year 1
Scotland £12940 Year 1
Wales £12940 Year 1
EU £12940 Year 1
International £12940 Year 1

Additional fee information

No additional fees or cost information has been supplied for this course, please contact the provider directly.
Graduate Diploma in Law at City, University of London - UCAS