The Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) course is also commonly known as the law conversion course or Common Professional Examination (CPE). Our GDL is offered in partnership with Leicester Institute of Legal Practice - a prestigious law school with a personal touch.
The GDL offers students who have not done a law degree the opportunity to reach the same standard as law graduates in certain key areas of law. The course is designed for non-law graduates, or those such as Graduate Members or Fellows of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) who have equivalent qualifications, and mature students, who wish to become solicitors or barristers.
Leicester Institute of Legal Practice recognises that your needs as a distance learning student differ from those of full-time students, and have brought in CILEx Law School's expertise in distance learning to ensure that the administration and management of the courses is optimised for the distance learner. You will attend occasional weekend sessions at Leicester Institute of Legal Practice, which is housed in an impressive new £35m building with state-of-the-art facilities including a mock law court and integrated law library.
If you successfully complete your GDL with Leicester Institute of Legal Practice you will be guaranteed a place on the Legal Practice Course (LPC). This guarantee is available if you commence the LPC straight after completing the GDL and if you pass all the GDL subjects at the first attempt. You will be eligible to be awarded a Graduate LLB from De Montfort University if you complete both the GDL and the LPC with Leicester Institute of Legal Practice.
The first year topics, and their structure in respect of assignments and exams, are:
English Legal System – MCQ online assessment
the Law of Tort – non-assessed study assignment; mock exam; exam
the Law of Contract – non-assessed study assignment; mock exam; exam
Property Law – non-assessed study assignment; mock exam; exam
Legal Research – MCQ online assessment
The second year topics are:
Equity and the Law of Trusts – non-assessed study assignment; mock exam; exam
European Community Law – non-assessed study assignment; mock exam; exam
Criminal Law – non-assessed study assignment; mock exam; exam
Public Law – non-assessed study assignment; mock exam; exam
Self study project on another area of law – written project; no exam
The first study weekend focuses on the English Legal System and introduces you to the three subjects that you will study during the first year. Each subsequent study weekend includes teaching on each of the three first-year subjects: Law of Tort, Law of Contract and Property Law.
In addition to attending the study weekends you will submit assignments, which you will prepare at home in your own time. Some count towards your final mark, others are designed to allow your teachers to give you detailed feedback about your progress.
The assignment work follows on from the teaching at weekends. The English Legal System and Legal Research elements are tested by multiple-choice online assessments. The non-assessed study assignment which you will be set for each of the other subjects throughout the year will give you the opportunity to apply your knowledge to exam-style questions and to get feedback on your work. Towards the end of the year you will be given the opportunity to undertake a mock exam in each subject. The final weekend in April focuses on revision in preparation for the exams, which are held at the university in May/June.
The second year follows a similar pattern but includes four study weekends rather than five, and you will cover four main subjects and your self-study project.
Professionally accredited courses provide industry-wide recognition of the quality of your qualification.
- Solicitors Regulation Authority
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and the Bar Standards Board (BSB) have together set eligibility criteria for the GDL. You should either hold an undergraduate degree from a UK or Republic of Ireland university.
For this GDL we specify that your degree should be at least a 2.2 classification. Alternatively, to be admitted onto the programme, you will either need a recognised honours degree in any subject from an overseas university, or you will have experience or qualifications which are recognised as being equivalent to a degree, for example Graduate Membership or Fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.
You need to prove to us before you start the GDL that you meet the SRA’s requirements for admission to the GDL, and for any exemptions that you may request from individual subjects, by providing any documentation requested by the university’s admissions team. If you are going on to undertake the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) following the GDL, the Bar Standards Board (BSB) requires a Certificate of Academic Standing. Please refer to the BSB website for more details.
Fees and funding
|Northern Ireland||£7,500||Whole course|