GDip Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)

School of Justice




If you are a non-law graduate or have an overseas law degree and want to pursue a career in law then this is the course for you. Commended by employers, you’ll lay the foundations of law knowledge necessary to move into legal professions such as a solicitor or barrister. 

Course information

This course provides a rigorous and challenging learning experience for those with a non-law background to obtain a legal qualification for progression into the legal field.

You’ll develop your legal research, reasoning, and argument skills. You will acquire valued transferable skills in areas such as oral and written communication; group work; advocacy; interviewing and negotiation; critical thinking; and presentation skills. Not only will these skills help you in entering the law profession, they will also enhance your continuing development as you progress throughout your career. 

The distance learning course is delivered using the latest in teaching technology with interactive workbooks including text, audio and video files as well as self-test questions. Interaction with tutors and fellow students is done using synchronous discussion boards and video links.

All teaching for full-time and part-time students takes place via the University’s online learning platform using interactive workbooks, synchronous discussions and personal feedback on written work.

The seven foundation modules are assessed by a 1,500 word piece of coursework (50%) and exam (50%). These exams are two hours long, and held at the end of the semester in which the module is taught. Distance learning students are assessed on their contributions to synchronous discussions and work submitted to tutors. Legal Skills is assessed by an online assessment on the English Legal System (25%), and by a moot (75%).

You will also complete an Independent Legal Research Project on a topic of your choice. This 3,000 word dissertation is an opportunity for you to pursue your own interests in an area of law which falls outside the foundation modules, under the supervision of our experienced academic staff.

The School of Law and Social Science is a long standing and experienced provider of both undergraduate and postgraduate law courses, with a history of over 45 years of providing legal education in the North West of England and now beyond through our distance learning courses. The School was Highly Commended as Legal Education Provider of the Year at the last Solicitors Journal Awards.

Our dedicated and well qualified academic staff are here to support your learning and development. We intentionally keep our cohorts small, prioritising the quality of our teaching and your learning. In this way we can give you the strongest possible academic experience and pastoral support to help you succeed.

Our campus is designed to enrich and stimulate your learning. Small group teaching sessions take place in the grand Harris Building, home of the School of Law and Social Science. Larger group teaching takes place in modern lecture theatres. Our purpose-built moot courtroom provides an opportunity to explore and work within a mock-up of a real courtroom, to provide you true-to-life experiences and confidence working in a legal environment. Our Library contains a dedicated Law Library, with extensive e-law facilities providing access to many legal and academic sources to on campus and distance learning students.

Each year we organise a dedicated law careers fair which is supported by a range of employers from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to County Councils and solicitors’ firms. 

Our Pro Bono Law Clinic, Business Clinic and Mediation Clinic give you first-hand experiences of legal practice, providing countless opportunities to deal with real cases.

The GDL course is validated by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board meaning this course is an equivalent alternative to a qualifying law degree route. The course is also approved by the Indian Bar Council.

For full details about our current fees please see our website

Please see website.

Our Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) alumni have achieved great successes, such as winning Law Teacher of the Year, receiving law scholarships from the Inns of Court in London, and more.

The School of Law and Social Science has superb links with the law professions, police and probation services. You’ll enjoy regular visits and talks from leading practitioners, academics, barristers, solicitors and judges. The teaching of our academics is enriched by their professional and research experience, which means your learning will be informed by real world and cutting-edge insights to best prepare you for your career.

Our law students are valued highly by employers due to their aptitude and skills profile. They have an impressive track record of gaining graduate level jobs or professional training contracts. 

Some of our eminent alumni include judges, Queen’s Counsel, barristers and solicitors across the UK, Europe and around the world, CEOs, business leaders and industrialists, entrepreneurs and business owners, senior public servants such as civil servants, politicians, senior police and local government officers, senior academics and researchers at all levels, authors of many academic works, leading voluntary sector workers, board representatives and trustees.

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