Graduate Diploma in Law GDL

City University London
Course summary
1 year
10,000 GBP
Full time
Next available date: September 2020 - London

Course description

Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) GDL

Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) GDL - a City University degree programme

Introduced in 1977, Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) lays a good foundation in law and fast-track progressing essentials in law. Students will get guidance from the leading visiting lecturers and legal professionals. Some of the important concepts covered in the course are legal ethics and essentials.

After completing this course, professionals will be able to prepare themselves better for Legal Practice Course (LPC) for solicitors and the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) for barristers.

Additionally students will benefit from the expert advisors and specialised modules in CPE/GDL courses.

Suitability - Who should attend?

A degree (in any subject), of at least an upper second class honours standard, conferred by a university in the United Kingdom or Republic of Ireland or by the Council for National Academic Awards. Or, an approved degree conferred by a university 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 with the appropriate body in the country in which they wish to qualify/practise that these courses are accepted.

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 qualifications:

IELTS: 7.0 or above

Please note that due to changes in the UKVI's list of SELTs we are no longer able to accept TOEFL as evidence of English language for students who require a CAS as of April 2014.

If you are not from the European Economic Area / Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK you may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study. /p>

The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course; there are different rules for:

  • Students on courses of more than 6 months
  • Students on courses of less than 6 months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English Language course

Please note: If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you cannot undertake any City University London courses on a part-time basis.

Outcome / Qualification etc.

Successful completion of the Graduate Diploma in Law qualifies you to progress onto the Legal Practice Course if you intend to become a solicitor or the Bar Professional Training Course if you intend to become a barrister. City Law School GDL graduates are guaranteed a place on ourLegal Practice Course

and are strongly encouraged to apply for our

Bar Professional Training Course(Please note: The Bar Standards Board does not allow providers to guarantee places on this course).

As a holder of University's Graduate Diploma in Law you can obtain an LLB degree at City by taking additional course modules by part-time study.

Training Course Content

In just one year, you will study the seven core foundation subjects that you would cover during a qualifying undergraduate law degree. The academic programme and examinations are of first degree level and will involve work that is normally studied by undergraduates over at least 18 months. A strong emphasis is placed on growing your analytical and research skills to ensure you are fully prepared for practice.

The GDL allows students to cover the core material of an undergraduate law degree, together with some postgraduate level study, in one year. We place a strong emphasis on growing analytical and research skills to ensure graduates are fully prepared for practice.

The foundation subjects studied are:

  • Contract law
  • Crime
  • Equity and trusts
  • European Union law
  • Land law
  • Public law
  • Tort law

In addition to the foundation subjects, students take another academic law subject unique to City: Introduction to legal ethics. This subject directs students' attention towards the ethical challenges which lawyers might face in practice and to the values which characterise the profession.

Students have the option to convert their GDL to an LLB degree by taking further law modules

Read the full programme specification.


The seven foundation subjects are taught over one year by lectures and tutorials which occupy around 18 hours each week. Every week you will attend a two-hour lecture in six of the seven foundation subjects (Contract 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 visiting lecturers from other prestigious universities, including Cambridge and Oxford. 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, including The City Law School's award-winning Lawbore


The cost of the programme is:

  • Full-time EU: £10,000
  • Full-time Non EU: £10,000

Disclosure for US students

As part of US Loan regulations, City University are required to give Gainful Employment disclosures as part of our contract with the US Department of Education. Please refer to the following document for more information:

  • Gainful Employment Reporting

About provider

City University London

City University London

City, University of London is a special place. With skill and dedication, we have been using education, research and enterprise to transform the lives of our students, our community and the world for a hundred years. We are proud of...

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