Robert Gordon University
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1 April 2014

Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)

The Graduate Diploma in Law is an exciting full-time programme which allows non-law graduates to gain an exempting legal qualification. This programme will equip you with the skills and knowledge necessary for a rewarding future in the legal profession. It is validated by the JASB (Joint Academic Standards Board for the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and the Bar Standards Board (BSB).

The course has been designed to meet the requirements and needs of the governing bodies as well as providing by way of the additional legal subject, a chance to broaden your legal interests. The GDL aims to produce a highly skilled and knowledgeable person who will be equipped to study on a LPC or BPTC to ultimately qualify as a solicitor or barrister.

In keeping with the university’s commitment to employability, students will be afforded opportunities to participate in extra-curricular activities, such as Mooting and Negotiation competitions, which are enjoyable ways of enhancing your future employability.

Students must have obtained the minimum of a lower second class honours degree from a UK university OR must obtain a Certificate of Academic Standing from the SRA or Bar Standards Board for any other type of qualifications.

The Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) is a one year full time programme that allows non-law graduates to gain exemptions in respect of qualifying as a solicitor or barrister.

Why do a GDL?

Successful completion of the GDL provides exemptions which will allow you to progress to the Legal Practice Course, if you wish to become a solicitor, or the Bar Vocational Course, for those wishing to become a barrister.

Staff are a mixture of full- and part-time members of the academic staff of the School of Law. Some are qualified practitioners and run the course with the support and assistance from local practitioners and occasional guest lecturers.

Staff maintain strong links with the legal profession via consultancies and placements, presentation of papers and attendance at conferences, and writing books, journal articles and reviews for academic publications. Some staff members also deliver Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses for legal practitioners.

Staff also deliver modules on the very successful LLM in Business and Commercial Law (Masters), which has full CPD recognition from the SRA and BSB.

LJMU also offers a very well respected Legal Practice Course and other postgraduate programmes, and is involved in extensive research activity. The result is a broad mix of staff experience – professional, academic, managerial and consultancy.

The LJMU Legal Practice Course (LPC) was reviewed by the SRA in February 2008 and was highly commended. The LPC is the qualifying, vocational course for all solicitors.

Student Lawyers at LJMU have done very well over the years in National Mooting Competitions, Client Interviewing, Mediation and National Negotiation Competitions. The teams won the 2007 English Speaking Union – Essex Court Chambers National Mooting Competition and 2008 National Negotiation Championship, reaching the final of the 2009 Client Interviewing and Mediation Competitions, the latter of which was held in Chicago.

How will you spend your study time?

A broad range of teaching styles, methodologies and technologies is employed at LJMU, including increasing use of IT at all levels.
The course is presented via a mix of Large Group Sessions (LGS) and Small Group Sessions (SGSs)/workshops. The LGS’s provide opportunities for tutors to introduce legal topics, with opportunities for much more in depth discussion and analysis in SGS’s/workshops.

The format of SGS’s/workshops will vary according to learning outcomes, with some being tutor led, while others may be student led. Seminars, role-plays and presentations also may be used where appropriate. Directed study and reading will also play a role in the learning experience.

Programme Outline

What will you study?

The course objective is to deliver the seven foundations of legal knowledge integral to a career in law, namely:

• Public Law (Constitutional and Administrative Law and Human Rights)
• Law of the European Union
• Criminal Law
• Contract
• Tort
• Property Law
• Equity and Trusts

Students will also study two ‘front loaded’ modules, designed to support the study of the foundational subjects:

• English Legal System
• Legal Research.

In addition to these core and foundational subjects students will have the option to study either of the following additional legal subjects:

• Employment Law and Dispute Resolution
• Supervised Research Project

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is integrated with the learning and teaching strategy in line with professional accreditation requirements. The foundational subjects are formally assessed by means of an examination, however, students will have ongoing informal assessment throughout the duration of the programme in preparation for the examinations. Assessment for the supporting and additional legal subjects will be via coursework/presentations.
What do past and present students say about the course?
'All the staff on the GDL and the LPC have been fantastic and so helpful, thank you very much!'
Ashleigh Doyle- graduated GDL in 2010, LPC 2011

'The GDL has been a great learning experience and we have had lots of support from all of the GDL staff-we have loved the year! Thankyou!'

Erin O' Leary and Kiranjeet Chana graduating 2011



graduate diploma law gdl

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