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Graduate Diploma in Law

We offer a one-year, full time GDL and a two-year, part time GDL. Scroll down for information on how to apply for your place.

Why study the GDL and what does it lead to?

If you have a degree or equivalent in a non-law subject and would like to qualify as a solicitor or barrister, you can take the GDL to satisfy the academic stage of legal training in one year (or two years part time) instead of the two or three years normally required for a law degree.  After the GDL you can progress to the professional stage of training, either:

The BPTC and LPC are one year courses when studied full time and allow you to progress to pupillage in chambers or a training contract with a firm of solicitors. 

Following completion of your LPC or BPTC you also have the opportunity to convert your qualification to an LLM in Legal Practice.

Why Cardiff Law School for your GDL?

Flexible learning:

The GDL is a very intensive course but our model lets you combine your studies with other commitments.  Bar the first two weeks of the course, you only need to attend the Law School on Thursday and Fridays (full time) or Fridays only (part time). The remainder of your time will be used for independent study, including listening to lectures, reading and preparing for tutorials. 

We know students value face-to-face teaching, so all our tutorials will be in the Law School and you will have lots of learning and pastoral support from your tutors.  Most lectures will be delivered electronically so you can listen when most convenient for you, but you will also have ample opportunity to see and speak to your tutors - this is not a distance learning course.

Our teaching style:

You will be taught with other GDL students and there will be more tutorial time than usual in recognition of the intensive nature of the course. 

We also recognise that you are adults with proven study skills and able to take responsibility for your own learning. All of our tutors have practised as professional lawyers and our ethos is one of friendly professionalism and mutual respect.

Reputation and enhanced employability:

You will be part of one of the leading Law schools in the UK.  Cardiff offers:

A springboard to the professional courses:

Cardiff the Capital City

You probably already know what a great place this is!

What will you study on the GDL?

Enrolment will be in early September 2014. All GDL students are required to study and pass a short test on the basics of the English and Welsh legal system (EWLS) within a few weeks of starting any GDL course.  To help you prepare for this, you will be asked to do some preparatory reading and study before you enrol.  For the first two weeks of the course you will need to attend the Law School on a full time basis for intensive support and practice sessions on EWLS.   

After that initial period you will only need to attend on two days per week on the full time course or one day per week on the part time course.  You will be studying the foundation topics of Land Law, Contract, Tort, Equity and Trusts, Public Law, Crime and European Union Law.  You will also be working independently on an extended essay set in a different area of law.  The modules are all assessed by examination, except for the Extended Essay, and the Contract module, which is assessed by examination and coursework. 

What are we looking for?

An Honours degree (normally Class 2:2 or above) in a non-Law subject. If you have a non-standard qualification such as a non-UK degree, you will need a certificate of academic standing. Contact us for more information. 

Fees for 2015/2016

Full time course:

Part time course:

How to apply

(closing date of 31 July 2015)

To apply for the full time course, go to the Central Applications Board

Applications for the part time course have to be made directly to the University.

Are you interested in enrolling on the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)?

We are holding an open evening for the GDL, starting at 5.30pm on Monday 2 November in the Law Building.

Please contact for more information.


Further details



  Cardiff Law School
  CF10 3AX
  Wales, UK

 02920 876106