Skip to content
Skip to navigation menu


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 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 Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) for intending barristers; or
- the Legal Practice Course (LPC) for intending solicitors.

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 as much as possible.  Apart from the first two weeks of the course, you will only need to attend the Law School on two days per week (full time course) or one day per week (part time course).  The remainder of your time will be used for independent study, including listening to lectures, reading and preparing for tutorials. 

We know that 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.  But we also recognise that you are adults with proven study skills and able to take responsibility for your own learning.  All our tutors are 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 country. Cardiff

A springboard to the professional courses:

You can stay at Cardiff for your whole legal education.  Cardiff is a highly regarded provider of both the BPTC and LPC courses and the only Russell Group University to offer both courses.  If you decide to go on to our BPTC you will have the chance to experience time in chambers and marshalling (shadowing a judge).  If you join our LPC you will have the chance to join our LPC work placement scheme to give you a taste of practice and get your networking off to a good start.  

GDL Course Structure 2014

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. 

GDL entry requirements

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 to obtain a Certificate of Academic Standing from the BSB or SRA.  Contact us for more information about this. 


Full time course:

Part time course:

How to apply
To apply for the full time course, go to the Central Applications Board at  To apply for the part time course, go to Coursefinder or email us at .  Contact us with any questions or queries – we will be glad to help.


Further details



  Cardiff Law School
  CF10 3AX
  Wales, UK

 029 2087 4941