Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) GDip

Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) GDip

Lancashire Law School


Post- graduate





Contact UCLan

Course Enquiries
University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, UK.

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

  • Duration:

    Full-time: one year, part-time: two years (evening study available).

  • Level:


  • Mode:


  • Delivery:

    Campus or eLearning, Full-time and Part-time

  • Campus:


  • Start Date:

    September for the campus based course. September or January for the distance learning course

  • Award Type:


Why study this programme?

The GDL is a conversion course which gives non-law graduates or those with an overseas law degree an opportunity to pursue a career in law. It provides a rigorous and challenging learning experience, which is commended by employers. On successful completion of the GDL students can progress to the vocational stage of training; either the Legal Practice Course (LPC), for those wishing to become a solicitor, or the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) for barristers.

Our aim is to consolidate and enhance your intellectual capability for independent learning through legal research, reasoning and argument. You will acquire valuable transferable skills including oral/written communication, group-work, advocacy, interviewing and negotiation, critical thinking and e-presentations. 

The GDL is a one year full-time course or two year part-time course. Both courses are available on campus or by way of distance learning.    

Entry Requirements

Applicants who are graduates must hold a degree in any subject from either:

    A UK or Republic of Ireland Higher Education Institution; or
    An overseas institution ( subject to approval by the International Admissions process at UCLan)

Applicants who are not graduates may still be considered but are advised to make pre-application contact with the Admissions Tutor to discuss their qualifications and/or work history.

In appropriate circumstances the School will call applicants for interview where it is thought necessary that further information might be required to assess the student’s ability to meet the above criteria.

For overseas applicants whose first language is not English or who have received higher education where the medium of instruction is not English, the language requirement is IELTS 6.5 (with no individual component below 6.0) or equivalent qualification.

Programme at a Glance

Semester 1

An example of the full-time study programme (subject to variation)

Day One

  • 2-4PM: Contract Law Lecture (Weekly)
  • 4-5PM: Contract Law Seminar (Fortnightly)
  • 4-5PM: Criminal Law Seminar (Fortnightly)
  • 6-8PM: Criminal Law Lecture (Weekly)

Day Two

  • 2-4PM: Lecture Skills Workshop (Weekly)
  • 4-5PM: Tort Law Seminar (Fortnightly)
  • 6-8PM: Tort Law Lecture (Weekly)

Part time course

The workload is split over 2 years with students attending the 2 days.

Semester 2

An example of the full-time study programme (subject to variation)

Day One

  • 2-4PM: EU Law Lecture (Weekly)
  • 4-5PM: EU Law Seminar (Fortnightly)
  • 4-5PM: Crime Law Seminar (Fortnightly)
  • 6-8PM: Crime Law Lecture (Weekly)

Day Two

  • 2-4PM: Constitutional Law Lecture (Weekly)
  • 4-5PM: Constitutional Law Seminar (Fortnightly)
  • 4-5PM: Equity Law Seminar (Fortnightly)
  • 6-8PM: Equity and Trusts Lecture

Part time course

The workload is split over 2 years with students attending the 2 days.

Postgraduate Advice Event

Find out more about our Postgraduate courses. Book onto our Postgraduate Advice Event on 13 September 2017

Further Information

Why do the GDL at UCLan?

  • A long standing and experienced provider of both undergraduate and postgraduate law courses
  • Dedicated and well qualified staff with an emphasis on small group teaching 
  • Strong academic provision and pastoral support 
  • A maximum of 40 students on the full time course and 30 students on each year of the part-time course 
  • Excellent careers advice and support both within the Law School and from the University Careers Service
  • Detailed study materials and module handbooks prepared by the course team 
  • Excellent online support for both the campus and distance learning course 
  • An opportunity to complete your independent research project on any topic of your choosing 
  • A guaranteed place on the LPC with a discount on fees 
  • Close links with the professions and extra-curricular events 
  • Access to all of the facilities which a large university has to offer 

The School’s teaching environment is designed to stimulate learning. The majority of small group teaching sessions will take place in the impressive Harris Building, the home of Lancashire Law School. For large group teaching, we make use of the many modern lecture theatres across campus all of which have state of the art audio visual support and presentation facilities. The Harris Building is also the location for the Law School's dedicated moot court room which contains a mock-up of a real court room for educational use. All small group teaching rooms, contain audio-visual equipment to enhance and support the learning experience. There are a number of dedicated skills development rooms with recording and play back facilities within the Law School. The Library contains a dedicated Law Library and our extensive e-law library facility gives access to many legal and academic sources from within and outside the jurisdiction on campus and remotely.

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.

Course Content

The aim of the course is to offer the student an opportunity for intellectual development and to provide an academically rigorous education in law that will not only give a basic grounding in the major areas of law, but will also make the student aware of the wider implications of the subject.

The course is validated by the Professional Bodies and fully conforms to their prescribed standards.

Students begin by studying the Legal Skills module. Students are required to complete an introductory on-line workshop in this module prior to commencing the course. Students will also study the seven foundation modules:

  • Contract Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Law of Torts
  • Constitutional Law
  • Equity and Trusts
  • Land Law
  • European Union Law
Students will also submit an Independent Legal Research Project on the topic of their choice, which will be fully supervised by academic staff.

How to Apply

You can apply for many of the postgraduate UCLan courses using our Online Application System.

For other postgraduate courses you can apply directly to UCLan by downloading a Postgraduate Application Form (.pdf 190KB) please also see our Postgraduate Application Guidance Notes (.pdf 158KB).


For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry:

For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.


Apply now or see further information about postgraduate study and research. International students should visit our international pages.

Contact Us

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400


Fees 2018/19

Full-time: £7,500 per year (UK/EU)
Part-time: £3,750 per 20 credits studied (UK/EU)

Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated and may be subject to increase annually in line with UK Retail Price Index inflation rate

Further information:

For 2017/18 fees please refer to our fees page.

Scholarships and bursaries

Industry Links

The Law School has superb links with the law profession, police and probation services and our students enjoy regular visits and talks from leading practitioners, academics, barristers, solicitors and judges.

Professional Accreditation

The course is validated by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board. The course is approved by the Indian Bar Council.

Learning Environment and Assessment

All seven foundation modules are assessed by coursework and exam. Examinations are held at the end of the semester in which the module has been taught. Lawyers’ Skills is assessed by an online assessment on the English Legal System and by a moot.

Students will complete an Independent Legal Research Project on a topic of their choice. This is a dissertation and is an opportunity for students to pursue their interest in an area of law which falls outside the foundation modules.

Campus: classes are currently timetabled between 2pm – 8pm on Tuesday and Thursday.
Distance Learning: all teaching takes place via the university’s on-line learning platform using interactive workbooks, synchronous discussions and personal feedback on written work.

Campus: between 6pm – 9pm on Tuesday and Thursday.
Distance Learning: all teaching takes place via the university’s on-line learning platform using interactive workbooks, synchronous discussions and personal feedback on written work.

How to Apply

Full time campus students only should apply via LAWCABS website. All other students (full time, distant learning or part time) should apply directly to the University.

Course Leader
Laura Hughes
Tel: +44(0)1772 893941


Our 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. Our students can take up a wealth of opportunities for personal skills development, for example, taking part in mooting and mediation competitions. In addition they can gain the benefit of visits, for example, the European Study Tour.