Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) GradDip

Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) GradDip
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 and Admissions

Award Type:


Study Mode:

Full time and Part time

Delivery Method:


Course Length:

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

Partner Colleges:

No Partner College



Start Date:

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

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 Spec:

For a concise summary of the main features of this course, see our course specification (subject to change).

Course Content

Course Outline:
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.

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.

Learning Environment & Assessment:

All seven foundation modules are assess by a 1500 word coursework (25%) & exam (75%). Examinations are of two hour duration. They are held at the end of the semester in which the module has been taught. Campus based students are also assessed in seminars on the foundation modules. Distance learning students are assessed on their contributions to synchronous discussions and work submitted to tutors. Lawyers’ Skills is assessed by an online assessment on the English Legal System (25%), and by a moot (75%).


Campus: classes are 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.


Students will complete an Independent Legal Research Project on a topic of their choice. This is a 5,000 word dissertation and is an opportunity for students to pursue their interest in an area of law which falls outside the foundation modules.

Academic Expertise

We are committed to delivering academic learning of the highest quality, helping you to stretch your mind and fulfil your university ambitions.

Learning outcome & aims

We aim to create the perfect blend of knowledge, practical experience and relevance to equip UCLan graduates with the confidence and skills they need to get ahead in the world of work.

Industry links & professional accreditation

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.

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

Work experience and international opportunities

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.

Graduate Careers

The UCLan Careers Team offer ongoing supportive careers advice and guidance throughout your course and after graduation, along with a range of modules, work experience opportunities and events to help you acquire the skills to make you stand out to potential employers in today’s competitive market.


UCLan is recognised for its outstanding course provision which gives students the skills, knowledge, and personal attributes necessary to succeed at the University and in their future careers. To find out more about the experiences of our students, read our success stories.

Progression Routes

From foundation courses through to world-leading research degrees, you can study a wide range of subject areas at UCLan. Whether you want to develop your knowledge in a subject you enjoy or gain further qualifications to enhance your career, at UCLan there are numerous progression routes for you to follow.

Fees & Funding

For further information contact UCLan
Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

Full-time: £6,000 per year (UK/EU)

Part-time: £3,000 per year (UK / EU) 

How to Apply

If you are interested in applying for this course, our comprehensive How to Apply pages will guide you through the process. Here at UCLan, our aim is to encourage you to develop your potential and we offer a flexible approach to admissions, which reflects our commitment to all those who would benefit from our courses.

Full time applications must be made online via LAWCABS website.

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

About UCLan

Course Enquiries

University of Central Lancashire,
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400