GDIPL Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies

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In their words

Emily Ward, Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies Graduate

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The Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies is an intensive one year course designed to allow non-law graduates to 'convert' to a law path. Following successful completion of the Diploma, you will be eligible to progress to either the Legal Practice Course for solicitors or the Bar Professional Training Course for those wishing to qualify at the bar.

This intensive programme introduces you to the legal skills necessary for the study of law, as well as providing you with an understanding of the methods and processes of the English Legal System. The programme is designed to assist you to "think like a lawyer".

Overview

The Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies is an intensive one year course designed to allow non-law graduates to 'convert' to a law path. Following successful completion of the Diploma, you will be eligible to progress to either the Legal Practice Course for solicitors or the Bar Professional Training Course for those wishing to qualify at the bar.

This intensive programme introduces you to the legal skills necessary for the study of law, as well as providing you with an understanding of the methods and processes of the English Legal System. The programme is designed to assist you to "think like a lawyer".

Pre-Sessional Induction Programme

The course commences two weeks prior to the start of the autumn semester with an induction programme starting on Monday 10 September 2018. Please note that you must attend the induction programme and pass a short piece of coursework in order to enter the Diploma course.

Course Structure

Seven foundation subjects will be covered in semester-long modules taught in either autumn or spring. These are:

  • Constitutional and Administrative Law
  • Contract Law
  • Criminal Law
  • EU Law
  • Land Law
  • Law of Trusts
  • Tort Law

You will be taught through a combination of lectures and seminars, with two lectures a week and a two hour fortnightly seminar for each subject.

Two of the autumn semester modules (currently Land Law and The Law of Trusts) are currently assessed by a mix of coursework and exam, while the remainder are assessed by exam only.

Research project

Alongside taught modules you will write a 5,000 word research project completed under the supervision of a member of Faculty. You will have the opportunity to choose your own topic which, subject to the availability of supervision, will cover any area of law beyond those taught in the Foundation Subjects. Past projects have been drawn from a range of subject areas, including Medical Law, Human Rights Law, Commercial Law, International Law, Family Law, Media Law and Sports Law.

Extra-curricular activities

The Law School is home to an active student law society and offers a broad range of extra-curricular activities. You can get involved with Mooting and Negotiations Competitions, as well as the recently introduced Client Interviewing Competition. Pro bono activities, offered through the UEA Law Clinic, include Street Law, The Innocence Project and The Humanitarian Law Project, as well as the Free Legal Advice Scheme run in partnership with Norfolk Community Law Scheme.

Qualifying and careers in the Law

Our Graduate Diploma is accredited for the purposes of solicitors' and barristers' academic stage requirements. A member of faculty acts as Director of Careers and works alongside the Law adviser in the University's Careers and Employability Service to offer an Annual Legal Careers Fair and a programme of career focused events. The Law School also runs an internship programme, providing opportunities for work experience in legal environments, including law firms and in-house legal departments.

Frequently asked questions

Can I get any exceptions from modules in the Common Professional Examination (CPE)?

The Law Society of England and Wales website has details of exceptions.

Where can I find details of the CPE and also of the Legal Practice Course (LPC)?

The Central Applications Board website has a wealth of information on the CPE and also details of all organisations that offer the LPC.

What is the career patch to becoming a solicitor or barrister?

The University's Careers and Employability Service has information on what you need to do to become a solicitor or barrister. The Law Society of England and Wales website also has advice on becoming a solicitor.

Course Modules 2018/9

Students must study the following modules for 160 credits:

Name Code Credits

CONSTITUTIONAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - GRADUATE DIPLOMA

This module covers Constitutional Law, Administrative Law and aspects of Human Rights - collectively these (intertwined) subjects are described as 'Public Law'. Public Law involves the study of rules, principles and practices relating to the way in which we are governed; this module explores the law that provides the framework for the UK's constitutional (and/or political) structure. We will consider the main principles of the United Kingdom's constitution, the key institutions of government and the relationship they have with each other. We will also look at the relationship between individuals and the state, notably when we cover judicial review and rights-protection under the UK's Human Rights Act. The underlying themes of the module are 'power and accountability' - both political and legal. It also is important to be aware that Public Law does not exist in a vacuum, rather both the historical and political context and recent developments and current affairs, are of particular relevance to this module.

LAW-5022A

20

CONTRACT LAW - GRADUATE DIPLOMA

You will consider the nature of contractual obligations, the legal principles which govern the formation, content and validity of contracts and the remedies available for breach of contractual obligations. It provides you with an understanding of the fundamental principles and key doctrines of the English law of contract.

LAW-5024B

20

EU LAW - GRADUATE DIPLOMA

This module provides you with an understanding of the key principles of the law of the European Union. It focuses on essential aspects of the internal market (the free movement of goods, workers and citizenship), and the relationship between EU Law and the national legal systems. In addition, the module teaches you how to retrieve and work with information about EU law from a range of sources and to develop your critical analysis skills.

LAW-5027A

20

LAND LAW - GRADUATE DIPLOMA

What does it mean to say "I own this land"? This module addresses this question and offers a number of surprising answers. You will consider the myriad of ways in which ownership of land can be affected by the interests of third parties. You will learn when these interests will bind an owner, and whether there are any mechanisms to remove those interests (thus making the land more valuable!) In addition, you will learn how ownership of land may carry with it rights over neighbouring land. You will begin your studies in Land Law by addressing the legal foundations of ownership. You will consider and offer opinions as to why there is no stringent statutory definition for 'land'. You will then engage with an analysis of a key distinction in Land Law: the difference between registered and unregistered land. For each, there are a variety of mechanisms for proving ownership of the land, protecting third party interests (e.g. rights of passage, or an 'easement'), and you will consider if any of those third-party interests may be removed. You will then consider how we use land; specifically, how cohabiting couples receive acknowledgement of their interests through a 'trust of land', and how 'mortgages' have developed a market for land. Land Law is taught through lectures, seminars, and self-guided study. In particular, you will benefit from an approach to teaching (the 'socio-legal' approach) which places the law within its broader social context.

LAW-5028A

20

LAW OF TORT - GRADUATE DIPLOMA

This module introduces the English Law of Tort. It provides an understanding of the fundamental principles and key doctrines that govern liability for wrongful acts and omissions. We will look at the duties that individuals owe to one another for tortious wrongs and the remedies that are available if a tortious act has been committed. The Law of Tort examines both case law and statutory law on specific torts such as negligence, torts against the person, nuisance, defamation and product liability.

LAW-5025B

20

LAW OF TRUSTS - GRADUATE DIPLOMA

This Autumn module is concerned with the creation of private express, resulting and constructive trusts. It considers the application of the trust in family and commercial contexts, and the duties and liabilities of trustees in the administration of trust.

LAW-5030A

20

PRINCIPLES OF CRIMINAL LAW - GRADUATE DIPLOMA

You'll be introduced to the core principles of English criminal law and given the opportunity to examine criminal laws in their social contexts. You'll examine the core principles through a series of illustrative case-studies. Topics will include: homicide; causation; non-fatal offences against the person; property offences; defences; inchoate liability; and complicity.

LAW-5023B

20

RESEARCH PROJECT - GRADUATE DIPLOMA

This module will enable you to conduct independent research into an area of law that interests you. It asks you to identify a topic, which you will examine through independent research under the guidance of a member of faculty, leading to the submission of a 5000 word piece of writing. The module will utilise and develop your legal skills. You should obtain a deeper knowledge of an area of law beyond the core modules, improve your legal research and writing skills, and develop your ability to think critically when approaching the law.

LAW-5029B

20

Disclaimer

Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Further Reading

  • Earlham Hall

    Following a major restoration project, UEA School of Law moved back to its former residence of Earlham Hall in the spring of 2014. Earlham Hall has been fully restored with newly refurbished offices, seminar rooms, a lecture theatre and substantial student space.

    Read it Earlham Hall
  • #ASKUEA

    Your University questions, answered.

    Read it #ASKUEA
  • ENHANCE YOUR CAREER CHOICES

    Whether you want to diversify or specialise – explore your options.

    Read it ENHANCE YOUR CAREER CHOICES

Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject Non Law degree (for UK Study)
  • Degree Classification Good 2.2 pass or international equivalent

Entry Requirement

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) and the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) specify eligibility requirements for the GDL.  All applicants are responsible for ensuring that they meet these eligibility requirements and are advised to consult the following websites prior to applying:

Bar Standards Board - https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk

Solicitor's Regulation Authority - www.sra.org.uk 

Applicants who have studied in the UK/Republic of Ireland should normally hold a good first degree in any subject, excluding Law.  Applicants who have studied outside of the UK should have the equivalent of a good first degree in any subject.  

The course starts two weeks prior to other programmes offered by the Law School; the induction programme for entry in September 2018 will commence on Monday 10 September 2018.

Please note that all students must attend the induction programme and pass a short piece of coursework in order to enter the Diploma course.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English. To ensure such students benefit from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:

  • IELTS: 7.0 (minimum 6.5 in reading and writing and minimum 6.0 in listening and speaking).
  • PTE (Pearson): 68 (minimum 62 in reading and writing and 55 in listening and speaking).

Test dates should be within two years of the course start date.

Other tests, including Cambridge English exams and the Trinity Integrated Skills in English are also accepted by the university. The full list of accepted tests can be found here: Accepted English Language Tests

INTO UEA also run pre-sessional courses which can be taken prior to the start of your course. For further information and to see if you qualify please contact intopre-sessional@uea.ac.uk

Special Entry Requirements

We welcome applications from students with non-standard degrees (i.e. a degree that is awarded without classification) or overseas degree holders of a standard equivalent to a 2:2.  Such applicants must, however, note the following;-

Applicants in this category wishing to qualify as a barrister 

Any applicant who has a degree other than a UK/Republic of Ireland undergraduate degree at 2:2 level or above and who wishes to qualify as a barrister will need to apply to the BSB for a Certificate of Academic Standing. This includes applicants with overseas undergraduate degrees and applicants with non-standard UK / Republic of Ireland Degrees.  Details of the process are available on the BSB website. Although we do not make admission to the GDL conditional upon having a Certificate of Academic Standing, it is important to note that such candidates will not be able to use the GDL as a step towards qualifying for the Bar (as opposed to becoming a solicitor) unless prior to admission to the GDL they have obtained the Certificate of Academic Standing from the BSB. It is their own responsibility to do this. Admission to the GDL does not imply either that the BSB's requirements as regards a Certificate of Academic Standing are met or that successful completion of the course will count towards qualification as a barrister if the student in question has not obtained a Certificate of Academic Standing as outlined above. 

Applicants in this category wishing to qualify as a solicitor

For applicants who wish to qualify as a solicitor, since July 2014 the Solicitor's Regulation Authority no longer requires applicants with overseas degrees to apply for Certificates of Academic Standing. 

Fees and Funding

Fees for the academic year 2018/19 are:

  • UK/EU Students: £7,300 (full time)
  • International Students: £15,800 (full time)

Living Expenses

We estimate living expenses at £1,015 per month

 

How to Apply

Applications for the Diploma are made through the centralised Central Applications Board.
Tel: +44(0)1483 451080.

Applicants who need to apply for a visa to study in the UK are advised that the process can take up to two months in some countries. Please make sure that applications are submitted to study in good time to obtain a visa.

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances with the Admissions Office prior to applying please do contact us: admissions@uea.ac.uk

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries:
    admissions@uea.ac.uk or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515