If you are interested in a career in law and you have a degree or management experience, then the Graduate Diploma in Law is the fastest way to complete the academic stage of training in order to become a practising solicitor or barrister.
The Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), also known as the Common Professional Exam (CPE), is a conversion programme enabling:
- graduates in any non-law subject
- overseas law graduates
- those holding non-qualifying law degrees
- non-graduates/mature students with significant vocational/professional experience
to convert to a career in law.
After completing the GDL/CPE, students intending to become barristers can progress to the Bar Practice Training Course (BPTC) before starting as pupil barristers; students intending to become solicitors progress to the Legal Practice Course (LPC) before starting as trainees.
The Aston Law GDL can be studied:
- Full-time – over one year (classes timetabled two days a week)
- Part-time – over two years (classes timetabled one day a week)
- By distance learning/blended learning – over two years.
These pathways are flexible and you can transfer between study modes, allowing you to fit the course around your work and other commitments.
Our GDL is carefully designed to equip students who have little or no prior knowledge of law with the knowledge and skills necessary to progress and successfully complete the course.
The first module you will study at Aston Law is Introduction to Law and Legal Research (ILLR)
, which examines the English legal system and basic legal research skills. You will then proceed to the core law modules.
There are seven foundation modules prescribed by the professional bodies (the Solicitors Regulation Authority
and the Bar Council
). These modules are taught using a highly effective combination of lecturers, tutorials and workshops.
- Contract Law
- Law of Torts
- Criminal Law
- Public Law
- Law of the European Union
- Land Law
- The Law of Equity and Trusts
You will also undertake an extended essay as part of your studies. The Legal Research Essay will help you develop professional legal skills and research skills.
Exemptions from GDL modules
In certain circumstances it may be possible to obtain exemption from a particular core module or modules, for example if you have previously studied law at undergraduate level or if you have a Scottish law degree.
You will need to contact the relevant professional body to request an exemption certificate.
If you think that you may be eligible for exemption please contact us at email@example.com and we will be happy to offer guidance.