University of Plymouth

Law (GDL)

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Location: Main Site


Study mode full-time

Degree: PG Diploma

Start Date: 2019/09/09

Duration: -

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(Law and legal studies)

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Are you aiming to be a solicitor or barrister but don’t have a law degree? Take our fast-track route for non-law graduates or those with older law degrees. This intensive postgraduate conversion programme is designed to get you up to speed with the essential knowledge and skills of academic law so you can advance your studies and begin your career in the legal profession. You will meet practising lawyers during the early stages of the course through Plymouth Law School’s established connections with the solicitors profession and the Bar in Devon and Cornwall. You’ll have the opportunity to gain valuable experience with clients, employers and agencies through our well-established Law Clinic.

  • Meet practising lawyers during the early stages of the course through Plymouth Law School’s established connections with the solicitors profession and the Bar in Devon and Cornwall.
  • Learn your practice while making a difference to real clients with work experience placements supported by our well-connected Law Clinic.
  • Benefit from working with a faculty of highly qualified law and criminal justice staff who provide a great mix of research-informed and practice-led teaching.
  • Develop knowledge and understanding of the key foundation areas of law (public law, EU law, law of contract, law of tort, criminal law, land law and equity and trusts), and in an additional area of law of your choosing.
  • Get to grips with the workings of the English legal system.
  • Gain the key skills needed to become a lawyer, such as legal research, problem solving and critical judgement.
  • Acquire the ability to construct and present an argument using legal materials, and be able to evaluate the merits of multiple perspectives.
  • Take part in a range of competitions and social activities as a member of our highly successful, student-run Student Law Society. You’ll get the opportunity to network with high-profile guest speakers and prospective employers.
  • Deepen your understanding and insight through a sophisticated array of online resources.
  • Learn valuable transferable skills. Potential employers will value your maturity, high level of motivation, expertise in another discipline and, in some cases, successful work experience.

University of Plymouth courses and their application deadlines may be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. For the latest updates and the most accurate information, please contact our counsellors.


Entry requirements

You must have at least a Second Class Honours degree or equivalent from a UK (or Irish) university or a Certificate of Academic Standing issued by the Solicitors Regulation Authority or the Bar Council. The degree will normally be in a subject other than law, although the programme is also suited to you if you have studied law but not obtained a qualifying law degree, or if your qualifying law degree is out of date. If you don’t have an English Language qualification and obtain a Certificate of Academic Standing, you’ll be required to achieve an overall IELTS score of 6.5 (with a minimum of of 5.5 in listening, reading, speaking and writing). If you’ve studied law before it’s possible that you may be entitled to exemption from part or all of the GDL, but still be able to complete the academic stage of training as far as the Solicitors Regulation Authority or Bar Council are concerned. If you’ve studied four or more foundations of legal knowledge in recent years it’s worth contacting the Solicitors Regulation Authority or the Bar Council to discuss exemptions. They make decisions on any exemptions but we’d be happy to offer advice and assistance in the process of seeking exemption. Exemptions must be obtained and confirmed before commencing the GDL.

Language qualifications

IELTS (Academic): 6.5

About this university

International students

Around 10% of the student body are from outside the UK with around 100 countries represented. There is a team of international student advisors on hand to help with the transition to life in Plymouth and are available through a dedicated centre. There is also an English language centre for those wanting to work on their skills with the national language and a series of information for applications on the website including by country. There is also help on matters such as immigration and visas, working during studies and bringing family members to the country. Extracurricular activities are managed through the Student Union as well as support and advice services and a number of entertainment venues. In the main union building, there is a bar, a lounge and a private event room that has a dance floor and regular live DJs. There is also an advice centre ranging from financial to academic advice and two shops. The union organises a number of annual events including a summer ball and music events. There are over 100 societies on offer to involve students outside the classroom so there is something for all tastes. These range from academic and interest to cultural and faith groups as well as volunteering and fundraising opportunities, media and performing arts groups even politics and campaigning. There are an additional 50 sports clubs and teams including traditional sports such as swimming, football and rugby to newer sports and activities.

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