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Graduate Diploma in Law

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  • Objectives
    This is an intensive postgraduate conversion course designed for graduates in subjects other than law who wish to qualify to take either the Legal Practice Course (to become solicitors) or the Bar Vocational Course (to become barristers). The course aims to develop an understanding of the English legal system, to provide a thorough grounding in the foundations of legal knowledge and to train you in the professional skills of legal research, analysis and presentation in a friendly and nurturing environment. You may choose your own title for your research dissertation, subject to approval, which gives you the early opportunity to specialise in an area of particular interest to you.
  • Entry requirements
    Applicants must normally possess a degree with at least second class Honours, or equivalent, and must provide a satisfactory reference from either their university or employer.
  • Academic Title
    Graduate Diploma in Law
  • Course description
    Course structure
    Following a two-week induction, the course comprises seven taught modules plus a research dissertation in a subject of your own choice. There are additional coursework essays and a case and statute analysis test. The seven taught modules are the foundation subjects prescribed by the CPE Board on behalf of the Law Society and General Council of the Bar:

    -Criminal Law
    -Obligations A (Contract)
    -Obligations B (Tort)
    -Property Law A (Land Law)
    -Property Law B (Equity and Trusts)
    -Public and EU Law A
    -Public and EU Law B

    The course is taught from Mondays to Thursdays. Students - whether full time or part time - may choose between day or evening study or combine both. All students must attend from Monday to Thursday during the first two weeks of the course, though again this may be done either during the day or in the evening.

    Assessment
    Assessment includes an examination in each of the seven foundation subjects (each worth 10% of the total assessment); a research essay in a legal area entirely of the student's own choice. (worth 10%); four short essays covering different areas of the foundation subjects (worth a total of 10%); and a case and statute analysis exercise (worth 10%). There is also a test on the English legal system, which you must pass but which does not normally count towards your final assessment.

    Career opportunities
    On graduation you will be eligible to undertake either the Legal Practice Course or the Bar Vocational Course, and from there to proceed either to a training contract with a firm of solicitors or a pupillage in a barrister's chambers. The CPE is a well-recognised route to a legal career, and many employers in the legal field actively favour postgraduate students who have a proven expertise outside the area of law. Success on the CPE will also enable you to apply to take an LLM if you wish to pursue an academic career or simply to expand your legal knowledge.

    Attendance & duration

    Full-time: 1 year, 4 days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday)
    Part-time (eve): 2 years, two evenings a week (5.30pm to 9pm) (Monday and Wednesday for year one; Tuesday and Thursday for year two)
    Part-time (day): 2 years, two days a week (Monday and Wednesday for year one; Tuesday and Thursday for year two)

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