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The award
Graduate Diploma

How long you will study
1 year

Domestic course fees
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How you will study

Course starts

International course fees
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All study options

About Law at Nottingham Trent University

For non-Law graduates interested in becoming a solicitor or barrister, this course is the stepping stone to the Legal Practice Course or Bar Professional Training Course and a career as a solicitor or barrister in the UK. The course is approved by the Law Society and Bar Standards Board.

Why choose this course?

  • It provides non-Law graduates with a route to becoming a solicitor or barrister in the UK.
  • It's accredited by the Joint Academic Stage Board.
  • You can gain legal work experience through our award-winning pro bono programme, including a Legal Advice Centre for the local community.
  • We offer a Commercial Awareness / Business Skills module which will help you to increase your employability.
  • Students who successfully complete this course are guaranteed a place on Nottingham Law School's highly regarded LLM Legal Practice Course (LLM LPC). Successful candidates intending to be barristers are also looked upon favourably for a place on our LLM Bar Professional Training Course. We encourage you to submit your application as early as possible to avoid disappointment. These courses can reach maximum capacity prior to the course start date.
  • You will be taught in small groups by supportive teaching staff.
  • Scholarships are available.
  • Our summer schools programme will provide you with an insight into international law.

How you're taught

The Law School has a reputation for teaching Law in a practical and relevant way. Our GDL aims to combine academic study with a practical focus. Lectures and tutorials are designed to encourage interactive learning, where students learn by doing in small groups rather than by passive listening in old-style "chalk and talk" lectures. Weekly tutorials are designed to allow time for consolidation and analysis.

There are six or seven one-hour lectures and six or seven one-hour tutorials per week, plus significant independent study. Modules are taught on weekdays, with class hours usually between 9 am and 5 pm. Depending on your timetable you may be expected to attend more than one a day.

Lecture Capture

Having listened to student feedback, Nottingham Trent University have implemented a Lecture Capture procedure. Available in all teaching rooms that have a capacity of at least 50 students, significant investments have been made to provide our students with this audio-visual facility on all of our campuses. Where possible, the majority of lectures will be available for our students to access as recordings that are synchronised with presentation slides. This provides students with a great tool for recapping on lectures and revision.


You will be assessed by a combination of in-course assessments (approximately 30%) and end-of-year examinations (approximately 70%).

Careers and employability

Your future career

Successful completion of this course guarantees you a place on our excellent-rated LLM Legal Practice Course (LLM LPC) for intending solicitors. It also enables you to progress on to the LLM Bar Professional Training Course (LLM BPTC) for intending barristers.

At Nottingham Law School we do not view the GDL in isolation, but as part of a two-year programme with the LLM LPC or LLM BPTC. We have a dedicated careers and placements service, which provides practical advice and will support you in your search for a training contract or pupillage. Many firms will appreciate your well-rounded knowledge and the commitment demonstrated by completing the GDL, and even if you decide not to pursue a career as a solicitor or barrister, you will have gained a range of transferable skills that will be highly valued by employers.

Continuing professional development

Nottingham Law School also offers a suite of practice-based practitioner programmes specifically designed to meet the personal development needs of legal practitioners. We offer courses that qualify for CPD with the Solicitors Regulation Authority, in-house training, and bespoke programmes. These courses are highly flexible and can be delivered throughout the year both nationally and internationally.

There are opportunities to get involved with pro bono projects and Nottingham Law School's Legal Advice Centre, which enable you to gain practical legal work experience.

Our aim is to provide reliable, high-quality legal advice and information to the local community and individuals in need. It also provides practical experience for you to undertake your professional legal training at Nottingham Law School.


  • The £13 million Boots Library has a wide range of both print and online resources, as well as 24-7 IT facilities, group and individual study spaces.
  • mock courtrooms provide realistic environments for advocacy and mooting.
  • our Legal Advice Centre is fully regulated,  meaning you can gain pro bono experience in a professional environment.
  • the redeveloped Newton and Arkwright buildings will provide you with an inspiring place to learn.
  • our virtual learning environment (NOW)  allows you to learn online at any time.
  • 3,000 student open access PC's and 300 secure wireless access points.
  • a City site Students' Union building giving you an exceptional array of social, leisure and well-being facilities.

Study options for this course

Entry requirements

Undergraduate degree (2.2 or above).

Applicants should ensure that their referee provides a full reference in support of their application.

Certificate of Academic Standing (CAS)

The course is only open to those holding qualifications approved by the SRA or Bar Standards Board under the regulations in force from time to time. Anyone with non-standard qualifications may need to obtain a Certificate of Academic Standing (CAS) from either the Bar Standards Board or Solicitors Regulation Authority before they enrol on the GDL.

Full details of who is required to obtain this Certificate can be found on the relevant website:

Bar Standards Board

Solicitors Regulation Authority

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our postgraduate degrees. If you're not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

Foundation courses

If you need to do a foundation course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you're already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our foundation and pre-masters courses page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please contact our international team for advice.

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