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Graduate Diploma in Law (Graduate Diploma)

Graduate Diploma in Law (Graduate Diploma)

Different course options

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

Graduate Diploma

Subject areas


Course type


Course Summary

If you have graduated in a subject other than law and would like to switch to a legal career, the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) is for you.

The GDL is a conversion course for students from a non-legal background. You’ll learn about the legal system in England and Wales and will study the core academic law modules in just one year, instead of the three years usually needed for a law degree (LLB). You’ll develop skills of legal reasoning and analysis, and how to present your findings clearly and effectively. We have an excellent reputation for the high standards of our GDL teaching, taught in a professional environment by friendly, experienced, and supportive tutors.

Our course is small compared to the large commercial providers. As a result, you’ll get to know your tutors and fellow students well through working in a friendly and supportive environment. Despite the intensity of any GDL course, ours is structured so that, apart from the first fortnight, all teaching contact time takes place on Thursdays and Fridays, allowing you to organise your time in the rest of the week as suits you best.

While on the course you’ll also benefit from excellent employability support from our dedicated Careers Advisor who organises a wealth of talks, workshops and other events with legal employers. If you’re not yet sure of your ultimate career plans, you can be sure of gaining an excellent all-round education in legal principles and the legal reasoning skills of lawyers.

Career prospects

Qualification as a barrister

Our GDL includes the core subjects you need to progress to a Bar Training Course (BTC) which we also offer. More information on qualifying as a barrister can be found on the Bar Standards Board website.

Qualification as a solicitor

The Solicitors' Regulation Authority (SRA), the body which regulates the profession, has changed the recognised route to qualification.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For tuition fees for this course, please visit our website.

International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

For tuition fees for this course, please visit our website.

Entry requirements

The usual academic requirement in an Honours degree from a UK university in a non-law subject, Class 2.2 or above. Applicants from overseas or with non-standard qualifications must apply for a Certificate of Academic Standing from the Bar Standards Board (if you are planning on qualifying as a barrister). Subject to those, the following criteria will be taken into account: academic record; the applicant’s personal statement; reference from the applicant’s referee; degree of commitment to the legal profession (shown, for example, by placements with solicitors’ firms or equivalent experience); general work experience; reasons for wanting to study the GDL at Cardiff; date on which the application is received by Cardiff University; order of preference of institution and any special personal reasons affecting ability to study elsewhere. This is a conversion course. Conversion courses allow you to study a subject unrelated to your undergraduate degree or current career and support you with a change of career path. No prior knowledge or degree in the subject is required.