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Graduate Diploma in Law / Common Professional Examination GDL/CPE

Graduate Diploma in Law / Common Professional Examination GDL/CPE

Different course options

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

Graduate Diploma

Subject areas

Law / Legal Studies

Course type


Course Summary

Northumbria’s GDL is taught using a practical, student-focused approach providing a solid grounding in the major areas of law.

It covers the foundations of legal knowledge which are taught by means of lectures and seminars. Students are provided with comprehensive study materials and textbooks to support their studies.

At the beginning of the programme students are required to study the English Legal System by means of a pre-attendance package and induction programme.

In addition, students must study the following seven subjects, which are stipulated by the professional bodies as being the foundations of legal knowledge:

  • Contract Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Equity and Trusts
  • European Union Law
  • Property Law
  • Public Law
  • Law of Tort

All students are required to undertake research into a further area of law. Past options have included Company Law, Employment Law, Family Law, Evidence, Shipping Law, Space Law and Sports Law. Students receive initial guidance on the subject and advice on how to conduct legal research.


The module is designed to provide students with a sound knowledge base for Public law, which is a ‘core’ Law Society module. At the end of the module the students should have a working knowledge of the constitution and the issues surrounding it. In addition they should have a working knowledge of police powers, the law relating to public order and judicial review.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

Please refer to the university website for more details on the fee.

International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

Please refer to the university website for more details on the fee.

Entry requirements

Applications for this programme must be made through the Law Society Central Applications Board (CAB). Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree in any subject from a UK or Republic of Ireland Higher Education Institution or a Certificate or Academic Standing from the Law Society or the Bar Council. Applicants who have previously studied four or more of the foundation subjects may obtain an exemption from those subjects. If you are granted a certificate of exemption, the certificate must be shown to us at enrolment. Applications for exemption should be made to the Solicitors Regulation Authority or the Bar Standards Board. Please note that students with exemptions who pass the outstanding subjects will pass the programme, but will not generally be awarded the Diploma.

University information

Northumbria is an innovative and pioneering university with a mission to ‘Take on Tomorrow’. Through cultivating the next generation of visionaries and innovators, Northumbria empowers students to challenge the status quo and tackle tomorrow’s challenges head on. Northumbria is a research-rich, business-focused university with a keen focus on professional practice and a global reputation for academic excellence. It is also renowned for its...more

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