This course covers the foundations of legal knowledge required by The Law Society and The General Council of the Bar. It has eight taught units.
You'll have the opportunity to research and write a paper on a further area of law that interests you, and that you may wish to pursue in the future.
You can study this course full-time for one year or part-time for two years at our Talbot Campus, or part-time for two years at the GTA University Centre in Guernsey.
- Legal System, Process & Skills: Learn about the main characteristics of the English legal system and legal methodologies. Through building on previously gained transferable academic skills, the unit initiates work with legal sources, processes and reasoning and, in particular, legal research. You'll be placed in a position to become more effective in Stage 2 where research and other skills will be developed further. Another aim of this unit is to expose you to an area of law outside of those specified by the professional bodies as foundation subjects.
- Law of Contract: This unit builds on the Legal System, Process and Skills unit, ensuring you can find legal sources and materials and apply the law to a range of formats. This unit links directly with the Land Law, European Union Law and the Law of Torts units. It's relevant to all areas of the course where you'll need a systematic and structured approach.
- Law of Torts: Gain a sound understanding and appreciation of theories and principles of the Law of Torts.
- Land Law: Develop your understanding of the foundations of Land Law.
- Law of Trusts: This unit links with Land Law, especially on the division between legal and equitable ownership and in relation to trusts of land.
- Constitutional & Administrative Law: After completing this unit, you'll be able to show an understanding of Constitutional and Administrative Law.
- Criminal Law: Learn about the foundations of criminal liability with particular reference to the major offences.
- European Union Law: Appreciate the European legal method, the relationship of European community law to the English legal system and particular areas of substantive law.
- Another Area of Law: You'll take another unit covering another area of law.
Skipping individual units
If you've studied any of these areas of law before and want to apply to skip a unit, your application must be made with evidence before you start the course. We usually ask for transcripts, syllabus and unit specifications. We may also ask you to have a short telephone interview with the course leader.
To skip a unit, you'll need to apply to:
- BU if you are considering the Legal Practice course or Solicitor route to legal qualification.
- The Bar Standards Board if you are considering the BPTC or Barrister route to qualification.
The Bar Standards Board will not recognise any decisions we make about skipping units. If you are in any doubt about your future career path, you should make separate applications to the Bar Standards Board and BU.
Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.
Download the programme specification for Graduate Diploma in Law/CPE.
Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.
Background & experience
For the Graduate Diploma in Law we are looking for applicants who:
- Are non-law graduates planning on entering the legal profession
- Show commitment to their studies
- Have previous experience of working to strict deadlines
- Have excellent research skills.
Information on the type of applicant sought
This course will suit non-law graduates with a keen interest in law. You'll be looking to develop your legal knowledge in order to enter a legal profession or for career progression. We encourage applications from those with an appreciation of the legal system and enthusiasm to learn new skills.
We’ll be selecting the candidates for this course by looking at their applications. Applicants who do not meet the minimum entry criteria may be invited to interview. We would encourage you to make sure your application really stands out from the crowd, and leave us in no doubt as to why you should be joining BU. For more information, take a look at our post graduate how to apply pages.
Full entry requirements
The normal requirements for embarking on a postgraduate taught degree are:
- Equivalent overseas qualifications (involving at least 3 years full time study) or
- Meet the requirements of the Solicitors Regulation Authority/ The Bar Standards Board for entry as a mature student or
- Equivalent academic or vocational qualifications that meet the requirements of the Solicitors Regulation Authority/ The Bar Standards Board.
For further information on the entry requirements please see the following regulators' web pages:
If you lack the formal academic qualifications needed to enter a postgraduate or post-experience degree, there are several alternative routes to follow. Some of these are based on experience. Contact our AskBU Enquiry Service for more information.
International entry requirements
If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:
- IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in writing and 5.5 in each component of speaking, listening and reading, or equivalent.
View further information about our English language requirements.
A number of pre-sessional English and preparatory programmes are offered through our partner institution, Bournemouth University International College, and will get you ready for study at BU at the appropriate level.
You can also find further details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our international entry requirements page.
Some of our Graduate Diploma in Law Graduates are now undertaking roles such as:
- Legal secretary
- Associate director
- Senior lawyer.
Some of the companies that our Graduate Diploma in Law Graduates are now working for are:
- 3PB Barristers
- Harold G Walker Solicitors
- Court of Justice
- Spoor & Fisher.
Industries worked In
After completing this course, we will offer you a guaranteed place at BU on our Legal Practice Course (LPC). The LPC is the vocational stage of training for solicitors. If you're interested in qualifying as a barrister, you can seek advice on the Bar Vocational Course from barristers in the law team.