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Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) (Distance Learning)

Leeds Beckett University

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Course options

  • Qualification

    Graduate Diploma

  • Location

    Leeds Beckett University

  • Study mode

    Distance / Online

  • Start date


  • Duration

    1 year

Course summary


Designed to be as flexible as possible to meet your needs, this course and all assessments are delivered entirely online with no live classes for you to attend.

This conversion course will help you on your journey into the legal profession if you do not have a first degree in law. Delivered through our Virtual Learning Environment, this qualification and our LLM Laws of England & Wales cover the key foundation subjects needed to complete the academic stage of your training to become a solicitor or barrister as required by the major professional bodies in law. As a student of Leeds Law School, you will be able to access a wide range of law textbooks online for free through Law Trove, a subscription-only service offered by Oxford University Press.

Changes to legal education and training

Legal education and training has been subject to a detailed review by professional regulators in the legal sector. The review has examined the routes to qualification as a solicitor or barrister.

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) no longer requires the study of a 'Qualifying Law Degree' (QLD), however, the study of what are referred to as the 'legal foundations of knowledge' is still required before the vocational stage of bar training. Our GDL course and our LLM version meet this requirement.

In addition, the route to qualification as a solicitor is changing. If you're starting this course in September 2021, and have accepted your offer no later than 31 August 2021, you'll have the option to qualify as a solicitor under the existing route during the ‘transitional period’, or the via Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE). If you accept after 31 August 2021 different provisions apply. For full details of the transitional period and the new SQE, please see the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) published guidance. Further information can be found by visiting additional SRA web pages Solicitors Qualifying Examination and Common Protocol on the Academic Stage of training.

There are many universities offering a distance learning GDL and after extensive research I selected Leeds Beckett. It was my first ever experience of studying online, however the university did not disappoint as the overall course was structured professionally and the emails and alerts from the course tutor kept me up to date. I had the luxury of studying from anywhere, however it never felt like I was just studying online because of the continuous interaction with classmates and tutors. Kamran Ilyas Raja; Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) (Distance Learning)

As a full-time employee it was extremely difficult for me to start a taught course in the UK mainly due to time constraints. However, the online GDL offered by Leeds Beckett University solved my problem. It gave me the opportunity to study in my own time with a flexible timetable whilst sticking with my professional assignments at work. On completion of my GDL I aim to undertake the LPC. Ramzan Ali, Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) (Distance Learning).

You will learn using our Virtual Learning Environment, supported by academic staff with extensive teaching and legal experience. Choosing to study this flexible distance learning course enables you to fit your learning around your current lifestyle and commitments.

Leeds Law School regularly welcomes guest speakers in prominent legal positions and you will be able to access their lectures digitally if you are unable to attend on-campus. You will be able to hear from experts like Catherine Dixon, Chief Executive of The Law Society for England and Wales, discuss what the future might have in store for the solicitors' profession.

Our Careers Service is on hand to support you with all aspects of planning your career, including writing your CV, job applications and how to make the most of industry and graduate fairs.

Application deadline

31 July 2021

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 8,000per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

Leeds Beckett University

  • University League Table


  • Campus address

    Leeds Beckett University, City Campus, Leeds, Leeds, LS1 3HE, England

Leeds Beckett University is a global university, with an alumni community based in 153 countries around the world.
Degrees available to study in-country in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nepal and Singapore. In-country staff provide application support and advice.
International students are eligible for scholarships of up to £5,000.

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    64th out of 104 32

  • Entry standards

    / Max 231
    102 45%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    68.0 68%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    3.91 78%



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