Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL/CPE)

Course Summary

The Graduate Diploma in Law/Common Professional Examination (GDL/CPE) from Bournemouth University is a two year part-time course, intended primarily for non-law graduates planning to enter the legal profession but equally relevant to those wishing to gain a thorough grounding in the law.

This course is currently under review by Bournemouth University, subject to the outcome of the review by the Bar Standards Board and the Solicitors Regulatory Authority on the future requirements for barrister and solicitor training.


The course covers the foundations of legal knowledge required by The Law Society and The General Council of the Bar. It comprises eight taught units. Additionally, students have the opportunity to research and write a paper on a further area of law in which they have a special interest, and may wish to pursue in the future. 

The units are:

Legal System, Process & Skills - Another Area of Law
First, the unit provides a knowledge of the main characteristics of the English legal system and an understanding of the main legal methodologies. Through building on previously acquired transferable academic skills, it initiates work with legal sources, legal process and legal reasoning and, in particular, legal research. The unit aims to place you in a position to become more effective in Stage 2 where legal research and other skills will be developed further.

Second, the unit aims to provide you with exposure to another area of law other than those specified by the professional bodies as foundation subjects. Such exposure is a requirement of the Joint Academic Stage Board.

Law of Contract
This unit builds on the Legal System, Process and Skills unit, ensuring that students have the ability to find relevant legal sources and materials and to apply the law in a range of formats. This unit links directly with Land Law and European Law and the Law of Torts. It is relevant to all areas of the course where a systematic and structured approach is required.

Law of Torts
At the end of this unit you will gain a sound understanding and appreciation of relevant theories, concepts and principles of the Law of Torts.

Land Law
This unit aims to provide a critical understanding of the general foundations of Land Law.

Law of Trusts
This unit links with Land Law, especially in relation to the division between legal and equitable ownership and in relation to trusts of land.

Constitutional & Administrative Law
On completion of this unit you will demonstrate understanding of the principles and foundations of Constitutional and Administrative Law.

Criminal Law
You will gain a sound understanding of the foundations of criminal liability with particular reference to the major offences.

Law of European Union
You will gain an appreciation of European legal method, the relationship of European Community law to the English legal system, and of particular areas of substantive law.

Course Benefits

To be eligible to undertake the Graduate Diploma in Law, delegates require a 1st or 2nd class Honours degree or equivalent professional overseas qualification.

Applicants with appropriate experiential qualifications may also be eligible. In addition, the course is a highly valued qualification in its own right, facilitating entry to a wide range of career opportunities as well as to the legal profession.

We can offer you a learning environment with the focused support and attention that is only possible with a small cohort. You will benefit from an individually designed teaching programme enriched by the experience and research interests of our teaching team of academic and professional lawyers.

For further information please contact Kate Lenfestey on either [email protected] or 721555.

Tutor Profile

Jeff Wale entered legal practice in 1992 and qualified as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court in 1994. In 1999 he became a partner in the national firm of Berrymans Lace Mawer where he acted for insurers, professionals, public bodies and education/health care providers. His commercial legal experience includes occupational disease, abuse, harassment and education related claims. Jeff also has significant appellate court experience including a successful claim against the UK in the European Court of Human Rights. In 2010 Jeff moved into teaching and is now programme leader for the Graduate Diploma in Law at Bournemouth University. His research centres on healthcare law & bioethics as he has a particular interest in medical decision making at the beginning of life.

Course at a Glance

  • Next Start Dates: New dates TBA
  • CPD Points: 56
  • Course Cost: £7,800.00
  • Course Length: 2 years part-time

There are no dates currently available for this course, If you would like to register your interest please complete the form below:

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