Postgraduate providers / Plymouth University

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Law (GDL)

Are you aiming to be a solicitor or barrister but don't have a law degree? Take our fast-track route for non-law graduates or those with older law degrees. This intensive postgraduate conversion programme is designed to get you up to speed with the essential knowledge and skills of academic law so you can advance your studies and begin your career in the legal profession.

You will meet practising lawyers during the early stages of the course through Plymouth Law School's established connections with the solicitors profession and the Bar in Devon and Cornwall. You'll have the opportunity to gain valuable experience with clients, employers and agencies through our well-established Law Clinic.

* Meet practising lawyers during the early stages of the course through Plymouth Law School's established connections with the solicitors profession and the Bar in Devon and Cornwall.
* Learn your practice while making a difference to real clients with work experience placements supported by our well-connected Law Clinic.
* Benefit from working with a faculty of highly qualified law and criminal justice staff who provide a great mix of research-informed and practice-led teaching.
* Develop knowledge and understanding of the key foundation areas of law (public law, EU law, law of contract, law of tort, criminal law, land law and equity and trusts), and in an additional area of law of your choosing.
* Get to grips with the workings of the English legal system.
* Gain the key skills needed to become a lawyer, such as legal research, problem solving and critical judgement.
* Acquire the ability to construct and present an argument using legal materials, and be able to evaluate the merits of multiple perspectives.
* Take part in a range of competitions and social activities as a member of our highly successful, student-run Student Law Society. You'll get the opportunity to network with high-profile guest speakers and prospective employers.
* Deepen your understanding and insight through a sophisticated array of online resources.
* Learn valuable transferable skills. Potential employers will value your maturity, high level of motivation, expertise in another discipline and, in some cases, successful work experience.

Entry requirements

You must have at least a Second Class Honours degree or equivalent from a UK (or Irish) university or a Certificate of Academic Standing issued by the Solicitors Regulation Authority or the Bar Council. The degree will normally be in a subject other than law, although the programme is also suited to you if you have studied law but not obtained a qualifying law degree, or if your qualifying law degree is out of date.

If you don't have an English Language qualification and obtain a Certificate of Academic Standing, you'll be required to achieve an overall IELTS score of 6.5 (with a minimum of of 5.5 in listening, reading, speaking and writing).

If you've studied law before it's possible that you may be entitled to exemption from part or all of the GDL, but still be able to complete the academic stage of training as far as the Solicitors Regulation Authority or Bar Council are concerned. If you've studied four or more foundations of legal knowledge in recent years it's worth contacting the Solicitors Regulation Authority or the Bar Council to discuss exemptions. They make decisions on any exemptions but we'd be happy to offer advice and assistance in the process of seeking exemption. Exemptions must be obtained and confirmed before commencing the GDL.

Course modules

Core modules:

* Introduction to Law and Practice
* Public Law
* Contract Law
* Land Law
* Criminal law
* Law of Tort
* Law of the European Union
* Equity and Trusts
* Legal Research Project.

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University's curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University's policies and requirements.

Assessment methods

Assessment is by a mix of coursework (essays and problem-based case study analysis) and examination in all of the foundation subjects, except EU Law which is assessed by examination only. Before starting the course students study the English Legal System Foundation Course (10 credits, level 1).

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