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Graduate Diploma in Law / Common Professional Examination GDL/CPE 

Image: Graduate Diploma in Law / Common Professional Examination GDL/CPE COURSE INFORMATION (2014 ENTRY)

1 year full-time

Business and Law
Law and NBS Building, City Campus East

For detailed information about the Graduate Diploma in Law including careers support, student experiences and events click here. Read on for basic course information.


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 my means of lectures, group sessions and seminars. Students are provided with comprehensive study materials, textbooks and step-by-step workbooks 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. The Law School offers a range of options including Company Law, Commercial Law, Employment Law, Family Law, Evidence and Legal History among others. Students receive initial guidance on the subject and advice on how to conduct legal research.

Successful GDL students who continue to study at Northumbria are guaranteed a place on the LPC and are entitled to a substantial discount off LPC or BPTC fees. 


Applications for this programme must be made online through the Central Applications Board, accessible at


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Northumbria University has taken reasonable care to ensure that the information published is accurate at the time of publication. However, the University gives no warranty or representation as to the quality, accuracy or completeness of the information.