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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 by means of lectures and seminars. Students are provided with comprehensive study materials and textbooks 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:

  • Contract Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Equity and Trusts
  • European Union Law
  • Property Law
  • Public Law
  • Law of Tort

Studying these subjects satisfies the requirements of the Bar Standards Board and allows you to progress onto a Bar Course should you wish to pursue a career as a barrister. Completion of our GDL will allow you to progress onto our LLM in Professional Legal Practice which is designed to build on this foundational knowledge and to help you pass the SQE1 assessments. 

All students are required to undertake research into a further area of law. Past options have included Company Law, Employment Law, Family Law, Evidence, Shipping Law, Space Law and Sports Law. Students receive initial guidance on the subject and advice on how to conduct legal research.

We look forward to welcoming you on the course, any further information at this stage please contact Amanda Newby, Programme Leader.

Solicitors Qualifying Examination

Studying law? Or thinking of studying law?

Before September 2021 anyone wishing to qualify as a solicitor had to undertake the Legal Practice Course (LPC). The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) introduced the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) in September 2021.  The SQE is a national assessment for anyone who wants to qualify as a solicitor in England and Wales. It will provide a fair and consistent assessment for all candidates regardless of whether they have taken a law degree or qualified through new routes like the solicitor apprenticeship. The SQE will eventually replace the LPC entirely, but there is currently a period of transition.

Broadly, if you started your law degree, an exempting law degree or Common Professional Examination (CPE)/Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) before the SQE was introduced, you should still be able to qualify under the LPC route  (or you could choose to qualify under the new system).

Under the LPC system you must complete both the academic and vocational stages of training as well as meeting the character and suitability requirements to become a solicitor.

The academic stage is achieved by either a) a Qualifying Law Degree or b) a non-law degree in a different subject and completing the CPE/ GDL.

The vocational stage is completed by passing the LPC and undertaking two years of recognised training (known as a Training Contract). During the training contract, students will also undertake a final assessment as part of the Professional Skills Course (PSC).

In summary, under the LPC route to qualification it is necessary to::

  • Complete a QLD or a non-law degree followed by a CPE/GDL;
  • Complete the LPC;
  • Undertake a two-year period of recognised training (training contract); and
  • Complete the Professional Skills Course (PSC).

So how is solicitor qualification different under SQE?

The Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) is a new route to qualification as a solicitor from September 2021..

The introduction of SQE means that the assessments required to become a solicitor have been centralised with every aspiring solicitor sitting the same national assessment.  Under the SQE route to qualification to become a solicitor it is necessary to:

Have a degree or equivalent;

Pass the two stages of the SQE national assessment: SQE1 and SQE2;

Undertake a two-year period of work experience (known as Qualifying Work Experience); and

Meet the character and suitability requirements to become a solicitor.

The SQE Assessment is split into 2 stages: SQE1 and SQE2:

SQE1 – A test of your ‘functioning legal knowledge’ and application of law based on realistic client scenarios. This stage consists of 2 multiple choice papers of 180 questions each. To progress onto SQE2, the student must pass SQE1.

SQE 2 – A test of your practical legal skills including interviewing (notes and analysis), advocacy, research, drafting, writing, and case analysis.

As mentioned above, ‘Qualifying Work Experience’ (QWE) is also required as part of the SQE route. The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) anticipate that student’s gain this experience before sitting SQE2 although this is not a requirement. A minimum of two years full time equivalent is required and QWE is more flexible than the concept of a period of recognised training under the LPC route. Whilst many students may still choose to complete this requirement by undertaking one period of formal training with a law firm, work undertaken with up to 4 organisations can be used to satisfy the QWE requirement.  A greater range of work experience can also count now than previously. This new development provides students with more flexibility and gives students an opportunity to widen their knowledge through a greater range of work experience increasing the potential pathways to qualification.

There is a cost of sitting the SQE assessments, in addition to any course tuition fees. The SRA regularly updates information and guidance about how to qualify under the SQE system, so keep checking its website.

Dr Victoria Roper, Associate Professor at Northumbria University, answers crucial questions about the new Solicitors Qualifying Examination in the BBC's podcast series; Not All Lawyers Have Law Degrees

Course Information

Level of Study
Undergraduate

Mode of Study
1 year full-time

Department
Northumbria Law School

Location
City Campus, Northumbria University

City
Newcastle

Start
September 2023

Fee Information

Module Information

Discover more / Explore Northumbria University

Take a look at what Northumbria has to offer and discover what studying with us can do for you.

Entry Requirements 2023/24

Standard Entry

Applications for this programme must be made through the Law Society Central Applications Board (CAB) at www.lawcabs.ac.uk

Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree in any subject from a UK or Republic of Ireland Higher Education Institution or a Certificate or Academic Standing from the Law Society or the Bar Council.

Applicants who have previously studied four or more of the foundation subjects may obtain an exemption from those subjects. If you are granted a certificate of exemption, the certificate must be shown to us at enrolment. Applications for exemption should be made to the Solicitors Regulation Authority or the Bar Standards Board. Please note that students with exemptions who pass the outstanding subjects will pass the programme, but will not generally be awarded the Diploma

For further admissions guidance and requirements, please visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/admissionsguidance Please review this information before submitting your application.

Fees and Funding 2023/24 Entry

Full UK Fee: £8,990

* The maximum tuition fee that we are permitted to charge for UK students is set by government. Tuition fees may increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, these are subject to government regulations and in line with inflation.


Full EU Fee: £8,990

Full International Fee: £8,990


Scholarships for 23/24 are currently being announced.  Please see the main Funding Pages for more information




ADDITIONAL COSTS

There are no Additional Costs

If you’d like to receive the latest updates from Northumbria about our courses, events, finance & funding then enter your details below.

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How to Apply

Please use the Apply Now button at the top of this page to submit your application.

Certain applications may need to be submitted via an external application system, such as UCAS, Lawcabs or DfE Apply.

The Apply Now button will redirect you to the relevant website if this is the case.

You can find further application advice, such as what to include in your application and what happens after you apply, on our Admissions Hub Admissions | Northumbria University



Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

LA0544 -

Public Law [CPE FT, CPE PT] (Core,15 Credits)

The module is designed to provide students with a sound knowledge base for Public law, which is a ‘core’ Law Society module. At the end of the module the students should have a working knowledge of the constitution and the issues surrounding it. In addition they should have a working knowledge of police powers, the law relating to public order and judicial review

More information

LA0545 -

Contract Law [CPE FT, CPE DL] (Core,15 Credits)

By the end of the module you should be able to:

explain what is required to form a contract, the impact of various terms of a contract, when a contract is invalidly formed, how a contract may be brought to an end, the remedies available upon a contract being broken and the principles of restitution;

identify areas of the law of contract where the law of tort provides an alternative cause of action;

read a case and formulate a principle of law upon which the decision in a case is based and identify other statements of law which are not necessary to decide a case;

analyse legislation, breaking sections into constituent parts and show how such parts apply to a body of facts;

construct legal advice and/or legal argument from the application of case law and legislation to a body of factual material;

analyse, evaluate and discuss contractual concepts;

research independently areas of contract law; and

demonstrate an ability to explain contractual principles clearly and succinctly in a written form.

More information

LA0546 -

Criminal Law [CPE FT, CPE DL,CPE EL] (Core,15 Credits)

This is a core module on the Graduate Diploma in law.

The aim of the module is to familiarize students with key issues and topics in substantive criminal law. Students will consider the nature, scope and function of the criminal law and will then be introduced to fundamental concepts concerning the elements of criminal liability (actus reus and mens rea). They will then study key offences including homicide, offences against the person (non-fatal offences and sexual offences), property offences (including dishonesty offences and criminal damage offences). Key defences will also be introduced at appropriate points, including mistake, intoxication, automatism, duress, necessity, self-defence / prevention of crime and consent. Topics relevant to participation in crime and inchoate offences will also be covered.

Students will be introduced (where appropriate) to policy issues arising from the substantive law and will consider proposals for reform. Aspects of aspects of comparative law will also be discussed.

At the conclusion of the course, students should have an understanding of the fundamental principles of criminal law, knowledge of key offences and the ability to apply the law to the facts of given case scenarios.

The module will be taught by way of lectures and seminars. Students will be required to undertake independent learning in preparation for seminars. These will take the form of case studies in which students will begin to develop the ability to apply the law to the facts of a case. Students will also be required to explain and analyse the law in relation to given topics in the context of essay questions. They will participate in discussions about the theory of substantive criminal offences and defences.

Assessment will take the form of a three-hour, unseen examination.

More information

LA0547 -

EU Law [CPE FT, CPE DL] (Core,15 Credits)

The module is designed to introduce students to the law and institutions of the European Union. It begins with an historical overview of the development of the EU from its origins in the 1951 European Coal & Steel Community to the present day EU. This is followed by a look at the EU’s institutions, with an emphasis on the European Court of Justice, and the various sources of EU law (this is consolidated in a special IT-based seminar on researching EU law). The module continues by examining the preliminary rulings procedure, the extent to which EU law can be enforced in national courts, state liability, European Citizenship – a rapidly developing area – and substantive EU law in the form of the free movement of goods, persons, establishment and services. A critical approach is fostered throughout.
The module is designed to develop students’ skills in legal research, critical analysis, and problem-solving.
The module is delivered by a combination of large group sessions, small group sessions and independent learning. Where appropriate, the module makes use of real and realistic scenarios and activities to add practical context to the students’ learning.

The module is assessed by a 3-hour, unseen, closed-book examination.

More information

LA0548 -

Property Law [CPE FT, CPE DL] (Core,15 Credits)

The overall aim of the module is to introduce students to some of the central principles of substantive English land law. Following its completion the students should be able to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of those principles.
The module will be delivered by a combination of large and small group sessions, directed learning and independent learning.

The module will be assessed by way of an end of year examination.

More information

LA0549 -

Tort [CPE FT, CPE DL] (Core,15 Credits)

The Law of Tort is concerned primarily with the circumstances in which one person may seek compensation for a civil wrong (other than a breach of contract) committed by another, and with the form and measure of compensation where liability is established. The overall aim is to provide students with an understanding of the principles of liability in relation to specific torts (such as negligence, nuisance and defamation), and of the way in which compensation is assessed, with reference in particular to personal injury claims (which in practice account for the vast majority of tort claims). The impact of the Human Rights Act will also be considered where relevant.
Assessment takes the form of a 3 hour examination.

More information

LA0550 -

Trusts [CPE FT, CPE DL] (Core,15 Credits)

This module introduces students to the substantive law of equity and trusts. It begins with an historical overview of the development of equity. This is followed by study of the creation of trusts (both express and implied). The next topic is Charitable trusts, an area which lends itself well to critical analysis. Next is non-charitable purpose trusts where students study the situations in which these trusts can be valid. Students then study the powers and duties of trustees, breach of trust and the remedies for this including tracing. A critical approach is fostered throughout.
The module is delivered by a combination of large group sessions, small group sessions and independent learning. Where appropriate, the module makes use of real and realistic scenarios and activities to add practical context to the students’ learning.

The module is assessed by a 3 hour unseen closed book exam which accounts for 100% of the overall module mark.

More information

LA0551 -

Further Area of Law [CPE FT, CPE DL] (Core,10 Credits)

In this module you will develop a critical understanding of an area of law outside of the foundations of legal knowledge as defined by the SRA and BSB.
The module will allow a degree of flexibility in choosing from a wide range of specific legal area. It will also enable the transfer and application of knowledge learned from the core legal areas to a specific area of study.

The areas available vary each year depending upon specialist tutor availability.

More information

LA0699 -

English Legal Systems MCT [CPE FT/CPE DL] (Core,5 Credits)

This module is a requirement of the GDL course and as an introductory module, it is delivered by way of a pre attendance packages and taught sessions during the induction sessions. It is examined by way of an MCQ test in October on a pass/fail basis.

More information

Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

LA0544 -

Public Law [CPE FT, CPE PT] (Core,15 Credits)

The module is designed to provide students with a sound knowledge base for Public law, which is a ‘core’ Law Society module. At the end of the module the students should have a working knowledge of the constitution and the issues surrounding it. In addition they should have a working knowledge of police powers, the law relating to public order and judicial review

More information

LA0545 -

Contract Law [CPE FT, CPE DL] (Core,15 Credits)

By the end of the module you should be able to:

explain what is required to form a contract, the impact of various terms of a contract, when a contract is invalidly formed, how a contract may be brought to an end, the remedies available upon a contract being broken and the principles of restitution;

identify areas of the law of contract where the law of tort provides an alternative cause of action;

read a case and formulate a principle of law upon which the decision in a case is based and identify other statements of law which are not necessary to decide a case;

analyse legislation, breaking sections into constituent parts and show how such parts apply to a body of facts;

construct legal advice and/or legal argument from the application of case law and legislation to a body of factual material;

analyse, evaluate and discuss contractual concepts;

research independently areas of contract law; and

demonstrate an ability to explain contractual principles clearly and succinctly in a written form.

More information

LA0546 -

Criminal Law [CPE FT, CPE DL,CPE EL] (Core,15 Credits)

This is a core module on the Graduate Diploma in law.

The aim of the module is to familiarize students with key issues and topics in substantive criminal law. Students will consider the nature, scope and function of the criminal law and will then be introduced to fundamental concepts concerning the elements of criminal liability (actus reus and mens rea). They will then study key offences including homicide, offences against the person (non-fatal offences and sexual offences), property offences (including dishonesty offences and criminal damage offences). Key defences will also be introduced at appropriate points, including mistake, intoxication, automatism, duress, necessity, self-defence / prevention of crime and consent. Topics relevant to participation in crime and inchoate offences will also be covered.

Students will be introduced (where appropriate) to policy issues arising from the substantive law and will consider proposals for reform. Aspects of aspects of comparative law will also be discussed.

At the conclusion of the course, students should have an understanding of the fundamental principles of criminal law, knowledge of key offences and the ability to apply the law to the facts of given case scenarios.

The module will be taught by way of lectures and seminars. Students will be required to undertake independent learning in preparation for seminars. These will take the form of case studies in which students will begin to develop the ability to apply the law to the facts of a case. Students will also be required to explain and analyse the law in relation to given topics in the context of essay questions. They will participate in discussions about the theory of substantive criminal offences and defences.

Assessment will take the form of a three-hour, unseen examination.

More information

LA0547 -

EU Law [CPE FT, CPE DL] (Core,15 Credits)

The module is designed to introduce students to the law and institutions of the European Union. It begins with an historical overview of the development of the EU from its origins in the 1951 European Coal & Steel Community to the present day EU. This is followed by a look at the EU’s institutions, with an emphasis on the European Court of Justice, and the various sources of EU law (this is consolidated in a special IT-based seminar on researching EU law). The module continues by examining the preliminary rulings procedure, the extent to which EU law can be enforced in national courts, state liability, European Citizenship – a rapidly developing area – and substantive EU law in the form of the free movement of goods, persons, establishment and services. A critical approach is fostered throughout.
The module is designed to develop students’ skills in legal research, critical analysis, and problem-solving.
The module is delivered by a combination of large group sessions, small group sessions and independent learning. Where appropriate, the module makes use of real and realistic scenarios and activities to add practical context to the students’ learning.

The module is assessed by a 3-hour, unseen, closed-book examination.

More information

LA0548 -

Property Law [CPE FT, CPE DL] (Core,15 Credits)

The overall aim of the module is to introduce students to some of the central principles of substantive English land law. Following its completion the students should be able to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of those principles.
The module will be delivered by a combination of large and small group sessions, directed learning and independent learning.

The module will be assessed by way of an end of year examination.

More information

LA0549 -

Tort [CPE FT, CPE DL] (Core,15 Credits)

The Law of Tort is concerned primarily with the circumstances in which one person may seek compensation for a civil wrong (other than a breach of contract) committed by another, and with the form and measure of compensation where liability is established. The overall aim is to provide students with an understanding of the principles of liability in relation to specific torts (such as negligence, nuisance and defamation), and of the way in which compensation is assessed, with reference in particular to personal injury claims (which in practice account for the vast majority of tort claims). The impact of the Human Rights Act will also be considered where relevant.
Assessment takes the form of a 3 hour examination.

More information

LA0550 -

Trusts [CPE FT, CPE DL] (Core,15 Credits)

This module introduces students to the substantive law of equity and trusts. It begins with an historical overview of the development of equity. This is followed by study of the creation of trusts (both express and implied). The next topic is Charitable trusts, an area which lends itself well to critical analysis. Next is non-charitable purpose trusts where students study the situations in which these trusts can be valid. Students then study the powers and duties of trustees, breach of trust and the remedies for this including tracing. A critical approach is fostered throughout.
The module is delivered by a combination of large group sessions, small group sessions and independent learning. Where appropriate, the module makes use of real and realistic scenarios and activities to add practical context to the students’ learning.

The module is assessed by a 3 hour unseen closed book exam which accounts for 100% of the overall module mark.

More information

LA0551 -

Further Area of Law [CPE FT, CPE DL] (Core,10 Credits)

In this module you will develop a critical understanding of an area of law outside of the foundations of legal knowledge as defined by the SRA and BSB.
The module will allow a degree of flexibility in choosing from a wide range of specific legal area. It will also enable the transfer and application of knowledge learned from the core legal areas to a specific area of study.

The areas available vary each year depending upon specialist tutor availability.

More information

LA0699 -

English Legal Systems MCT [CPE FT/CPE DL] (Core,5 Credits)

This module is a requirement of the GDL course and as an introductory module, it is delivered by way of a pre attendance packages and taught sessions during the induction sessions. It is examined by way of an MCQ test in October on a pass/fail basis.

More information

Any Questions?

Our admissions team will be happy to help. They can be contacted on 0191 406 0901.

Contact Details for Applicants:

bc.applicantservices@northumbria.ac.uk

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.

 

Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.


Your Learning Experience

Find out about our distinctive approach at 
www.northumbria.ac.uk/exp

Admissions Terms and Conditions
northumbria.ac.uk/terms

Fees and Funding
northumbria.ac.uk/fees

Admissions Policy
northumbria.ac.uk/adpolicy

Admissions Complaints Policy
northumbria.ac.uk/complaints

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If you’d like to receive the latest updates from Northumbria about our courses, events, finance & funding then enter your details below.

* At Northumbria we are strongly committed to protecting the privacy of personal data. To view the University’s Privacy Notice please click here

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