Taught course


Birkbeck, University of London · School of Law

Entry requirements

A second-class honours degree (2:2) in a subject other than law. Applicants with less than a 2:2 will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Applications are reviewed on their individual merits, and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.

Months of entry


Course content

Our Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) enables you to gain the legal skills necessary for the best possible preparation in beginning vocational training for a career in legal practice. The GDL teaches you the seven foundations of law as required by the Bar Standards Board for the vocational training for barristers. It also equips you to embark on the necessary preparation for the Solicitors Qualifying Examination. You will develop the ability to:

  • critically engage with sources of law, including cases, and scholarship from law and related fields
  • apply principles of law
  • engage in basic legal research using specific legal resources.

If you already have an undergraduate degree and want to gain the skills to help you qualify, but are not yet ready to commit to a full master's degree, this GDL is for you. Birkbeck’s GDL is unique in teaching you to understand and apply the law, as well as teaching you about the law in its political, social and economic context. We want our graduates to not only go on to be successful lawyers, but also to be able to participate in important contemporary debates at the junction of law and public life.

Please note: you will need to apply for our Graduate Diploma in Law via LawCAB (Law Central Admissions Board).


  • Our Graduate Diploma in Law offers a fast-track route to retrain as a lawyer, with numerous opportunities to network with law practitioners and legal scholars.
  • The course will give you plenty of opportunities for professional development and networking, and you will benefit from our vibrant annual cycle of inspiring expert-led public lectures and conferences, in which our research centres and institutes play a key role.
  • Birkbeck is a hub of expertise on creative, innovative and critical thinking, and we have a strong tradition of research in the areas of law and criminology. Our academic staff are international authorities in their respective fields.
  • Our city centre campus is in Bloomsbury WC1, a lively student-centred place that is home to a number of universities and other colleges of the University of London. You will be able to take advantage of the rich research collections of University of London libraries as well as Birkbeck Library, which has a strong collection in critical, theoretical and interdisciplinary legal studies, including access to key specialist journals and an extensive range of online materials.
Careers and employability

As a graduate of the GDL, you are one step closer on your career path to becoming a legal practitioner. Possible professions include:

  • solicitor
  • barrister
  • policy adviser
  • civil servant
  • campaigner
  • academic.

Alternatively, you may use your legal practice and critical reasoning skills within the industry in which you work, including in business, technology, the arts and NGOs.

We offer a comprehensive careers service - Careers and Enterprise - your career partner during your time at Birkbeck and beyond. At every stage of your career journey, we empower you to take ownership of your future, helping you to make the connection between your experience, education and future ambitions.

Information for international students

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses and foundation programmes to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • GradDip
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Student Advice Service
+44 (0)20 3907 0700