Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)

School of Law, Faculty of Social Sciences

This is a forward-thinking, innovative law school with a tradition of excellence that goes back 100 years. Our graduates are in demand all over the world.

Our international outlook and multidisciplinary approach set the law in a global socio-economic context that gives our research an edge.

Through close links with law firms, governments, NGOs and others, we're driving vital debate on issues such as European healthcare policy, biotechnology and ethics, the internet, security and privacy.

About the course

Most of the teachers on the GDL are former solicitors who also teach on our Legal Practice Course (LPC). They're supported by academics with expertise in relevant areas.

There are regular seminars and talks with professionals, including barristers and judges who studied here. We also run practice interviews to help you prepare for training contract interviews with law firms.

Our Bar Society organises trips to the Inns of Court. Members of the judiciary give advice on joining the bar.

You're welcome to take part in either of our two pro bono schemes: the FreeLaw drop-in centre for the public and the Innocence Project, which investigates cases of wrongful imprisonment.

This intensive one-year conversion course, for non-law graduates or those who have a law degree from another country, will teach you how to marshal large amounts of complex information, how to write, how to carry out legal research and how to give an effective presentation.

With this course you can fast-track your way to the next stage of legal training to become either a barrister or solicitor in England or Wales.

Core modules

  • English Legal System
  • Torts Law
  • Crime
  • Contract Law
  • Public Law
  • EU Law
  • Land Law
  • Equity and Trusts
  • Legal Research Methods
  • Company Law


  • Seminars


  • Exams

Apply now

Apply online through the Law Central Applications Board.

Law student

Following this, I start a training contract with a law firm in Sheffield. The GDL is a very intensive course and so hard work and preparation are crucial. Both of these skills will be useful in the workplace.

Gavin Hesketh, Graduate Diploma in Law

Key facts

Course duration

1 year full-time

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 honours degree or international equivalent, in any subject, but we'll consider each application on its own merits.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS grade of 7.5 with a minimum of 7.0 in each component, or equivalent.

Entry requirements for international students

Fees and funding

Financial information for postgraduate taught courses

How we teach

Many of our academics are internationally respected for their research. Their groundbreaking work informs what we teach.

Our research groups cover a lot of ground, including criminology, commercial law and law in its international context. You'll benefit from their expertise and that of their professional contacts.

Your course will equip you with an in-depth knowledge of your chosen area of law or criminology.

We have our own courtroom, a dedicated postgraduate computer room and quiet study space. Wi-Fi is available throughout the building so you can easily access the library's online collections. Our students can also access our e-resources from anywhere in the world.

Your career

Most graduates go on to the next stage of legal training: the LPC for solicitors, or the BPTC for barristers.

Who we are

We're a forward-thinking, innovative law school. Our research helps shape global policy. We do what we do to empower people, to protect people and improve people's lives.

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) ranks us joint tenth in the UK, with Oxford and Warwick. Ninety per cent of our research was judged world-leading or internationally excellent.

About us

Our LLM and masters courses will provide you with an in-depth knowledge of your chosen area of law or criminology that will prepare you to go on and make a difference in any organisation you choose to work in. If you want to become a solicitor in England or Wales, our Legal Practice Course is highly regarded and will give you the skills and knowledge you need to enter the legal profession.

Apply now

Apply online through the Law Central Applications Board.

Any questions?

If you'd like to know more about any aspect of our courses, contact us:

T: +44 (0)114 222 6791