School of Law
The GDL (also known as a ‘CPE’) commencing during the first week of September, is a full-time, 36-week, intensive course designed to be the first step towards a career in law for those whose first degree is in a non-law subject. Non-law graduates are being welcomed into the legal profession at an increasing rate, as they are perceived as bringing a fresh perspective to law and the GDL provides ‘fast-track’ entry into the profession. The Swansea GDL is validated by both the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Bar Standards Board, allows non-law graduates to satisfy the academic requirements for admission to the vocational stage of training to become either a solicitor*, barrister or legal executive.
Part-time study: n/a
In addition to the obvious career paths of solicitor, barrister and legal executive, the GDL opens up doors to other careers in law such as paralegals, licensed conveyancers and barristers' clerks, as well careers outside the legal professions where knowledge of the law can prove invaluable, including human resource and business management, accountancy, trading standards, the police service and advice work, to name but a few.
*See details of our Legal Practice Course for solicitor training.
Applicants must normally have obtained an honours degree, awarded by a UK or Republic of Ireland institution. (Those wishing to progress to the Bar should normally have achieved at least a II (ii) honours classification). Applicants with non-standard degrees or qualifications awarded by overseas institutions will need to obtain a Certificate of Academic Standing, from either the Solicitors Regulation Authority (www.sra.org.uk) or the Bar Standards Board (www.bsb.org.uk).
Applications are also encouraged from mature students (i.e. those over 25). Mature applicants who cannot comply with the above requirements, but who can demonstrate appropriate experience or achievement, will also need to obtain a Certificate of Academic Standing (see above).
Fees: Fees are competitive and, for 2012/13 are expected to begin at just over £4,950.
Scholarships and Bursaries: Most students are self-funding. For further information on funding opportunities consider visiting:
Your local reference library may also provide directories on postgraduate funding. Subscription to the Times Higher Education Supplement's database of funding opportunities may also be helpful. Students are also encouraged to consider becoming a ‘Halls Tutor’ which, though an unpaid role, normally attracts free accommodation. For more details visit www.swansea.ac.uk/accommodation
Mode of study: full-time (Part-time study is only available to those who have a Certificate of Partial Exemption: see below for details)
Course Description: Law is an exciting and rewarding discipline offering students the opportunity to develop a number of important skills, which are not only essential to lawyers but are valuable transferable skills in themselves in other employment contexts. The study of law demands a methodical, inquisitive and enthusiastic approach and by the end of the course you will have:
During your studies you will be supported by committed and friendly staff, with substantial teaching experience, who will challenge and inspire you, using a broad and balanced range of teaching methods.
Course Structure: The Swansea GDL is designed to enable the acquisition of sound legal knowledge in those areas of law which are considered ‘core’ (known as the Foundations of Legal Knowledge and comprising Contract, Tort, Public Law, Equity & Trusts, Land Law and Criminal Law).
The start of the course is preceded by a two-week period of general, pre-directed reading. This is followed by an induction period comprising of classes on the Legal System, European Union Law and the acquisition of Legal Skills. The basic structure of the course involves twice weekly lectures in each of the six foundation subjects, together with fortnightly seminars in each subject. An eighth legal subject, in an area of law agreed with the Programme Director, is studied by means of a supervised, independent research project.
Lectures are intended to enable students to see the broad framework of a subject, while seminars allow for general discussion, group work or presentations. The research project allows students to develop autonomy. All of which are studied under the direction of experienced tutors.
For further details: Visit the Swansea GDL website
Assessment: The Swansea GDL employs a wide range of assessment methods, including coursework, mini-dissertation, multiple choice and 3-hour, unseen examinations. The pass mark for all assessed work is 40%. Students at the School of Law have the opportunity to present work for assessment in Welsh.
Information regarding dates and times for Enrolment can be found on the Student Records webpages.
Applications should be made through UCAS.
Please see this page for information on studying at Swansea University
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