GDL Law (CPE Qualification) in the UK
GDL stands for the Graduate Diploma in Law. This course is often referred to as the CPE (Common Professional Examination) and both are essentially the same. However, the GDL course is increasingly the course of choice as it is gradually replacing the CPE.
Effectively, what it does is fit an entire law degree into one year's full time or two years part time study. It is therefore an intensive course aimed at non law graduates who have decided to work in law and is the academic training required for prospective UK barristers or solicitors which enable you as the successful candidate to progress to the next required stage of learning (i.e. the LPC for solicitors or the BPTC for barristers).
To be eligible for enrolment on the GDL course, you must already hold a degree. Tuition is available all across the UK, including GDL London, Birmingham, Keele and Swansea, as well as through part time GDL distance learning courses. Additionally, the GDL course is fast being adopted by many newer universities as demand for it increases.
The GDL Course
The GDL diploma is a chance for non-law graduates to take a postgraduate degree in law and complete the bulk of their necessary academic law training course. The syllabus for the diploma will cover legal theory, principles, legislation and all related subject matter. The course itself is broken down into seven distinct modules of study which are: contract law, tort law, criminal law, equity and trusts, public law, land law and European Union law.
Land Law Module
Land law is a fascinating module of study and has been referred to as the most lucrative field of practice. Study areas for this module will include an introduction to leases and mortgages.
The course then moves on to cover freehold cases which can involve any subject and situation imaginable. Land law teaches you how to find out what is owned by whom in any given situation.
The main study areas will also include:
• telling the difference between a lease and a licence
• the differences between registered and unregistered land
• easements, and
• freehold covenants
The GDL Exam
Assessment for this module is based on a one hour long examination as well as specific coursework which must be completed. The exam will involve you answering questions based on a fictional case study which will be presented within the exam itself.
You are encouraged to familiarise yourself with the layout of the exam by taking a number of practice papers and past papers before you sit the real thing. These can be purchased through the internet in download form. Alternatively, there are a number of text books available to purchase and the university you are studying with should also be able to provide you with some examples of past papers.