Postgraduate taught 

Diploma in Professional Legal Practice PgDip

view of quadrangle in main building

This programme provides you with the necessary qualification to pursue a legal traineeship. Undertaken after obtaining your LLB, it is the next step towards a career as a solicitor or advocate in Scotland. Our aim is that the Diploma delivered by the University of Glasgow comes to be regarded as the trademark of excellence, ensuring that you are not just employable but actively sought after by employers. It will equip you with the hands-on skills necessary to practise law as a “day one ready trainee” in the 21st century, as well as excellent opportunities to develop your own professional network to support you throughout your career.

Key information

Why this programme

  • Our programme aims to bridge the gap between academia and professional legal practice. Designed by practising lawyers, it replicates the work you will do as a trainee.
  • Our extensive network of highly experienced professionals, drawn from all sectors of the legal industry, support you through mentorship, as well as attendance at our networking events.
  • We work with employers to ensure that our programme meets their requirements, enabling you to commence your traineeship with the skills and knowledge these employers value.
  • Tutorial groups are small (12 max), enabling you to become assured and confident in communicating, orally and in writing, to a variety of audiences. You will receive one to one, in-person feedback from tutors on every course.
  • Our 150 tutors are all highly experienced legal practitioners. They are dedicated, enthusiastic and keen to share their knowledge with you, as part of the next generation of lawyers.
  • You will benefit from our library of filmed resources, developed in collaboration with the judiciary and our tutors. Filmed scenarios include numerous civil and criminal court hearings, judicial review, mediation, negotiation and collaboration.
  • You will attend Glasgow Sheriff Court and appear before sheriffs to deliver pleas in mitigation. In addition, police officers join us to take part in mock court cases.
  • We run various competitions throughout the year, from client counselling to negotiation, to help you enhance your skills in these areas – and to enhance your CV.

Programme structure

You will take five core and three optional courses. The core courses are required by the Law Society of Scotland, which regulates Scotland’s legal profession. Optional courses allow you to select additional subjects of study that suit your areas of interest or meet the requirements of your future employers in the legal profession. Courses are delivered through a combination of online resources, e-modules, lectures and small group tutorials. As our programme aims to equip you with the abilities and attributes of a “day one ready trainee”, each course will enable you to develop not only your written communication skills, but your verbal communication skills. Tutors will expect you to come to each class prepared to contribute. 

Core courses

  • Civil litigation (incorporating rules of procedure, evidence, advocacy, negotiation and pre-action protocols)
  • Commercial awareness (incorporating ethics, practice awareness, tax and accounts)
  • Conveyancing (incorporating sale, purchase and leasing of residential property, and property finance)
  • Criminal litigation (incorporating evidence and procedure, advocacy and negotiation)
  • Private client (incorporating wills, trusts, deeds of variation, powers of attorney and guardianship)

Optional courses may include

  • Advanced civil litigation (incorporating advocacy, remedies, debates, proofs and appeals)
  • Advanced criminal litigation (incorporating advocacy)
  • Commercial contracts (incorporating offer and acceptance, rectification and execution of contracts, due diligence and disclosure, key contract terms, disputes and termination)   
  • Commercial conveyancing (incorporating sale, purchase and leasing of commercial property, property finance and construction issues)
  • Contemporary Scottish public law (incorporating policy-making, legislative drafting, licensing and judicial review)
  • Corporate (incorporating directors and director duties, shareholders and board disputes, debt finance, equity finance and business and share acquisitions)
  • Family law (incorporating negotiation, mediation, collaboration and litigation)
  • Human rights (incorporating employment, asylum and immigration, children’s hearings and criminal law)

Students contemplating a career as an advocate in Scotland are required by the Faculty of Advocates to take courses in International Private Law and Roman Law. These can be studied at the University of Glasgow at the same time as undertaking the Diploma and at no additional cost.

Further information

Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Legal statements: Disclaimer.

Career prospects

Upon successful completion of the programme you will be eligible to progress through your traineeship to work as a solicitor or advocate in Scotland. The Diploma is a requirement for entry into these roles in the legal profession. The Diploma is a requirement for entry into these roles in the legal profession, in addition to providing employment opportunities in related legal disciplines. As well as working with colleagues in the School of Law and the University’s Career Service, we strive to increase your employability through our strong links across the legal profession by liaising with human resources and training partners in our tutors’ organisations. In addition, we run a series of networking events where you can meet lawyers from all areas of the industry and at all levels, from trainee to partner. Our goal is not only to prepare you for life as a trainee and to make you as attractive to employers as possible, but to support and guide you to help make the correct career choices. 

Entry requirements

To be a candidate for the Diploma you must

  1. possess a law degree from a Scottish university, or a qualification accepted by the Senatus as equivalent.
  2. have passed or obtained exemption from the professional examinations of the Law Society of Scotland in all subjects required under the Admission as Solicitor (Scotland) Regulations 2011.

The Law Society of Scotland’s professional curriculum at the University of Glasgow, which is usually completed during the first 2 years of an LLB, currently includes:

  • Business Organisations
  • Commercial Law 
  • Criminal Law and Evidence
  • European Union Law (required but not included in the ranking criteria)
  • Family Law
  • Law and Government
  • Principles of Property and Obligations
  • Property Law
  • Sources and Institutions of Scots Law
  • Tax Law (requirement for LLBs started in 2010 or earlier)
  • Legal Profession and Legal Ethics
  • Introduction to Legal Study 
  • Constitutional Law 1
  • Obligations 1A 
  • Obligations 1B 

Applicants are ranked by grade point average, according to their performance in the professional curriculum outlined above. This ranking is used by all Diploma providers to allocate places amongst them.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2017-18

PgDip

Home and EU
Full time fee£7700
International
Full time fee£7700

Fees are subject to change and for guidance only

Additional fees

  • Fee for submission by a research student: £460
  • Fee for re-assessment of a dissertation (PGT programme): £300
  • Submission for a higher degree by published work: £1,000
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed: £200
  • Submission by staff in receipt of staff scholarship: £680
  • Research students registered as non-supervised Thesis Pending students (50% refund will be granted if the student completes thesis within the first six months of the period): £260
  • Registration/exam only fee: £110
  • General Council fee: £50

Funding opportunities

For a list of available scholarships please search the scholarships database

How to apply

Applications are closed for 2017-18. Applications for 2018-19 will open in February 2018 and close in April 2019Exact dates to be confirmed.

You are required to submit two application forms at the same time:

  • One paper Diploma application form to the university from which you graduated with your LLB, regardless of which University you are applying for a Diploma place.‌ 
  • One online application via the University of Glasgow website. You must read the Diploma application guidelines before starting your online application.

Current University of Glasgow students or graduates should complete their paper application form and send it to Fiona Macaulay, Sir Alexander Stone Building, 16 University Gardens, Glasgow G12 8QQ.

Diploma student admissions guidance note

LSS Diploma guidance note

School of Law Fitness to Practise Code

Guide to applying online

Do I have to apply online for a postgraduate taught degree?

Yes. To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We are unable to accept your application by any other means than online.

Do I need to complete and submit the application in a single session?

No. You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process. You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload additional documents such as your final transcript or your language test.

What documents do I need to provide to make an application?

As well as completing your online application fully, it is essential that you submit the following documents:

  • A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
  • A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
  • Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
  • Two supporting reference letters on headed paper
  • Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
  • Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
  • A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)

If you do not have all of these documents at the time of submitting your application then it is still possible to make an application and provide any further documents at a later date, as long as you include a full current transcript (and an English translation if required) with your application. See the ‘Your References, Transcripts and English Qualification’ sections of our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Do my supporting documents need to be submitted online?

Yes, where possible, please upload the supporting documents with your application.

How do I provide my references?

You must either upload the required references to your online application or ask your referees to send the references to the University as we do not contact referees directly. There is two main ways that you can provide references: you can either upload references on headed paper when you are making an application using the Online Application (or through Applicant Self-Service after you have submitted your application) or you can ask your referee to email the reference directly to pgadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk. See the 'Your References, Transcripts and English Qualifications' section of the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

What if I am unable to submit all of my supporting documents online?

If you cannot upload an electronic copy of a document and need to send it in by post, please attach a cover sheet to it that includes your name, the programme you are applying for, and your application reference number.

You may send them to:

Postgraduate Admissions
Marketing, Recruitment & International Office
71 Southpark Avenue
Glasgow
G12 8QQ
Fax: +44 141 330 4045

Can I email my supporting documents?

No. We cannot accept email submissions of your supporting documents.

What entry requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

You should check that you have met (or are likely to have met prior to the start of the programme) the individual entry requirements for the degree programme you are applying for. This information can be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab on each individual programme page, such as the one you are viewing now.

What English Language requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

If you are an international student, you should also check that you have met the English Language requirements specific to the programme you are applying for. These can also be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab for each specific programme.

Further Information

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on applying to a postgraduate taught programme.

Guidance notes for using the online application

These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately, they are also available within the help section of the online application form. If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.

  • Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
  • Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
  • Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
  • Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
  • Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
  • English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
  • Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.
  • References: Please provide the names and contact details of two academic references. Where applicable one of these references may be from your current employer. References should be completed on letter headed paper and uploaded on to your application.

Apply now