Postgraduate taught 

Diploma in Professional Legal Practice PgDip

view of quadrangle in main building

The Diploma provides you with the necessary qualification to pursue a law traineeship. It is the first step towards a career as a solicitor or advocate within Scotland. Our goal is to equip you with the hands-on skills necessary to practise law in the 21st century. We create opportunities for you to develop a professional network which will support you throughout your career.

Key information

Why this programme

  • Designed by practising lawyers, our programme replicates the work that you will do when you commence your traineeship.
  • The Glasgow Legal 40, highly experienced legal alumni of the university, supports our Diploma students through mentorship and by attending our networking events.
  • We work with employers to ensure that our programme meets their requirements, enabling you to commence your traineeship with the necessary skills and knowledge.
  • You will receive one to one in-person feedback from tutors on every course.
  • Our library of filmed resources has been developed in collaboration with the judiciary and our tutors. It includes material such as court hearings, covering criminal trials, proofs, debates, motions and a judicial review as well as a mediation, collaboration and negotiation.
  • You will attend Glasgow Sheriff Court and appear before sheriffs to deliver pleas in mitigation; police officers attend the university to take part in court cases.
  • Our 200 tutors are all highly experienced legal practitioners. They are dedicated, enthusiastic, and keen to share their experience with the next generation of lawyers.

Programme structure

You will take five core and three optional courses. This allows you to select courses which suit your areas of interest or meet the requirements of your future employers in the legal profession. Courses are delivered through a combination of on-line resources, e-modules, lectures and by small group tutorials (12 or less). Our team of highly experienced, enthusiastic and committed tutors, almost all of whom are practising solicitors or advocates, are all focused on ensuring that you meet the requirement of a “Day 1 ready trainee” by the end of each course.

Core courses

  • Civil litigation (incorporating advocacy, rules of procedure, evidence, negotiation and pre-action protocols)
  • Commercial awareness
  • Conveyancing (incorporating purchase, sale and commercial leases)
  • Criminal litigation (incorporating advocacy, evidence and procedure and negotiation)
  • Private client (incorporating wills, trusts, deeds of variation and guardianship).

Optional courses may include

  • Advanced civil litigation (incorporating advocacy, remedies, debates, proofs and appeals)
  • Advanced criminal litigation (incorporating advocacy)
  • Commercial contracts
  • Commercial conveyancing
  • Contemporary Scottish public law
  • Corporate
  • Family law (incorporating negotiation, mediation, collaboration and litigation)
  • Human rights (incorporating topics such as employment, asylum and immigration, criminal, children's hearing referrals).

Students contemplating a career as an advocate at the Scottish Bar are able to take courses in International Private Law and/or Roman Law at no additional cost. These courses are compulsory entry requirements for the Faculty of Advocates.

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 within Scotland. The Diploma in Professional Legal Practice is a requirement for entry into these roles in the legal profession, in addition to providing employment opportunities in related legal disciplines.

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 thereto.
  2. Have passed or obtained exemption from the professional examinations of the Law Society of Scotland in those subjects required in terms of the Admission as Solicitor (Scotland) Regulations.

The Diploma in Professional Legal Practice is a requirement for entry to either branch of the legal profession in Scotland.

To qualify for admission to the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice, applicants must have graduated, or be qualified to graduate with an LLB from a Scottish university. Applicants must have successfully completed classes which comprise the Law Society of Scotland’s professional curriculum, which is usually completed during the first 2 years of an LLB.

The professional curriculum at the University of Glasgow 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 a grade point average, according to their performance in the professional curriculum outlined above. This ranking is used by all providers to allocate places. Applicants must submit a paper application to their undergraduate institution for their grade point average to be calculated. This information is then passed to the university at which the applicant wishes to undertake Diploma study.

Admission to the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice for applicants who are not qualified as outlined above is normally only possible in exceptional circumstances.

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 for 2017-18 will open on 27 February 2017 and close on 14 April 2017.

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 their 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, Room 306, Sir Alexander Stone Building, 16 University Gardens, Glasgow G12 8LQ.

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.

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