Postgraduate taught 

Diploma in Professional Legal Practice PgDip

Aerial view of campus

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 Glasgow Diploma 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.

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, 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. 

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2018-19

PgDip

Home and EU
Full time fee£8000
International
Full time fee£8000

Fees are subject to change and for guidance only

Additional fees

  • Fee for re-assessment of a dissertation (PGT programme): £315
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed: £250
  • Registration/exam only fee: £150
  • General Council fee: £50

Funding opportunities

For a list of available scholarships please search the scholarships database

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 the courses listed below. Other professional courses may be required, depending on when you started your LLB.

  • Business organisations
  • Commercial law 
  • Criminal law and evidence
  • European Union law (required but not included in the ranking criteria)
  • Family law
  • Law and government
  • Property law
  • 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.

How to apply

Applications for 2018-19 will open on 23 February 2018 and close on 13 April 2018.

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 admissions guidance note

LSS Diploma guidance note

School of Law Fitness to Practise Code

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