Postgraduate taught 

Diploma in Professional Legal Practice PgDip

Aerial view of campus

The Diploma 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.

  • PgDip: Full-time: 1 academic session.
    Part-time: 2 academic sessions.

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 students maximum), 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 185 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 a sheriff to deliver a plea in mitigation.
  • We run internal heats and deliver training for students to participate in various competitions throughout the year.  These range from client interviewing to negotiation to mediation, to help you enhance these skills 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 and pre-action protocols)
  • Commercial awareness (incorporating ethics, practice awareness, client interviewing, negotiation, tax and accounting)
  • Conveyancing (incorporating property finance and the sale, purchase and lease of residential property)
  • Criminal litigation (incorporating evidence and procedure, advocacy and negotiation)
  • Private client (incorporating wills, trusts, deeds of variation, powers of attorney and guardianship orders)

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 the sale, purchase and lease of commercial property, property finance and construction issues)
  • Contemporary Scottish public law (incorporating policy-making, legislative drafting, licensing and judicial review)
  • Corporate (incorporating company set-up, directors’ duties, shareholders’ and board disputes, debt finance, equity finance and business and share acquisitions)
  • Employment law (incorporating employment tribunals, unfair dismissal, discrimination, trade unions, employee transfers and remedies)
  • Family law (incorporating financial provision, co-habitation, adoption, negotiation, mediation, collaboration and litigation)
  • Human rights (incorporating asylum and immigration, children’s hearings and criminal law)
  • Legal innovation and technology (incorporating the application of technology to law and the transformation of legal practice as a business)

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.

Part-time Programme Structure

Part-time students undertake Commercial Awareness, Criminal Litigation, Private Client and one optional course in year one.  Civil Litigation, Conveyancing and two optional courses are undertaken in year two.  Part-time students may select any optional course in year one or two.  However, the following courses are more suitable for year two (on the basis Civil Litigation and Conveyancing are taught in that year):

  • Advanced civil litigation
  • Commercial conveyancing
  • Family law
  • Human rights

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: Student contract.

Career prospects

Upon successful completion of the Diploma you will be eligible to progress through your traineeship to work as a solicitor or advocate in Scotland. The Diploma is not only a requirement for entry into these roles in the legal profession, but also provides 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 help you be as attractive to employers as possible, but to support and guide you to make the right career choices.

Fees & funding

Tuition fees for 2020-21

PgDip

Home and EU

  • Full-time fee: £8850

International

  • Full-time fee: £8850

PgDip part-time

Home and EU

  • Part-time fee: £4,425 for Year 1

Fee information is subject to change and is for guidance only

Additional fees

  • Fee for re-assessment of a dissertation (PGT programme): £360
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed: £340
  • Registration/exam only fee: £160

Funding opportunities

Postgraduate Student Loan (NI)

If you are a Northern Irish student looking to study a taught Masters programme* in Glasgow then you can apply for a student loan in exactly the same way as you would for a University in Northern Ireland.

Northern Irish students are able to apply for non-means-tested tuition fee loans of up to £5,500, to help with the costs of funding.

For more information visit www.studentfinanceni.co.uk/types-of-finance/postgraduate .

* does not apply to Erasmus Mundus programmes

More Information

Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loans England only (PTFL)

If you’re starting a master’s degree, you could get a Postgraduate Master’s Loan of up to £10,609 to help with course fees and living costs. You have to repay your Postgraduate Master’s Loan at the same time as any other student loans you have. You’ll be charged interest from the day you get the first payment.

If you’re studying by distance learning, you can also apply.

Examples of postgraduate master’s qualifications include:

  • MSc (Master of Science)
  • MA (Master of Arts)
  • MPhil (Master of Philosophy)
  • MRes (Master of Research)
  • LLM (Master of Law)
  • MLitt (Master of Letters)
  • MFA (Master of Fine Art)
  • MEd (Master of Education)
  • MBA (Master of Business Administration)

If you plan to study for Master of Architecture (MArch) or an Integrated Master’s qualification, you should apply for undergraduate support

More Information

Postgraduate Student Loan (Scotland and EU)

Eligible full-time and part-time students, undertaking an eligible postgraduate course, can apply for a tuition fee loan up to a maximum of £5,500 towards their course. 

Eligible full-time postgraduate students can apply to us for a living-cost loan of up to £4,500. 

Please see the Postgraduate funding guide.

For more information visit the SAAS website

More Information

Postgraduate Loans for Welsh Students

If you are a Welsh student looking to study a postgraduate programme* in Glasgow then you can apply for a student loan in exactly the same way as you would for a Welsh University.

* does not apply to Erasmus Mundus programmes

Postgraduate Master's Finance

If you’re starting a full-time or part-time Postgraduate Master’s course (taught or research based) from 1 August 2019, you can apply for Postgraduate Master's Finance and receive up to £17,000 as a combination of grant and loan:

  • a maximum grant of £6,885 and loan of £10,115 if your household income is £18,370 and below
  • a grant of £1,000 and loan of £16,000 if your household income is not taken into account or is above £59,200.

For more information visit Student Finance Wales

Postgraduate Doctoral Loan

If you’re starting a full-time or part-time postgraduate Doctoral course (such as a PhD) from 1 August 2019 you can apply for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan of up to £25,700.

For more information visit Student Finance Wales

More Information

Humanitarian Scholarships

The University of Glasgow is offering 4 scholarships (one per college) for applicants to the University who are staying in the UK on humanitarian grounds and are facing challenges in progressing onto Higher Education. The scholarship is open to prospective undergraduate and postgraduate students of the University of Glasgow applying for entry in 2019. The scholarship meets the full cost of tuition fees for the duration of your programme as well providing an additional £4,000 per year stipend, if the eligibility criteria for university accommodation is met this will also be provided for the duration of your degree. For more information on the accommodation criteria please see the Residential Services section on the website.

We are also offering 4 scholarships to students who hold refugee status. This scholarship is awarded as a £5,000 per year stipend toward living costs per year of study.

More Information

CONICyT (La Comsion Nacional de Investigacion Cientifica y Tecnologica de Chile)

The University of Glasgow offers a 25% discount to all successful CONICyT scholars who enrol at the University of Glasgow to complete a postgraduate programme.

More Information

CONACyT (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia) / FUNED Agreement

CONACYT offers a non-refundable scholarship, a monthly stipend and medical insurance of an approximate total of $20,000 USD (in the case of the UK, no medical insurance grant is given since students are already covered by the National Health System) The University of Glasgow offer a 30% discount to all successful CONACyT scholars who enrol at the University of Glasgow to complete a postgraduate programme.

More Information

The scholarships above are specific to this programme. For more funding opportunities 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; or
  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 two 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
  • Introduction to legal study/legal skills for graduates
  • 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 2019/20 entry open on 22 February 2019 and close on 12 April 2019.

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 the University to which you are applying; and‌ 
  • one online application to the University of Glasgow via the University of Glasgow website. Please read our Diploma application guidelines before starting your online application.

Current University of Glasgow students or graduates should sign and post their paper application form to Fiona Macaulay, Room 304, Sir Alexander Stone Building, 16 University Gardens, Glasgow G12 8QH.

Apply now

More information about this programme