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”, 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 and taught 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.
  • We employ around 150 tutors, all of whom are highly experienced legal practitioners. They are dedicated, enthusiastic and keen to share their knowledge with you, 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 national and international competitions throughout the year.  These range from client interviewing to negotiation and mediation, to help you enhance these skills as well as 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

Optional courses

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):

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 it 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 and beyond. 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 2023-24

PgDip

UK

  • Full-time fee: £10,560

EU/International

  • Full-time fee: £10,560

PgDip part-time

  • Part-time fee: £5,280 for Year 1

Additional fees

  • Fee for re-assessment of a dissertation (PGT programme): £370
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed: £350
  • Registration/exam only fee: £170

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

How to apply

You can apply to up to two different Diploma providers, out of a choice of six.

Full instructions on how to apply are given in the Diploma application form. This form is part of your application to the University of Glasgow. Please download and complete it and upload it to your online application:

If you are applying to the University of Glasgow, you must also complete an Online Application.

Please read our Diploma application deadlines before starting your online application:

You may also find these documents helpful:

What we do with the data you provide on your application form: Please read the Privacy Notice below. It applies to both the application form and the online form. 

Application deadlines

  • Applications open on 4th March 2022
  • Applications close on 6th May 2022 at 12 noon.

More information about this programme