1. Postgraduate applicants to City, University of London
  2. Offer, confirmation and registration - GDL

Offer, confirmation and registration - GDL

We are delighted that you applied to undertake postgraduate study at City, University of London.

Here is a guide on the next steps about receiving an offer, how to confirm your place and finally register as a City student.

We hope that you will find the information on this site helpful as you make preparations to embark on your study with us.

Receiving your offer

Confirmation of your offer will be sent to you by email.

The offer email will outline any conditions that will need to be met. These will be in addition to the minimum entry requirements for admission to the professions set by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and the Bar Standards Board. Please send us a copy of your degree certificate or transcript, including your final degree classification, as soon as this is obtained.

Responding to your offer

In order to accept your offer, you will need to:

  • The deadline for confirming your acceptance will be included in your offer email. Please contact GDLAdmissions@city.ac.uk if you have missed your acceptance deadline but still wish to be considered for entry.
  • Make the deposit payment of £500 (this will be deducted from the first instalment of fees). The details on how to pay your deposit can be found by clicking the unique link sent to you in your offer email. If you pay online please include proof of payment with your acceptance form; if you pay by cheque please return the cheque with your acceptance form. For further details of how to pay please see the section on paying your deposit/tuition fees.

Please note that, in accordance with the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000, you have fourteen days from the time we receive your acceptance and deposit in which to cancel your acceptance. After such time your deposit will become non-refundable.

All acceptances will be acknowledged by email. We will contact you at various points over the summer by post and email, so it is important to inform us if you change either address. You will receive regular updates on the School, the course and the wider University regularly over the coming months.

Confirming your place

Once you have accepted your place you will need to provide evidence that you meet the conditions of your offer before you will be invited to register.

Certificate of Academic Standing

In order to be eligible to undertake the GDL for the purpose of qualification as a barrister, a student must:

  1. Hold a UK/Republic of Ireland degree, awarded at or above lower second class honours; or
  2. Have been granted a Certificate of Academic Standing by the Bar Standards Board prior to commencing the GDL. If you have queries regarding this please visit the BSB website for information regarding how to obtain the Certificate.


If you believe you qualify for exemptions on the GDL there are two possible courses of action:

  1. If you wish to qualify as a barrister: you need to obtain a certificate of exemption from the Bar Standards Board. You may visit their website for information about how to do this. Please note that anyone who wishes to qualify as a barrister in England, and wants to be granted exemptions, must have obtained a Certificate of Exemption from the BSB before undertaking the GDL. This means it would be wise to follow this route even if you are not certain whether you want to be a barrister but think there is a possibility you might.
  2. If you wish to qualify as a solicitor (and are certain that you will not consider qualification as a barrister): we can determine your exemptions for you, in consultation with the guidance provided by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. You would need to send us your transcripts and copies of the syllabus or course description from the relevant modules. Please note exemptions can only be granted based on academic study, not on work experience. Due to the level of work these checks involve we are not currently able to do this for applicants who have not already accepted a place on the GDL. You should first make an application to the GDL via lawcabs: if you are made an offer and you accept that offer, then we can look into granting exemptions for you.

Once you have accepted your place, you can look ahead to starting with us.

The start date for the course is Monday 16th September 2019. There will be an early opportunity to register for GDL students on Monday 9th September 2019. If you cannot make the early opportunity, you can register on the 16th September.

Below you can find out about further key dates for your calendar, along with information about timetables and reading lists.

Online registration

Online registration is scheduled to open in early August 2019. Once online registration has opened and you have met all of the conditions of your offer you will receive an automated email from City, University of London inviting you to register for the course online. Please note that you cannot register online until you have received this email as this will give you the unique user ID and password which you require to login.

Online registration is a relatively straightforward process. You will be asked to confirm course details and personal details (full name, address, date of birth etc.). You will also be prompted to pay the first instalment of your fees if you have not already done so. You do not have to complete online registration all at once, you can return to it later, however please ensure you do complete online registration before you attend an in-person registration session during your induction. The dates/times for in-person registration will be sent to you in due course.

Please note that you will not be a registered student of the University until you have completed both online and in-person registration.

In-person registration

In late August/early September you will receive an invitation to in-person registration with your specified time and giving you details of the events taking place on this date.

In-person registration for the GDL will be Monday 16th September 2019. There will be an early opportunity to register for GDL students on Monday 9th September 2019. If you cannot make the early opportunity, you can register on the 16th September.

Preparing to start

Students will have their induction week beginning 16th September 2019. The induction week, as well as general registration and enrolment activities, will also include the first lectures of the courses syllabus for all modules. It is imperative students attend the induction week as this is the foundation of teaching for the year as a whole. Course materials (lectures and tutorials) will be provided during the induction week also.

If you would like to start preparing for the GDL, a good general introduction would be to read:

  • Learning the Law by Glanville Williams edited by A.T.H. Smith (latest edition)

Receiving your timetable

The GDL consists of seven two hour lectures a week and seven one hour tutorials taught over a two week cycle. The course is taught over four days with the same day each week being a designated study day.

Reading lists

All GDL students will receive free core textbooks in e-book format during their induction. In 2018/19 GDL students received the following titles but please note that these are subject to change:

  • Craig and De Burca, EU Law Cases and Materials, 6e
  • Tort Law: Text, Cases and Materials, Jenny Steele (OUP)
  • Modern Land Law, 11e, Dixon
  • Contract Law, Text, Cases and Materials, 5e, McKendrick
  • Constitutional Law, Administrative Law and Human Rights, 8e, Ian Loveland , OUP
  • Textbook of Criminal Law, 13e, Michael Allen
  • Principles of Equity and Trusts, 2e, Graham Virgo

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why should I choose The City Law School for the GDL?

At The City Law School we offer an academic course with small tutorial groups and a dedicated group of personal tutors. There is also an excellent programme of careers events for intending solicitors and barristers as well as a programme of lectures given by dedicated careers advisers. Our students have the opportunity to meet practising solicitors and barristers on a regular basis when they visit the university.

The GDL provides more face-to-face teaching than any other, and as a medium-sized course our academic staff and team of administrators are much more likely to be able to get to know you individually.

Nearly half the major textbooks you'll use during the course have been written by the people who'll be teaching you. Perhaps more importantly, though, we teach in the style which our students seem to want and expect - one that really enables them to develop their legal understanding.

What are the class sizes?

The lectures are made up all of the students studying the GDL (190) and tutor groups, which are no larger than 16.

Does it really matter where I do the GDL?

It does. If you are going to do the virtual equivalent of an LLB degree in about seven months, you'll need to develop legal understanding fast. A "spoon-fed" style of teaching limits students from gaining the intellectual skills they need.

Ask around as widely as you can - don't let any one person try to make up your mind for you. Above all, take any and every opportunity to visit the institutions which interest you. Form a view of the academic staff who'll be teaching you. Are they simply recruiting, or are they communicating their own genuine belief in their course? Also talk to their present and past students where you can.

Isn't it just a question of getting through the GDL to the next stage?

No, students will get much more out of the GDL year by fully engaging as part of a very highly motivated, bright and relatively small student cohort with the benefit of expert tuition.

What is the pass rate for the GDL?

The average pass rate in most years is around 90% (those not passing tend to have special circumstances which have disrupted their study). In addition, we only make offers to people who we think can pass our exams well and progress to the next stage of legal education.

Are some GDL courses better for intending solicitors than barristers, and vice versa?

Just choose the best course. If you're going to succeed as barrister or solicitor, you will need a mastery of legal analysis rather than a used set of subject manuals. Interview panels don't judge you on where you did the GDL, but on what you learnt from it.

What if I have a training contract and my firm is telling me to go where they send most of their trainees?

Make your own decision and talk to your employers. They may well let you follow your own judgment if you can explain your preference. Every year we have students who have done exactly that.