• For Entry: September
  • Duration: 9 months
  • School: Social Sciences
  • Study Mode: Full Time+Part Time

The vocational qualification necessary to pursue a career in the legal profession in Scotland, either as a solicitor or advocate.

TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

The Diploma in Professional Legal Practice is a postgraduate, vocational qualification which must be obtained by students who wish to pursue a career in the legal profession in Scotland, either as a solicitor or advocate.

We aim to give you confidence that when you leave Dundee Law School, you will be professionally trained to cope with real situations that you will encounter in practice.

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To be eligible for admission applicants must have successfully completed a qualifying LLB in Scots Law, or, have passed the professional examinations of the Law Society of Scotland.

The DPLP at Dundee Law School runs over two semesters, from September to April. Primarily delivered by practising solicitors, the programme acts as a bridge between the academic study of law and the requirements of legal practice. The emphasis is therefore on equipping students with the practical knowledge and skills required for practice, as well as introducing the values and ethics of the legal profession in Scotland.

Candidates who complete the DPLP successfully will then be eligible to undertake a two year traineeship within Scotland and qualify as solicitors. Candidates wishing to practise as advocates must complete additional training

Flexible study routes

This course is offered on both a full-time and a part-time basis, taking either 9 months (full-time) or 2 years (part-time) to complete.

Professional accreditation: Law Society of Scotland

All teaching of the Diploma is based on achieving the outcomes set by the Law Society of Scotland. These outcomes emphasise the development of practical legal skills within a backdrop of ethical and professional behaviour.

As a student you will be supported and encouraged to develop the knowledge and skills demanded by each of the compulsory and mandatory outcomes of your training and to reflect upon and record your professional development as part of that process.

You will consolidate and build on the black letter law and the research and analytical skills that you acquired as undergraduates and apply them to practical situations through interactive learning.


Top in Scotland

Law is ranked number 1 in Scotland and number 3 in the UK by the Guardian University Guide (2019). We’re also in the UK Top 10 in The Times and Sunday Times Complete University Guides, 2019.

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

The University of Dundee has been given a Gold award – the highest possible rating – in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Read more about the Teaching Excellence Framework

TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

How you will be taught

The assessments are continuous and the focus is on learning by doing, receiving feedback, giving feedback to your peers, practising to improve, and reflecting on your progress.

How you will be assessed

Students are required to reach a satisfactory standard overall in the Diploma modules which they are taking. All aspects - attendance, completion of coursework, participation in tutorials, performance in examinations - are taken into account in judging student performance.

What you will study

The Diploma curriculum runs over two semesters, from September to April. Primarily delivered by practising solicitors; the programme acts as a bridge between the academic study of law and the requirements of legal practice. Dundee Law School aims to provide a modern, progressive general Diploma programme with a range of specialist electives.

The Law Society framework for the Diploma consists of several compulsory core areas which all students must complete. The modules at Dundee which satisfy these areas are taught in semester 1 with the exception of Business and Financial Services which is taught within Semester 2.

  • Conveyancing (there are presently three sessions of Conveyancing in semester 2)
  • Criminal Court Practice
  • Civil Court Practice
  • Private Client
  • Professional Practice

In semester 2, students will have a choice of a number of electives of 20 credits each and totalling 60 credits. The modules are subject to availability. In 2019-2020 the available elective choices are expected to be:

  • Advanced Advocacy (civil & criminal)
  • Company / Commercial
  • Employment Law
  • Family Law
  • Advanced Private Client
  • Personal Injury

What you will study (part time)

Part time Diploma in Professional Legal Practice

The part time route to undertaking the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice at Dundee is a flexible pathway and one which can readily be adapted to suit individual needs and other commitments over the two year period of study.

Part time students will study alongside full time entrants and fulfil all the requirements over two academic years normally undertaken by full time students in one. There are compulsory Law Society modules to be completed and these, with the exceptions detailed below, are generally undertaken in Semester One which runs from September to December.

The face to face teaching structure of the compulsory subjects is restricted to three days being Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Students then select three Elective topics over the two years which are all taught in Semester Two which runs from January to March. Both Semesters consist of ten teaching weeks with a Reading Week in each. Additionally students must attend events run by The Law Society as well as a Risk Management Workshop in Semester Two and it is suggested that these are best attended in the last year of study as they relate directly to going into practice as a trainee solicitor.

Those part time students who wish to study the Advanced Private Client and Advanced Advocacy Electives will require to have completed the Core Course in the subject prior to beginning these. The number of modules chosen by each student can vary in each year over the course of study to accommodate particular wishes and need not represent an equal division of the requirements as a whole.

Compulsory Topics 
Semester 1 Semester 2
  • Conveyancing (of which currently 6 teaching hours extend into semester 2)
  • Private Client
  • Criminal Court Practice
  • Civil Court Practice
  • Professional Practice
  • Business and Financial Services

Elective Choices available for 2019-2020 - Semester Two

  • Advanced Advocacy (civil and criminal)
  • Advanced Private Client
  • Company/Commercial
  • Employment Law
  • Family Law
  • Personal Injury
  • Dispute Resolution

This course will give you the skills necessary to work as a solicitor or advocate.

We have close links with employers and we offer programmes to support and develop the employability of our students. Our good reputation throughout the profession and close links to employers help Dundee graduates find employment.

The Law School runs an annual Law Fair which attracts law firms and employers from around the UK and further afield. Law firms also regularly visit the law school on an individual basis for recruitment purposes.

Find out more about legal careers from our Careers Service.

You should have, or expect to have LLB in Scots Law to include all subjects required by the Law Society of Scotland. Entry to the programme is restricted to approximately 80 places determined by the academic merit of applicants. The main criterion for academic merit is the average mark obtained at first sitting in the subjects required by the Law Society of Scotland.

 EU and International qualifications

English Language Requirement

IELTS Overall 6.5
Listening 6.0
Reading 6.0
Writing 6.0
Speaking 6.0

 Equivalent grades from other test providers


English Language Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional and Foundation Programme(s) throughout the year. These are designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.

 Discover our English Language Programmes

The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application.

 Find out more about fee status

Fee statusFees for students starting 2019-20
Scottish and EU students £7,850 per year of study
Rest of UK students £7,850 per year of study
International students (non-EU) £7,850 per year of study
Fee statusFees for students starting 2020-21
Scottish and EU students £8,240 per year of study
Rest of UK students £8,240 per year of study
International students (non-EU) £8,240 per year of study
See our scholarships for International applicants

Tuition fees for Overseas (non-EU) students will increase by no more than 5% per year for the length of your course.

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs in the course of your education at the University over and above tuition fees in an academic year.

Examples of additional costs:

One off costOngoing costIncidental cost
Graduation feeStudio feeField trips

*these are examples only and are not exhaustive.

Additional costs:

  • may be mandatory or optional expenses
  • may be one off, ongoing or incidental charges and certain costs may be payable annually for each year of your programme of study
  • vary depending on your programme of study
  • are payable by you and are non-refundable and non-transferable

Unfortunately, failure to pay additional costs may result in limitations on your student experience.

For additional costs specific to your course please speak to our Enquiry Team.

Programme Materials

The tuition fee is inclusive of an iPad, course materials and books.

To be eligible for admission to the Diploma, an applicant must either have graduated or be qualified to graduate with an LLB degree from a Scottish University, with passes in subjects which cover the Law Society of Scotland's professional examination curriculum; or, have passed or obtained exemption from the examinations of the Law Society of Scotland in all subjects in the Law Society of Scotland's professional examination curriculum. Until the academic session 2011-2012 the modules at Dundee which comprise the professional examination curriculum are:

Old CurriculumNew Curriculum
Constitutional Law Foundations of Law
Administrative Law Private Law of Scotland I
Scots Law of Contract Public Law I - Sources of Power
Scots Law of Delict Scots Criminal Law & Evidence
Scottish Property Law Private Law of Scotland II
Scottish Family Law Public Law II - Controls on Power
Scots Criminal Law Commercial Law
Mercantile Law Scottish Property Law
Scottish Professional Practice Public Law III - Rights and Freedoms
Scots Law of Evidence Family Law
Revenue Law Private Law of Scotland III
European Union Law Law, Society and Human Rights*

* European Union Law is not required for admission to the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice but is required for admission as a solicitor.

* In Dundee’s Law with Languages degree students should have Justice, Law and Human Rights in place of Law, Society and Human Rights.

Admission to the DPLP is competitive and not automatic. All Scottish providers of the Diploma operate a common procedure for entry to the programme. Applicants must select and apply to one institution only. Common criteria are applied by the admission committee at each provider. Performance on the compulsory modules in the prescribed subject areas is the main criterion for admission, rather than the final degree classification. An average score is calculated for performance on the modules on the prescribed subjects and students are ranked within their institution - with (first) pass marks and (second) the number of subjects failed being noted. In the event that a choice has to be made between applicants with virtually identical averages (and fails); additional factors may be considered, including degree classification, work experience and personal or other circumstances.

If you are an undergraduate, you need to submit your application to the Director of the Diploma at your University regardless of which University you plan to study at. If you are not a graduate, you need to submit your application to the Director of the Diploma of the University of your choice.

Diploma Guidance Note 2019

Completed application forms should be received by no later than Monday 29 July 2019

Application form

Course Contact

Adele Ferrier
Dundee Law School
+44 (0)1382 384454