Applications for the 2020/21 session open on 21 February 2020.
The application process is very different to UCAS admission to the degree. Each year we issue a guidance note to help Diploma applicants understand the process and additional factors to consider when deciding to do the Diploma, such as employability statistics, funding arrangements and available places.
IMPORTANT: Due to the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak, the Diploma providers are now requesting that applications for the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice are sent via email. For full details, click here
Criteria for admission
In the interests of fairness, the basic criterion for entry to the Diploma is based on your marks (at first sitting) on the subjects you take during the LLB. These subjects map to outcomes that are universally required regardless of which university you study at. However the individual subjects that are required can differ in name at each university. You should check with your LLB university law school to confirm what the correct subjects are.
This criterion could be moderated (in either direction) by the class and type of degree obtained, overall number of failed subjects at undergraduate level, other qualifications (both undergraduate and postgraduate) and special circumstances affecting the academic performance of individual students such as illness, other personal factors and the weight and nature of curriculum (unless already taken into account internally).
The fact that an applicant has an offer of a traineeship at the time of applying for a Diploma place may also be a factor taken into account, but only as another possible factor when deciding among applicants who have extremely similar academic records. It is not in and of itself a circumstance which gives rise to a right to embark on the Diploma.
How to apply
The allocation of places on Diploma courses is administered by the individual providers, and any specific questions in relation to a particular provider should be addressed to that university.
If you wish to apply for the Diploma, you are required to apply via the university you completed your LLB with. You then need to apply online to the Diploma provider of your choice. Students who have undertaken/are undertaking the Law Society exams should obtain an application form from the university they wish to apply for and send the completed form to that university.
When completing your Diploma application you will be asked to select only one university. In recent years, the majority of students have been offered their first place but this is variable depending on the number of students applying in any given year, and the number of places available.
If you are not offered your first choice, you will be contacted by the Diploma provider you applied to, advising which Diploma provider they are passing your application to. At this stage you have the option to decline the offer and ask to be considered at another provider.
Please ensure you complete the form carefully and if there are any special circumstances in relation to your application, ensure you detail this in the appropriate section of the form.
Application process timeline
This timeline is designed to be a guide and is based on the normal annual timings we have seen in past years. For specific dates relating to this year's Diploma intake, please read our Guidance Note.
21 February: Applications for the Diploma open
17 April: Applications for the Diploma close
May: You will receive an acknowledgement of your application from your first-choice Diploma unit
Round 1 offers
UPDATE: Deadline for Round 1 offers to be made to successful applicants has changed from 26 June to 10 July
24 July: Deadline for acceptance of Round 1 offers
Applicants not receiving an offer of a place in Round 1 are to be placed on a waiting list by their first choice Diploma Unit in case a space should open during July. Such students to have their applications reviewed again by their first choice Diploma Unit immediately after the Round 1 deadline, then made an offer if a space opens up.
Round 2 offers
For applicants that have not been successful in Round 1, the Diploma Unit rejecting the applicant should inform each affected student of the alternative destinations available to them. The student should be asked to identify the alternative Diploma provider to which they wish their application forms transferred.
August: Deadline for Round 2 offers to be made to successful applicants
August: Deadline for acceptance of Round 2 offers
Deferred entry offers are not usually made. However, you can apply again in future and it will be treated as a first time application, i.e. there will be no guarantee of being accepted and no negative implications having applied before.The benchmark for admission to the course varies slightly every year dependent on the number of places available and grades obtained by the cohort,
No. The reason the Diploma providers use a ranking system is so selection will be entirely impartial. Students should bear in mind that they are not entitled a place at a Diploma unit because they were an LLB student at the same institution.
Each year we see a small pool of 'wait-listed' students and it's not the norm. However, if you do feel like your grades may impact your success of obtaining a first-choice offer, it might be advisable to stay flexible and don't discount other Diploma providers. Make sure you've done your research of your alternative options.
Due to the fact the Diploma has a validity period, it's definitely advisable to take time out after the LLB and before the Diploma. The LLB has no such validity period, so you could work for several years doing something else before applying to start the Diploma course.