Alfred Artley

Graduate Diploma in Law, 2017

Alfred Artley

I’m so glad I chose Oxford Brookes for my GDL. The cohort is small in relation to other providers, which means you study in a much more friendly and collaborative atmosphere

I’m so glad I chose Oxford Brookes for my GDL. The cohort is small in relation to other providers, which means you study in a much more friendly and collaborative atmosphere. The lectures are always engaging and, because the seminar groups are small, you have the opportunity to discuss and debate issues with your tutors.

The GDL is essentially the equivalent of an undergraduate law degree compressed into a single year, and therefore, of necessity, it is a demanding programme. The Brookes course helpfully breaks down each topic into manageable chunks, and is realistic about how much ground it is possible to cover given the time constraints of the programme. The structured nature of the assessments was particularly helpful. The coursework and exams are spread over three sessions, which allows you to focus on particular areas in turn.

As a GDL student, it is challenging to balance your academic commitments with applying for pupillages and training contracts – the essential next step to becoming a barrister or solicitor – and this can be a gruelling process at times. What I appreciated about Brookes was how supportive our tutors were during this process; they were always prepared to go the extra mile with help and advice. The School of Law also runs a mentoring scheme, pairing current students with junior barrister alumni, and I found this very helpful too. I was also involved in mooting – this is where students take part in advocacy exercises (usually a mock Court of Appeal hearing) to present a case before a real judge: an immensely enjoyable experience and excellent preparation for interviews too.