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Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice

Degree Type Graduate Diploma

Duration 1 year full-time or part-time equiv.

SATAC Code 3GD087

CRICOS 077967G

The Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (GDLP) provides practical legal training for Law graduates. This training is a compulsory requirement to be admitted as a barrister and solicitor in South Australia. Once admitted in South Australia you can apply for a Practising Certificate in other states and territories via mutual recognition.

The degree comprises a core of compulsory courses and a choice of elective courses. These courses are designed to be flexible around other requirements, with students offered the option of week day, after-hours and weekend classes. Students are also offered the option of an accelerated degree, which can be completed in six months.

All applicants to the GDLP must have successfully completed the Bachelor of Laws (LLB), or met the concurrent study criteria specified by the Admitting Authority (see Degree Structure below). If you studied your LLB overseas, then these qualifications will need to be accredited by the South Australian Board of Examiners before you will be able to commence the GDLP. You should contact the Law Society to discuss what they will need to do for accreditation.

The GDLP can be undertaken at a pace to suit your goals. There are four intakes scheduled for 2018:

  • Trimester 1 - Tuesday 6 February - SATAC closes Monday 22 January 2018
  • Term 2 - Tuesday 17 April - SATAC closes Monday 2 April 2018
  • Term 3 - Tuesday 17 July - SATAC closes Monday 2 July 2018
  • Term 4 - Tuesday 9 October - SATAC closes Monday 24 September 2018
  • Entry Requirements

    Choose your applicant type to view the relevant admissions information for this program.
    I am a:

    Domestic applicants

    Not a domestic applicant?

    Admissions Transparency Data

    SATAC Code 3GD087
    Deferment Yes - 2 year
    Intake February, April, July and October.
    Enquiries Ask Adelaide
    Selection Criteria
    Graduate entry only

    Graduate Entry A completed Bachelor of Laws (LLB) or equivalent program from within Australia. Applicants in their final semester of a Bachelor of Laws will be considered.

    In order to be permitted to commence the GDLP, applicants must have completed all Priestley 11 subjects required for admission.

    Applicants with overseas qualifications will be considered on a case by case basis.

    How to Apply
    SATAC Code: 3GD087

    International applicants

    Not an international applicant?

    Admissions Transparency Data

    CRICOS 077967G
    Intake February, April, July and October
    Selection Criteria
    English Language Requirements
    Australian Year 12 Successful completion of an Australian year 12 qualification with a minimum pass in an accepted English language subject
    English Tests accepted by the University of Adelaide
    IELTS Overall 7 Reading 6.5 Listening 6.5 Speaking 7 Writing 7
    TOEFL Overall 94 Reading 20 Listening 20 Speaking 23 Writing 27
    Pearsons Overall 65 Reading 58 Listening 58 Speaking 65 Writing 65
    Cambridge Overall 185 Reading 176 Listening 176 Speaking 185 Writing 185
    Qualifications that meet minimum English requirements A range of alternative qualifications may meet the University’s minimum English requirements
    Academic Entry Requirements
    Tertiary Qualifications Bachelor of Laws or equivalent.
    How to Apply
  • Fees and Scholarships

    Choose your applicant type to view the relevant fees and scholarships information for this program.
    I am a:

    Domestic applicants

    Not a domestic applicant?

    Annual tuition fees
    Australian Full-fee place: $9,250

    International applicants

    Not an international applicant?

    Annual tuition fees International student place: $15,500


    These scholarships, as well as many others funded by industry and non-profit organisations, are available to potential and currently enrolled students.

    Find a Scholarship.

  • Careers

    Career Readiness

    Graduates will be qualified to practise law in Australia.

    The University of Adelaide Careers Service prepares, inspires and empowers students to achieve successful career transitions and connect with industry.

    Graduate Attributes

    The objective of this program is to produce graduates with specific attributes as outlined in University of Adelaide Graduate Attributes.
    1. Deep discipline knowledge
    2. Critical thinking and problem solving
    3. Teamwork and communication skills
    4. Career and leadership readiness
    5. Intercultural and ethical competency
    6. Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Industry Placement

    Most students complete their placement in a legal office, for example in private practice or a government legal services department.

    Although most students source their own placements, the Law Society of South Australia members of the GDLP staff can assist. Placements are allocated on a priority basis and whilst we endeavour to place students in their first choice practice area, this cannot be guaranteed.

    GDLP students complete a placement handbook to ensure that they complete real legal tasks and "hit the ground running" on day one of practice as an admitted lawyer.

    More information relating to placements can be found at

    Professional Accreditation

    When you have successfully passed the GDLP, you can apply for direct admission to practise as a barrister and solicitor in South Australia. Once admitted in South Australia you can apply for mutual recognition from the admitting authority of the Australian state that you wish to practise in.

    Potential careers

    Barrister, Solicitor, Lawyer / Solicitor / Barrister

  • Global Learning

    A Global Learning Experience is an integral component to your academic journey at The University of Adelaide. The university is committed to offering its students the opportunity to study overseas through a range of degrees offered via the Global Learning Office, including student exchange, study tours, short study degrees, internships and placements. There are many exciting opportunities in Europe, Asia, the Americas, Africa, and Oceania ranging from a few weeks to a full academic year.

    To find Global Learning opportunities available in your study area click Global Experiences.

  • Degree Structure

    Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice students are required to complete the following:

    • Five 'Core' Courses - Foundations of the GDLP (compulsory before completing any other course), Professional Obligations, Civil Litigation, Commercial and Corporate and Property Law Practice;
    • Two ‘Elective’ Courses from the following - Criminal Law, Family Law, Employment and Industrial Relations and Wills and Estates;
    • Five hours minimum of Continuing Professional Development (CPD); and
    • 30 days (225 hours) of Legal Practice Placement.

    The program is a 24 unit program with Foundations of GDLP, a six unit course, being the pre-requiste course for all other courses. The compulsory courses are offered twice yearly with the foundations course being offered in both summer and winter semesters.

    Traditionally the GDLP has been designed to be undertaken over a 6-12 month period. There is also an option for students to undertake the GDLP (unit delivery only) in one semester via fast tracking. There will be four intakes per year: February, April, July and October.

    Concurrent Degree

    Seeking Exemption from the Requirement to have Completed Academic Qualifications in Law before Commencing Practical Legal Training.

    You do not have to wait until you have finished your South Australian Law degree to commence the GDLP, as long as you:

    • have completed all Academic Requirements for admission; and
    • have no more than two academic subjects to complete the qualification at the point of commencement (and will be enrolled to complete the subject(s) while undertaking the GDLP); and
    • can provide a letter outlining permission granted to commence the GDLP from the Admitting Authority.
    All of these conditions must be in place prior to commencing the GDLP.

    The process for permission is managed by The Law Society of South Australia Ethics and Practice Unit. All enquiries should be emailed to:

    Academic Program Rules

    The Calendar is a comprehensive handbook of the University's academic program rules.

    Example Study Plan

    Indicative study plan
    Core course
    • LAW 6501: Foundations of the GDLP – 6 unit course
    • LAW 6502: Civil Litigation Practice
    • LAW 6503: Commercial and Corporate Practice
    • LAW 6504: Property Law Practice
    • LAW 6505: Professional Obligations
    Elective courses 

    Courses to the value of 6 units from the following:

    Candidates must also complete work placements to the value of 6 weeks (225 hours)
    as approved by the Law Society of South Australia and completion of 5
    Continuing Professional Development Hours.


    A variety of assessment tasks will be required, varying slightly from course to course but including a combination of the following: multiple choice questions, practical legal research assessment, demonstration of advocacy skills, online quizzes, practical interviewing and advising tasks, participation in discussion boards, drafting letters of advice, drafting, completion of relevant forms.

  • Related Degrees

  • Further Information

    Further enquiries
    Phone: +61 8 8313 7335 (toll free 1800 061 459)

    The annual Open Day and Information Night events provide an excellent opportunity to see our campus, meet with academics, and discuss your study options.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.

Last updated: Tuesday, 23 Jan 2018