Serena Chang is a future trainee at Freshfields and in part two of her GDL survival guide, she discusses her experience with the BPP GDL assessments and her suggestions for preparation before the course starts.
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Registration for the full-time GDL is at the end of September, which means there is some time to get yourself on the front foot after your summer holiday. On Registration Day, you will receive your timetable and meet the staff and other students.
It’s worth familiarising yourself with your schedule and any key dates right at the beginning. And of course, do also note down the contact details for your tutors and start a Whatsapp group with your course mates!
BPP doesn’t send too much information until a few weeks before the course, but when they do, they will give you access to the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and send a nice healthy portion of pre-reading materials.
This is compulsory, and consists of online lecture recordings, PDF files of notes and handouts, and some self-assessment questions. BPP will upload material in this same way throughout the course, so it is useful to be able to begin to navigate your way around the VLE early on.
In the preparation materials, there are four topics; the English Legal System, Statutory Interpretation and Analysis, Case Analysis and Study Skills. This content will still be assessed in part of the extra exams at other points of the course.
I found it most helpful to focus on answering the questions and self-assessments. This is for two reasons:
Finally, as the preparation materials do not actually cover any of the substantive modules, it is quite useful to stay disciplined with how much time you spend on it.
Make sure you feel fully prepared for the sessions and try to understand the basic concepts. If you are unable to dedicate a bit of time to getting ahead on the core modules, it will be extremely useful later.
As well as the core modules, there are four other assessments which you will need to get through during the GDL.
These are: European Union Law, the Independent Research Essay, the Case Analysis test (“CAT”) and the Statutory Analysis test (“SAT”).
The European Union Law assessment is in January of the September-start full-time course. It is multiple choice and taught throughout the first term with the other substantive modules.
The Independent Research Essay (IRE) is 4,000 words maximum and is handed in around Easter time. There is a list of questions from which you can pick the one to answer, or you can make up your own questions if you submit a request early enough in advance,
You might have noticed these are first introduced right at the beginning of the course in the preparatory materials, though they are not examined until the very end of the GDL, after the substantive modules.
I hope you have found this guide useful. Don’t forget to check out part one of my GDL survival guide (if you haven’t already) for my tips and tricks to deal with the main substantive modules and exam technique.
Words: Serena Chang
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