PGDip
10 months full time
Starts September 2017

Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)/Common Professional Examination (CPE)

This is a highly rewarding, intensive, fast-track qualification. Our course meets the requirements of the Bar Standards Board and the Solicitors Regulation Authority, and can set you on the road to qualification as a barrister, solicitor or other legal professional.

You have the opportunity to take part in activities such as:

  • client interviewing
  • mock trials
  • mooting
  • negotiating.

You’ll be able to hone your legal practice skills. You also have the chance to enter national and international competitions, to enhance your curriculum vitae and widen your professional network.

I was was looking for a place to help me achieve my academic goals and experience living abroad in an amazing city. Sussex truly gave me both.”Hamad Nourmohammadian
Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)/Common Professional Examination (CPE)

Key facts

  • Learn from today’s leading lawyers – our world-leading research underpins our teaching.
  • Prepare for your future career – our GDL is designed with skills training at their core, enabling you to think logically about legal problems.
  • Discover what interests you most – Sussex Law School provides a truly international, stimulating and engaging learning environment for you to build a rich base of knowledge.

How will I study?

You’ll learn through core modules. Assessment includes exams, essays and a dissertation.

The Sussex GDL offers the rare opportunity to undertake a dissertation project. This allows you to benefit from the University’s excellent research reputation, to research and write in-depth about a subject of your choice, with support and advice from your supervisor and the course team.

What will I study?

  • Module list

    Core modules

    Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

    • Criminal Law (GDL)

      15 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

      This module includes the elements of a crime: actus reus and mens rea, negligence and strict liability; the criminal liability of corporations and children; defences; accomplices; homicide; non-fatal offences against the person; sexual offences; theft and other property offences; inchoate offences.

      It places the law within the framework of the Human Rights Act 1998 and some aspects of criminal law theory such as theories of punishment, why conduct should be criminalized and, where appropriate, deals with issues of procedure, evidence and sentencing that are relevant to the substantive law.

    • Introduction to English Legal System (GDL)

      15 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

      This module will introduce you to the institutions, personnel and procedures of the English Legal System. The lectures will provide an outline of five broad areas: sources of law; statutory interpretation; case law and the system of precedent; the court structure and basic appeals procedure and legal personnel and legal services. It will provide you with the necessary research methodology and skills to successfully undertake independent research and assessment in the range of core subjects.

    • Law and Policy of the European Union (GDL)

      15 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

      In this module, you examine the law and policy of the EU - with an emphasis on its nature as a legal and constitutional order and its relationship to national legal systems.

      Your studies in this module cover the institutions of the EU, and the principles of individual and fundamental rights protection developed by the Court of Justice. 

      And as part of the module, you are introduced to substantive policies of the EU, particularly the single market.

    • Public Law (GDL)

      15 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

      In this module, you consider the nature and structure of the British constitution.

      You address some of the core theoretical principles of the constitution and examine how those principles are applied in the institutional arrangements of government in the UK.

      As part of the module, you consider the relationship between the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government.
      And you analyse the allocation of power between them in terms of both constitutional theory and political practice.

      In this module, you also consider the extent to which state power is subject to control and restraint.
      You examine the mechanisms that are used to control the exercises of state power. And you consider the principles of Judicial Review, as well as some alternative mechanisms for holding the institutions of the state to account.

    • Dissertation (GDL)

      30 credits
      Autumn & Spring Teaching, Year 1

      This subject enables you to explore under supervision an area of law of your choice with view to completing a dissertation project.

    • Equity and Trusts (GDL)

      15 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      The subject of 'Equity and Trusts' consists of two related parts:

      • key principles and concepts of equity and equitable remedies
      • the institution of the trust.

      Your studies in this module set 'Equity and Trusts' in its social, economic and political contexts.

      As part of the module, you consider the historical development of equity and the use of particular equitable remedies.

      You also look at the institution of the trust, its formation and constitution, moving on to regard the idea of beneficial ownership.

      In this module, you consider the nature of private and public purpose trusts and implied trusts. Further, you look at the duties, responsibilities and rights of the personnel involved in a trust relationship - finally moving on to look at the liability for strangers to a trust.

      You analyse the basic principles and theoretical underpinnings of the subject within this framework.

    • Land Law (GDL)

      15 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      In this module, you explore the legal rules determining what it means to own land and/or other rights that relate to land.

      The topics you study in this module may include:

      • the doctrines of estates and tenure
      • the meaning of land (fixtures)
      • the distinction between personal and property rights
      • the role of equity and the trust and the doctrine of proprietary estoppel
      • the contractual formalities for buying an interest or estate in land
      • acquiring ownership rights, including the rules of adverse possession
      • unregistered and registered title
      • mortgages
      • leases (and licences)
      • co-ownership
      • trusts of Land
      • freehold covenants
      • easements.
    • The Law of Contract (GDL)

      15 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      In this module, you explore the legal rules and principles related to the formation, enforcement and vitiation of contractual promises.

      In particular, you consider ideas of offer and acceptance. You study the legal doctrine of consideration and the equitable doctrine of promissory estoppel.

      As part of the module, you consider rights of enforceability under the doctrine of privity and then go on to consider the classification and substance of particular terms in a contract, e.g. implied terms or exemption clauses.

      Your studies in this module go on to look at factors that may vitiate or void agreement, such as misrepresentation, mistake, frustration, duress and undue influence.

    • The Law of Tort (GDL)

      15 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      In broad terms, tort is the area of civil law primarily concerned with providing a remedy to persons who have been wrongfully harmed by the conduct of others.

      In this module, you explore a number of the most important areas of tort law, such as:

      • negligence
      • nuisance
      • occupiers' liability
      • trespass to the person
      • defamation
      • liability for psychiatric harm
      • vicarious liability
      • employers' liability.

Entry requirements

A lower second-class (2.2) undergraduate honours degree or above.

Applications are made through the Central Applications Board and not direct to the University. The contact details for the Central Applications Board are PO Box 84, Guildford, Surrey GU31 1YX, UK; telephone +44 (0)1483 451080 or visit the Central Applications Board website.

Applicants with non-UK degrees, who intend to practice as a barrister, require a Certificate of Academic Standing from the Bar Standards Board.

English language requirements

Standard level (IELTS 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each section)

Find out about other English language qualifications we accept.

English language support

Don’t have the English language level for your course? Find out more about our pre-sessional courses.

Additional information for international students

We welcome applications from all over the world. Find out about international qualifications suitable for our Masters courses.

Visas and immigration

Find out how to apply for a student visa


Fees and scholarships

How much does it cost?

Fees

Home: £7,700 per year

EU: £7,700 per year

Channel Islands and Isle of Man: £7,700 per year

Overseas: £15,100 per year

Note that your fees may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

How can I fund my course?

Scholarships

Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

Chancellor’s Masters Scholarship (2017)

Open to students with a 1st class from a UK university or excellent grades from an EU university and offered a F/T place on a Sussex Masters in 2017

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Chancellor’s Masters Scholarship

Lady Monica Cockfield Scholarship (2017)

Two full UK/EU fee waivers for students who hold an offer of a place on the MA in European Governance and Policy.

Application deadline:

31 July 2017

Find out more about the Lady Monica Cockfield Scholarship

Sussex Graduate Scholarship (2017)

Open to Sussex students who graduate with a first or upper second-class degree and offered a full-time place on a Sussex Masters course in 2017

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Graduate Scholarship

Sussex India Scholarships (2017)

Sussex India Scholarships are worth £3,500 and are for overseas fee paying students from India commencing Masters study in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex India Scholarships

Sussex Malaysia Scholarships (2017)

Sussex Malaysia Scholarships are worth £3,500 and are for overseas fee paying students from Malaysia commencing Masters study in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Malaysia Scholarships

Sussex Nigeria Scholarships (2017)

Sussex Nigeria Scholarships are worth £3,500 or £5,000 and are for overseas fee paying students from Nigeria commencing a Masters in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Nigeria Scholarships

Sussex Pakistan Scholarships (2017)

Sussex Pakistan Scholarships are worth £3,500 and are for overseas fee paying students from Pakistan commencing Masters study in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Pakistan Scholarships

How Masters scholarships make studying more affordable

Living costs

Find out typical living costs for studying at Sussex.


Faculty

The Sussex GDL core modules are taught by faculty members with strong expertise in the areas covered by the syllabus. In addition, most faculty members in the Sussex Law School will be available as potential dissertation supervisors.

  • Faculty profiles

    Dr Femi Amao
    Senior Lecturer in Corporate/CommercialLaw
    O.Amao@sussex.ac.uk

    View profile

    Dr Stephanie Berry
    Lecturer in Public Law
    S.E.Berry@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Freedom of Religion, International human rights, Minority Rights, Public international law, The European convention on human rights

    View profile

    Dr Kimberley Brayson
    Lecturer in Law
    K.D.Brayson@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Critical Legal Theory, Feminist Legal Studies, Jurisprudence/Philosophy Of Law, The European convention on human rights

    View profile

    Dr Philip Bremner
    Lecturer in Tort Law
    P.D.Bremner@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Assisted Reproduction, Comparative Family Law, Comparative Law, Cross-border family law, EU Law, Family (especially child) law, Gender and Sexuality, legal theory, LGBTQ+ Legal Issues, Mental Health Law, Private international law, Research design and methodology, Same-Sex Parenting, Sexuality and the law, Socio Legal Studies, Surrogacy, Tort Law

    View profile

    Prof Jo Bridgeman
    Professor of Healthcare Law & Feminist Ethics
    J.C.Bridgeman@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: critiques of rights, family and parental responsibility, feminist perspectives on law, Healthcare Law and Ethics, Legal regulation of children's health, Responsibilities to children

    View profile

    Dr Qingxiu Bu
    Senior Lecturer in Corporate/CommercialLaw
    Q.Bu@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Corporate Criminal Liability and Anti-Bribery Law, Corporate Finance Law, Extraterritoriality, Sovereignty and Global Crime, Financial Fraud Litigation, Foreign Investment and National Security, Global Antitrust Enforcement, International Business and Human Rights, Transnational Business Law

    View profile

    Dr John Child
    Senior Lecturer
    J.J.Child@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Criminal law, Criminal law theory

    View profile

    Dr Alex Conte
    Reader in Human Rights Law
    Alex.Conte@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Counter-terrorism, detention, fair trial, global security, International human rights, international humanitarian law, Public international law

    View profile

    Dr Elizabeth Craig
    Senior Lecturer
    Elizabeth.Craig@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Bills of Rights, Constitutional Law, Culture, Identity, International human rights, Language rights, Minority Rights

    View profile

    Dr Mark Davies
    Senior Lecturer In Law
    M.R.Davies@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Healthcare Law and Ethics, higher education, Professional regulation, Science and law

    View profile

    Dr Kamala Dawar
    Senior Lecturer in Commercial Law
    K.Dawar@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Competition and consumer law, Development law, International Financial Law, International political economy, International trade law, Investment Arbitration, Public procurement and subsidy regulation

    View profile

    Mr Paul Eden
    Senior Lecturer in Law
    P.A.Eden@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Carriage by Air, Carriage of Goods by Sea, International Commercial Law, International Sales Law, Law of Treaties, Legal Interpretation, Plurilingualism, Statehood and Recognition, Terrorist Financing, The Crime of Apartheid

    View profile

    Dr Lucy Finchett-Maddock
    Lecturer in Law
    L.Finchett-Maddock@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Aesthetics and Politics, Commons, Complexity and Law, Critical Legal Theory, Entropy, Environmental law, Geographies of Law, Law and Art, Law Relating To Property, Property law, Right to Housing, Right to Protest, Social Theory, Speculative Philosophy, Squatting, William S. Burroughs (disobedience)

    View profile

    Dr Maria Frabboni
    Lecturer in Law
    M.M.Frabboni@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: intellectual property law, Law and economics of intellectual property, Policy, Arts Management & Creative Industries

    View profile

    Dr Tom Frost
    Lecturer In Legal Theory
    T.M.Frost@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Critical Legal Theory, Giorgio Agamben, Jurisprudence/Philosophy Of Law, Michel Foucault

    View profile

    Dr Matthew Garrod
    Lecturer in Law
    M.Garrod@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Counter-terrorism, Cyber terrorism, History of international law, Immunities from Criminal Jurisdiction, International Crimes, International Criminal Law, International Terrorism, Laws of War, Piracy, Protective Principle Jurisdiction in International Law, Public international law, Universal Jurisdiction in International Law

    View profile

    Dr Gianluca Gentili
    Lecturer In Law
    G.Gentili@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: American Constitutional Law, Applied Constitutional Theory, Canadian Constitutional Law, Comparative Constitutional Law, Comparative Law, International human rights, Law and Society, Public international law, Rights of LGBTI People, Sub-national constitutionalism, UK constitutional law

    View profile

    Dr Ahmad Ghouri
    Senior Lecturer in Commercial Law
    A.A.Ghouri@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Alternative Dispute Resolution, comparative corporate law and governance, international commercial arbitration, International Commercial Law, international dispute resolution, international investment law, investor-state arbitration, Islamic commercial law

    View profile

    Dr Sabrina Gilani
    Lecturer in Canadian Law
    S.Gilani@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: aboriginal rights, Critical Legal Theory, digital embodiment, Digital Humanities, legal geography, legal pluralism, Minority Rights, Postcolonial/Decolonial theory, posthumanism, Socio-legal theory, sociology of law, sociology of the body

    View profile

    Dr Andres Guadamuz
    Senior Lecturer In Intellectual PropertyLaw
    A.Guadamuz@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Comparative Law, Complexity and Law, Copyright Law, Cyberlaw, intellectual property law, Internet Law, Internet regulation, Law and economics of intellectual property, Software patents, Virtual worlds

    View profile

    Dr Edward Guntrip
    Lecturer In Law
    E.J.Guntrip@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Foreign direct investment, global commons, international dispute resolution, international investment law, investor-state arbitration, Public international law

    View profile

    Dr Sirko Harder
    Reader in Law
    S.Harder@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Civil remedies, Law of obligations, Private international law

    View profile

    Prof Christian Henderson
    Professor of International Law
    C.M.Henderson@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Public international law

    View profile

    Dr Bonnie Holligan
    Lecturer In Property Law
    B.Holligan@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Environmental law, Land law, Property law

    View profile

    Dr Helena Howe
    Lecturer In Law
    H.R.Howe@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: environmental education, Property law, Sustainable agriculture

    View profile

    Ms Marie Hutton
    Lecturer in Law
    M.Hutton@sussex.ac.uk

    View profile

    Dr Pablo Iglesias-Rodriguez
    Lecturer in International Finance Law
    P.Iglesias-Rodriguez@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: comparative corporate law and governance, Financial Markets, Financial regulation, Global Corporate Law and Governance

    View profile

    Dr John Jupp
    Senior Teaching Fellow
    J.Jupp@sussex.ac.uk

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    Mr Ioannis Katsaroumpas
    Lecturer in Employment Law
    I.Katsaroumpas@sussex.ac.uk

    View profile

    Dr Michael Kearney
    Senior Lecturer
    M.G.Kearney@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: accountability, anarchism, apartheid, capitalism, Colonialism, cover up, fact-finding missions, Human Rights, incitement, international criminal court, International Criminal Law, jurisdiction, lawfare, middle east, palestine, propaganda for war, Public international law, responsibility, statehood, Transitional justice, war crimes

    View profile

    Prof Heather Keating
    Professor of Criminal Law & Criminal Responsibility
    H.M.Keating@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Family (especially child) law

    View profile

    Dr Colin King
    Senior Lecturer
    Colin.King@sussex.ac.uk

    View profile

    Dr Tarik Kochi
    Senior Lecturer
    T.Kochi@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Critical Legal Theory, Critical Theory, Hegel, History and Theory of War, History of political economy, History of Political Thought, International Law, International Political Theory, Jurisprudence/Philosophy Of Law, Social and political theory

    View profile

    Mr Laurence Koffman
    Emeritus Reader
    L.Koffman@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Youth justice and diversion

    View profile

    Dr Alexander Latham
    Lecturer in Welfare Law
    A.Latham@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Constitutional Law, democracy, housing law, legal theory, political theory, Public Law, The European convention on human rights

    View profile

    Mrs Mary Lee
    Senior Teaching Fellow
    M.A.T.Lee@sussex.ac.uk

    View profile

    Dr Phoebe Li
    Senior Lecturer
    Phoebe.Li@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: 3D bioprinting, 3D printing, Access to health technologies, Compulsory licensing, International intellectual property, Patents, Regulation of science and technology

    View profile

    Mr Craig Lind
    Senior Lecturer in Law
    C.Lind@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Child Law, Family Law, Gender and law, Sexuality and the law

    View profile

    Dr Emily Lydgate
    Lecturer In Environmental Law
    E.Lydgate@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: agriculture and conservation, biodiversity and climate change regulation, Economic integration, Environmental policy, Renewable Energy, Trade liberalization

    View profile

    Prof Chris Marsden
    Professor Of Media Law
    C.Marsden@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: broadcasting law, Internet Law, Internet policy, Internet Science, Law and economics, Media law, Net Neutrality, Open Access to Law, Telecommunications Law

    View profile

    Prof Donald Mcgillivray
    Professor of Environmental Law
    D.McGillivray@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: access to land, Climate change, Environmental law, Land law, Land Use, Water Resources

    View profile

    Prof Susan Millns
    Professor of Law
    S.Millns@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: citizenship, Comparative Law, Constitutional Law, European Union Law, Feminist Legal Studies, Human Rights

    View profile

    Dr Maria Moscati
    Lecturer in Family Law
    M.F.Moscati@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Access to justice, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Cause Lawyering, Children's rights, Comparative Family Law, Comparative Law, Family Law, Law in Context, Rights of LGBTI People, Sexuality and the law

    View profile

    Dr Verona Ni Drisceoil
    Lecturer in Law
    V.Ni-Drisceoil@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Culture and Identity Rights, FGM, Language Legislation, Language rights, law and culture, Minority Rights

    View profile

    Dr Aisling O'Sullivan
    Lecturer in Law
    A.O-Sullivan@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Critical approaches to international criminal law, History of International Criminal Law, Immunity of State Officials in International Criminal law, Universal Jurisdiction in International Law

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    Dr Emanuela Orlando
    Lecturer in Environmental Law
    E.Orlando@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: environmental crime, environmental liability, EU Law, International and EU environmental law

    View profile

    Dr Tanya Palmer
    Lecturer in Law
    T.Palmer@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Criminal law and criminal justice, Criminal law theory, Embodiment, feminist perspectives on law, Feminist theory, gender, Gender and Sexuality, gender-based violence, Research design and methodology, Sexual and gendered subjectivities, sexual violence, Socio Legal Studies

    View profile

    Dr Amir Paz-Fuchs
    Senior Lecturer
    A.Paz-Fuchs@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Employment Law, legal theory, Privatisation and outsourcing, Social rights and social justice, Socio Legal Studies

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    Dr Charlotte Skeet
    Lecturer in Law
    C.H.Skeet@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Post-colonial legal theory

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    Prof Lindsay Stirton
    Professor of Public Law
    L.Stirton@sussex.ac.uk

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    Mrs Teresa Sutton
    Lecturer in Law
    T.J.Sutton@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Ecclesiastical law, Land law, Land Use, Land Use Change, Law Relating To Property, Legal History, Property law

    View profile

    Prof Erika Szyszczak
    Research Professor
    E.Szyszczak@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: EU Competition Law, EU Employment Law, EU Governance, EU State Aid Law and Policy, EU trade policy, New Models of Public Services, Post Brexit Trade Policy, Public Procurement, Services of General Economic Interest, Transformation of the state and markets

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    Dr Kenneth Veitch
    Senior Lecturer
    K.J.Veitch@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: health care law, medical law, obligation, Social policy, Social Theory, Socio Legal Studies, sociology of law, Welfare state

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    Prof Richard Vogler
    Professor of Comparative Criminal Law &Criminal Justice
    R.K.Vogler@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Comparative Law, Criminal justice reform, Criminal law and criminal justice, Criminal Law And Criminology

    View profile

    Dr Lara Walker
    Senior Lecturer in Law
    lw264@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Cross-border family law, Family (especially child) law, Private international law

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    Dr Mark Walters
    Reader in Criminal Law and CriminalJustice
    Mark.Walters@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Criminal justice reform, Criminal law and criminal justice, Criminology, hate crime, Restorative justice, sexual violence

    View profile

    Dr Joanna Wilson
    Lecturer In Commercial Law
    J.L.Wilson@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: bail in, bail out, bank regulation, banking, banking law, club governance, Common Law, Including Commercial Law, Corporate/commercial law, crisis management, lender of last resort

    View profile

Careers

Graduate destinations

97% of students from Sussex Law School were in work or further study six months after graduating. Our graduates have gone on to jobs including:

  • associate lawyer, White and Case LLP
  • forensic assistant, International Criminal Court
  • parliamentary assistant, European Union.

(HESA EPI, Destinations of Post Graduate Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2015)

Your future career

We help to prepare you for a future career as a barrister, solicitor or other legal professional.

If you choose not to pursue one of these routes, graduate level law skills may be useful for a range of other opportunities, for example:

  • business and finance
  • patent work
  • trading standards
  • the police service
  • probation service
  • advice work and more.

Some GDL students enjoy law so much that they remain in academia to read for Masters or doctorate degrees.

Working while you study

Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work

Sussex has an excellent reputation for preparing postgraduate students for law careers. My training contract was with one of the top 100 law firms.”Sue Warwick
Solicitor