Diploma in Professional Legal Practice

New Diploma Students

Welcome to the Law School

Welcome to the 2020/21 academic year. We are delighted to welcome you as a new Diploma in Professional Legal Practice student at Edinburgh Law School and we hope you find your studies stimulating, rewarding and enjoyable!

As a new student to the School, there is a lot of advice and guidance available to help you settle in and make the most of your studies. As such, we have included some of the most relevant advice for you below.

New Postgraduate Masters and Diploma Students Town Hall (8 September 2020, 12pm)

We held an online Town Hall Q&A session to discuss what you can expect the start of this new semester to be like. Watch the session recording here, or download the presentation slides.

Foundation Skills Programme

Our Foundation Skills Programme runs from Wednesday 16th September to Friday 18th September. It is designed to give you an opportunity to familiarise yourself with the Diploma programme, your Programme Director, your designated Personal Tutor, and to engage with your future classmates.

The Foundation Skills Programme includes a range of live sessions, for which attendance is compulsory. These sessions will provide you with important information about the Diploma programme and equip you to prepare for teaching in all of your Core Courses, commencing in the week beginning 21st September.

By no later than 11th September you will receive an email providing you with a copy of the Foundation Skills Programme Handbook which contains an overview of the various sessions which will be taking place. Please bear in mind that, in addition to live sessions, you will be expected to complete some self-study activities during the Foundation Skills Programme and you should, therefore, expect to have three-full days of study between 16th - 18th September. Full details will be provided in the Foundation Skills Programme Handbook.

Your Personal Tutor

Your Personal Tutor will have oversight of your academic progress throughout your programme, and can provide advice on a range of matters.

During the Foundation Skills Programme, we have arranged for all Personal Tutors to meet their new students in a group setting. This will be an online meeting, hosted in our virtual classroom - Collaborate. The meeting is an opportunity for you to find out more about the role of your Personal Tutor and to ask any questions you may have. The timings for these Personal Tutor group meetings will be set out in the Foundation Skills Programme Handbook.

If you would like to have a one-to-one meeting with your Personal Tutor you are welcome to request this. When you attend the group meeting in the Foundation Skills Programme you will be provided with your Personal Tutor’s contact details. Please email your Personal Tutor at that stage to request a one-to-one meeting. Please note that, in most cases, it will not be possible for these one-to-one meetings to take place in person, as there is not sufficient office space available to allow for physical distancing. Meetings will be held virtually via Microsoft Teams in most cases.

Diploma Office

The Diploma Office is here to offer you advice and guidance throughout the course of your studies. If you have any questions related to teaching, including questions about your timetable, course materials, access to our online Virtual Learning Environment (LEARN), any teaching-related queries, or if you are experiencing any issues, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

The Diploma Office is based at our premises at 9B Holyrood Road. A member of staff will be on-campus for core teaching hours, but we are also available to support you virtually.

You can contact us at law.diploma@ed.ac.uk in the first instance, book virtual appointments, and/or connect via Microsoft Teams. Please note that the Diploma Office will not be open for in-person drop-in appointments.

Making Transitions Personal Pre-Arrival Review

Don’t forget to complete your pre-arrival review which should help you to think about what you are hoping to gain from your time with us. Preparing these thoughts and ideas will support you in taking responsibility for your own development, a vital part of studying at the University of Edinburgh. You will receive the link to complete the review via your University email, so please look out for this. When you complete the review your answers will be made available to your Personal Tutor and the School more widely, and will help us get to know you.

Advice and Guidance for New Students

New students website

For some of you, this will be your first experience of studying at the University of Edinburgh. The University ‘New Students’ Website has lots of advice and guidance about commencing your studies at Edinburgh, and we recommend you spend some time familiarising yourself with the information available on these pages.

Go to the University New Students website

‘How-To’ online information sessions

The University is running a range of online information sessions for new students to help you settle into your studies and University life. Further details of the ‘How-To’ topics that will be covered, can be found on the ‘How-To’ postgraduate students website.

Go to the University ‘How-To’ website

What is my timetable?

Personalised timetables for substantive teaching, which commences from 21st September onwards, will be made available to you during the Foundation Skills Programme.

From then onwards, you will be able to access your personalised timetable online via Office 365.

Go to the personalised timetable information page

We recommend looking at your personalised timetable throughout the year so you are always aware where you should be and when. Please bear in mind that occasionally a class may change location, particularly for some of our core courses which run over both Semester 1 and Semester 2.

Please note the following:

  • Most students will be required to attend a weekly Criminal Court Practice workshop on either a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday evening during Semester 1. You may also be required to attend one evening a week during Semester 2 for your Civil Court Practice workshop. More information will be provided before Semester 2 commences in January 2021.
  • In addition to your weekly workshops, you will also be required to attend an Interviewing Skills session on either Friday 25th September or Friday 2nd October. This session will last 50 minutes. You will be informed of the date and time for your session by no later than Friday 18th September.
  • Students will also be required to participate in the Free Legal Advice Centre, which forms part of the Professional Skills and Responsibility course. This may require your attendance for a client appointment on one Monday evening in Semester 1 or 2.

Please bear in mind that your timetable for Semester 2 will be different to that for Semester 1 for the following reasons:

  • The Criminal Court Practice course will conclude at the end of Semester 1 and therefore you will not be timetabled for any Criminal workshops in Semester 2;
  • From the start of Semester 2, you will commence your studies in Civil Court Practice and will have a timetabled weekly workshop for this course;
  • You will conclude your studies in the following courses by 5th February 2021: Company and Commercial; Conveyancing; Financial Services and Related Skills; Private Client; Professional Skills and Responsibility
  • From 8th February 2021 onwards you will commence studies in your elective courses.

We will provide further information regarding the timetable for Semester 2 in due course.

Other Sources of Support


The University EdHelp service is a new service which is intended to make it easy for students to access information on key topics including: fees, funding, scholarships, and bursaries, IT help, student cards, and accommodation. All students have access to EdHelp online, which brings together your frequently used student services, meaning you can find what you need, all in one place.
This means you will be able to access key topics quickly, with less time being spent searching for the answer.

You can find the EdHelp service online via one of its two access points:

The launch of EdHelp is the first of a three-phased approach, with the service expanding over the coming months to provide a central support team and a live-chat function.


If applicable, please ensure that you have applied for your SAAS loan(s).

Go to the SAAS website

Health and Wellbeing Centre

The University has created a dedicated health and wellbeing hub for students. The fully accessible Centre is based at 7 Bristo Square and will be open for appointments from week 1 of Semester 1 (week commencing 21st September).  The centre is currently preparing the building to ensure that it is safe for students and staff in line with University and Scottish Government guidance on hygiene and physical distancing.

It houses the Student Counselling and Disability Services, the University Medical Centre and the University Pharmacy. The building will offer 36 one-to-one consultation rooms and a wellbeing lounge. The Centre will also play host to various wellbeing pop-ups throughout the year.

For more information, follow our Wellbeing Team on Twitter: @UoEDWellbeing


If you are looking for a traineeship, you may find the next week or two a good time to work on your CV and to begin completing application forms - if you haven’t already.

The University Careers Service has lots of helpful information.

Go to the Careers Service website