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GDL Costs and GDL Funding – How to Fund Your GDL

As with any course or qualification at a higher education institution, there are costs involved with completing the GDL. This page will guide you through the process, and discuss potential options for GDL funding.

What is the Average GDL Cost?

Depending on the your chosen institution, course fees range between £5000 and £12,000, with the average for a full-time GDL course being approximately £8400.

To see the costs for specific universities, take a look at our GDL Course Comparison Table!

Who Pays For Your GDL?

If you secure a training contract prior to the commencement of the course, your law firm may cover your course fees and even offer a living allowance.

If, however, you do not have this luxury, you will be expected to cover course fees and any living costs (accommodation, travel, food etc) personally, so it is vital to ensure that you have access to the necessary funds before signing up to a course – and you are certain you want to go ahead with it!

GDL Part-Time and Part-Time Work

How you intend to fund your fees and living expenses needs serious consideration. Completing the GDL part-time can be a good option for those who would like to complete their GDL alongside a paying job.

Many universities offer their GDL courses part-time over two years rather than the usual one, allowing you to continue part-time work at the same time.

However, the GDL is a challenging course, and this decision should not be taken lightly – make sure you effectively balance your workload to ensure you pass the GDL whilst maintaining a job.

Should you convert to law? Take the quiz!

GDL Funding: What Are Your Options?

There are a number of possibilities for funding your GDL, besides part-time work. These include:

For daily tips and tricks on how to fund your GDL, join our Non-Law Students Facebook Help Group now!

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The majority of high-street banks offer graduate loans to those who have left university relatively recently. The loan amount ranges from £1000 – £15,000. As part of this, you will need to submit an application to the bank explaining how the course will boost your employment prospects.

There is also a company called Future Finance who offer flexible student loans for university between £2000 – £40,000.

Law School Scholarships

Many law schools offer scholarships and bursaries for students, including:

BPP University

BPP University is expanding its scholarship programme fund to £1 million.

The institution offers a number of scholarships for GDL students, including:

ScholarshipPer Successful CandidateEligibility Criteria
Career Commitment Scholarship£2000Aptitude for a legal career – evidence of strong communication and leadership skills, innovation or entrepreneurship skills, and resilience

Strong work ethic - circumstances where you have shown exceptional discipline and drive, in an academic, professional or personal context

Commitment to the legal profession - relevant work experience (legal or otherwise), pro bono or voluntary work

Academic excellence – any relevant achievements in addition to grades

Personal background – BPP welcomes candidates from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in law
Full Fee ScholarshipTotal cost of studiesAs above
Dean of Law School ScholarshipNot statedAimed at high achieving students who can demonstrate an outstanding standard of academic achievement and commitment to their legal career.
Future Leader Scholarship
Not statedOffered to those showcasing outstanding leadership skills or innovation ability, with the drive and ambition to become a future leader within the legal profession.
Lord Holmes ScholarshipNot statedAwarded to those demonstrating a unique and inspiring legal career journey - overcoming obstacles or providing outstanding contribution to charitable causes.

University of Law

There was £600,000 available for last year’s courses.

University of Law has a number of scholarships for GDL students, including:

ScholarshipPer Successful CandidateNumber of Awards for 2018-19Eligibility Criteria
Set for SuccessFull GDL FeeN/S• 2:2 or above;
• Come from a household with an income of £25,000 or less.
Choose LawFull GDL FeeN/S• 2:2 or above;
• Come from a household with an income of £25,000 or less.
Law First£300020• 1st or a Distinction at master's level;
• Come from a household with an income of £25,000 or less.
The Lord Blunkett Widening Access Awards£1000-£300020• 2:2 or above;
• Come from a household with an income of £25,000 or less.
Charles Russell Speechlys Scholarship£50001 award• 2:1 or above;
• Come from a household with an income of £25,000 or less.

Other Universities

Many universities offer their own scholarships for GDL students, as part of wider postgraduate courses funding schemes. We recommend you look at your chosen university’s website for more information.

Law School Flexible Pricing Structures

BPP and the University of Law offer the option to pay your GDL costs in instalments by direct debit.

University of Law, for example, offers you four different payment plans:

Inns of Court Scholarships

If you know you would like to become a barrister after completing your GDL, the four Inns of Court each offer scholarships to pay for both your GDL and your Bar Professional Training Course (which you must complete after your GDL).

It’s worth noting you can only apply to one Inn of Court per application cycle.

Inns of CourtPer Successful CandidateOverall Fund for 2018/19Eligibility Critera
Inner Temple£10,000 & £7500 (2 x Princess Royal Scholarship)
The rest are dependent on applicant's financial situation
£1.7m (for GDL and BPTC)
£200,500 (for GDL)
• Demonstrate intellectual ability;
• Demonstrate motivation to succeed at the Bar;
• Demonstrate ability to get on with a range of people;
• Financial need is also taken into account.
Lincoln's InnDependent on applicant's financial situation, but around £5000 each.£1.574m (for GDL and BPTC)
• Demonstrate intellectual strength;
• Demonstrate motivation to succeed at the Bar;
• Demonstrate complete integrity;
• Demonstrate confidence and sensitivity towards other people.
Middle TempleDependent on applicant's financial situation, but not full-fee£1.2m (for GDL and BPTC)
£90,000 (for GDL)
• Demonstrate intellectual ability;
• Demonstrate motivation to succeed at the Bar;
• Demonstrate potential as an advocate;

Law Firm Sponsorship

If you apply for a training contract before commencing your GDL, they may well offer to cover the costs for you.

For this to happen, the best timeline for non-law students would be:

The legal work experience you’ve collected over your first and second year should definitely work in your favour when applying for your training contract.

If, however, you’re already in your second/third year, it’s not too late – but there’s no better time to get started than today! Start applying for work shadowing placements and writing for law publications like The Lawyer Portal.

Some law firms even offer to retrospectively pay for your GDL fees if you’ve already started.

To give you an idea, here are some top law firms that offer sponsorship:

Law FirmCourse FeesMaintenance
Baker McKenzieYes - full£6000
Browne JacobsonYes - full£5000
Clyde & CoYes - fullLondon: £7000
Manchester: £6000
DentonsYes - fullLondon: £6000
Non-London: £5000
Gibson DunnYes - full£8000
Hogan LovellsN/SLondon: £8000
Non-London £7000
Norton Rose FulbrightYes - full£7000
Simmons & SimmonsYes - full£7000
Slaughter and MayYes - fullYes - N/S
Travers SmithYes - fullLondon: £7000
Non-London £6500

For more detailed information, visit the law firm’s website to find out more.

Learn More:

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Author: Isabella Ford


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