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GDL Costs and GDL Funding – How to Fund Your GDL

If you’re considering studying a law conversion course, you’ll no doubt be wondering about GDL funding.

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 funding options for GDL including GDL scholarships and sponsorship.


Visit our GDL course comparison to check the prices for each course provider.

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What is the Average Cost of the GDL?

Depending on the your chosen institution, the cost of the GDL ranges 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?

Unlike with an undergraduate or masters degree, unfortunately, you can’t use student finance for GDL courses.

However there are alternative ways to fund your course. If you secure a training contract before you start the course, for example, your law firm may cover your course fees through what’s known as law firm sponsorship, 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’re sure you want to go ahead with it!


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!

Join the non-law students facebook help group

Loans

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.

GDL Scholarships

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

BPP University GDL Scholarships

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 GDL Scholarships

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

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

ScholarshipPer Successful CandidateEligibility Criteria
Set for SuccessFull GDL Fee• 2:2 or above
• Come from a household with an income of £25,000 or less.
Choose LawFull GDL Fee• 2:2 or above
Law First£3,000• 1st or a Distinction at master's level
The Lord Blunkett Widening Access Awards£1,000-£3,000• 2:2 or above
• Come from a household with an income of £25,000 or less.
Charles Russell Speechlys Scholarship£5,000• 2:1 or above
• Come from a household with an income of £25,000 or less.
Nottingham Postgraduate Award£1,000• You will need to have offered, accepted and been sent confirmation of your acceptance of a course place with the University

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.

Inns of Court Scholarships

If you know you would like to become a barrister after completing your GDL, the four Inns of Court 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 CandidateEligibility Critera
Inner Temple GDL scholarship£10,000 & £7500 (2 x Princess Royal Scholarship)
The rest are dependent on applicant's financial situation
• 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 Inn GDL scholarshipDependent on applicant's financial situation, but around £5000 each.• Demonstrate intellectual strength;
• Demonstrate motivation to succeed at the Bar;
• Demonstrate complete integrity;
• Demonstrate confidence and sensitivity towards other people.
Middle Temple GDL scholarshipDependent on applicant's financial situation, but not full-fee• Demonstrate intellectual ability;
• Demonstrate motivation to succeed at the Bar;
• Demonstrate potential as an advocate;

GDL Sponsorship via Law Firms

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

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

Academic yearActions
First yearApply for legal work experience and internships for the summer of your first year, to bolster your CV
Second yearApply for vacation schemes for the summer of your second year, to once again put you at an advantage in your applications
Third yearApply for your training contract, which you will commence in two years time (after one year for your GDL, and one year for your LPC)

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£6,000
Browne JacobsonYes - full£5,000
Clyde & CoYes - fullLondon: £7,000
Manchester: £6,000
DentonsYes - fullLondon: £6,000
Non-London: £5,000
Gibson DunnYes - full£8,000
Hogan LovellsN/SLondon: £8,000
Non-London £7,000
Norton Rose FulbrightYes - full£8,000
Simmons & SimmonsYes - full£7,500
Slaughter and MayYes - fullYes - N/S
Travers SmithYes - fullLondon: £7,000
Non-London £6,500

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

Law School Flexible Pricing

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:

GDL Part-Time and Part-Time Work

Completing the GDL part-time can be a good option for those who would like to complete their course while working.

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

However, the GDL is a challenging feat, and the decision to do the law conversion course part time should not be taken lightly – make sure you can effectively balance your workload to ensure you pass the course whilst maintaining a job.

Should you convert to law? Take the quiz!

Learn More:

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Author: Isabella Ford

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