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GDL Online and GDL Distance Learning

Considering completing the GDL online? This guide is focused on GDL distance learning and will explain how these kinds of flexible GDL courses are structured.

It will also highlight the benefits of studying the GDL online, fees involved and several online GDL providers.

For information on GDL funding, click below.
How to fund your GDL

GDL Distance Learning Overview

GDL distance learning gives students who aren’t in a position to physically attend lectures and seminars the opportunity to gain the GDL qualification remotely.

That means that it doesn’t matter whether you’re based near your prospective law school or not. You will still be eligible to study the law conversion course online.

Studying an online GDL course can be done either full time or part-time. The main difference between the two types of online courses is that studying the course part-time will spread the content over two years instead of one.

Studying the GDL online will involve learning about the following seven compulsory LLB subjects:

Tort law
Criminal law
Contract law
Public law
European Union law
Equity and trusts law
Land law

GDL Online Institutions

Not every institution offers the option to study a GDL online course. Below are some of the online GDL courses available to non-law students wanting to convert: 

InstitutionCourse TypePrice (2019/20)Month of Entry
University of Central LancashireFT & PT£7,500January or September
BPPFT & PT£11,590September or January
University of LawFT & PT£9,350January or September
Leeds Beckett UniversityFT & PT£6,000January or September
Northumbria UniversityFT£8,500September
Nottingham Trent UniversityPT£4,350 (per year)September
University of West EnglandPT (2 years)£4,000 (per year)September

Fees correct as of September 2019. Please check the individual institutions’ websites for the most up-to-date information.

Need some help and advice with your decision to study the GDL online?

Join the non-law students facebook help group

GDL Online Funding

Studying law can be quite expensive. Unfortunately, you can’t use a student loan to fund the GDL, but many of the above institutions offer GDL scholarships.

Universities may also allow flexible payment options so you don’t necessarily need to pay the full fees upfront.

You can also get sponsorship through a law firm if you manage to secure a training contract before you begin.

You can find out more on financing your GDL law online qualification with our GDL Funding page here >>

How Does GDL Distance Learning Work?

A GDL distance learning course requires you to have a good internet connection, as you’ll have to access lectures, tutorials, informal assessments and resources online.

Studying the GDL online means you need to be extra organised with your time, especially if you are working at the same time.

It’s worth noting that some providers will require you to attend occasionally (usually on weekends). If this is an issue, it’s best to check with the individual institution beforehand. 

If attending in person is not an option for you, some providers such as BPP offer students the opportunity to study the course entirely online. Please note that GDL exams may have to be taken onsite, however.

Read more about different part-time GDL providers here >>

Duration of the GDL Online

Some of the universities above will do the online course either in one year full-time (BPPUniversity of LawLancashire allow this, as well part-time options), or the course will run over two years (Northumbria and Nottingham do not have a one year option). 

Whether you complete the course over one year or two will be guided by decisions, including arranging funding, current jobs and time needed for training contract applications. 

Join the non-law students facebook help group

GDL Online Entry Requirements

The entry requirements for online GDL courses are generally the same as those for on-campus courses.

However, some of the institutions have other specific specifications. For example, if you were to choose University of Law’s I-GD’, you’d be required to do up to 50 hours of pre-study of a course called Legal Method, which introduces you to the English legal system before you start the GDL.

Read about part-time GDL providers >>

Where do GDL Distance Learning Exams Take Place?

All of the institutions above offer online lectures and tutorials, as well as informal assessments to test learning. They also set coursework that can be done online.

However, in most cases, you’ll have to sit the final GDL Distance Learning exams on campus.

The University of Law, for example, allows students to sit the final exams at the regional campus closest to you, or if you are overseas, you may get permission to sit the exam where you are. This must be arranged beforehand with the university.

BPP, on the other hand, prefers that students sit the exams in one of its London centres. They may allow you to take them in one of their regional centres under special circumstances.

How flexible your university is on its exam policy is something you need to check before you apply, especially if you’re planning on studying outside of the UK.

Benefits of Studying the GDL Online

There are several benefits to taking a GDL distance learning course. They include:

Disadvantages of GDL Distance Learning

Similarly, there are some disadvantages to studying online. They include:

Learn more about the Graduate Diploma in Law:


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