The Graduate Diploma in Law course (the GDL) is also known as the Law Conversion course and is a requirement for any student who has studied a non-law degree in England, completed a law degree outside of England and Wales but wants to qualify as a lawyer in England and Wales. The course is aimed at providing students who didn’t complete a qualifying law degree at undergraduate level a fast-tracked legal course to equip students with the legal knowledge required to further pursue a career in law.
It may be important to note that as of the introduction of the new solicitor qualifying route in 2021 (the SQE), the GDL will no longer be a requirement for students looking to qualify as a solicitor as the SQE will replace the option.
There are many options when it comes to studying the GDL and it’s important to find the one that fits you – while the full-time GDL is only a year, it is an intensive course, and you’ll want to be with the right provider!
There are several things to think about when deciding between GDL universities. For example, would you prefer to study the GDL full-time or part-time? Are you looking at options for an online GDL? Another important factor to consider is tuition fees.
The cost of the GDL course can differ a lot, with some of the cheapest courses charging somewhere around £5,000 and the most expensive requiring closer to a £13,000 investment.
Unfortunately, as with the LPC and BTC, the GDL is not eligible for postgraduate government funding and so choosing a provider whose course meets your financial and study needs is incredibly important.
The good news is that there are a range of scholarships available from various bodies, with providers often offering full and part scholarship opportunities to their GDL candidates. The GDL course can also be sponsored through the Inns of Court Scholarships for those interested in pursuing the Bar.
Costs may also be covered by your firm if you secure a training contract before undertaking there course. However, if you have not, you will need to cover the GDL fees yourself. In that case, you may want to consider a part-time GDL law course to accommodate your job.
Therefore, when looking at provider options for your GDL take a look at their course fees and the scholarship options available to cover the costs – you’ll find plenty of options in our table below.
Most providers offer the option to take the GDL either on a part-time or full-time basis. As a full-time course the qualification generally takes eight months to complete with little option to work alongside, whereas the part-time option will usually require 20-month commitment but offers the opportunity to work alongside study. While most providers offer both options it is important to ensure that your selected provider offers the course set-up most suited to your study goals.
Some providers also offer an integrated master’s option which typically requires an extra three-month time commitment.
As the GDL is a very standard course, location will be the most provider-unique factor when it comes to studying the GDL. While choosing a location will be based on each students wants and needs, bear in mind that some providers alter prices dependant on location. For example, studying the GDL at one of BPP’s out-of-London campuses will cost £9,824, whereas studying the course at the BPP Waterloo campus costs £12,296.
There are currently 24 GDL universities in the country (excluding the separate campuses for BPP and University of Law), each of which are listed in the table below.
Read our list of some of the best GDL courses int the UK to help you make your decision.
|GDL Provider||Locations||Course Fees (2020-21)||Entry Requirements|
|Birmingham City University||Birmingham||£5,900||2:2|
|BPP University||Various||From £9,824 - £12,296 depending on location||2:2|
|University of Brighton||Brighton||£7,820||2:2
|University of Central Lancashire||Preston||£8,500||With degree 2:2. May be considered without degree.|
|City University London||London, Northampton Square||£12,320||2:1|
|De Montfort University||Leicester||£6,500||2:2|
|University of East Anglia||Norwich||£8,300||2:2|
|University of Law||Various||From £9,850 - £12,250 depending on location||2:2|
|Leeds Beckett University||Leeds||£8,500||2:2|
|Liverpool John Moores University||Liverpool||£7,250||2:2
|London Metropolitan University||London||£6,500||2:2|
|London South Bank University||London||£9,590||2:2|
|Manchester Metropolitan University||Manchester||£9,250||Honours degree. May be considered without degree.|
|Northumbria University||Newcastle upon Tyne||£8,720||With degree 2:2
May be considered without degree
|Nottingham Trent University||Nottingham||£8,890||2:2|
|Oxford Brookes University||Oxford||£8,700||2:2|
|University of Sheffield (ULaw)||Sheffield||£9,850||2:2|
|University of Sussex||Brighton||£9,250||2:2|
|University of the West of England||Bristol||£8,500||A degree
|University of Westminster||London||£8,500||2:2|
Please note that the information in this table is checked and updated regularly to the best of our ability. However, the information may be subject to change and we therefore cannot guarantee the accuracy of all information at all times. We therefore recommend contacting the GDL institutions direct before making any significant application decisions.
If you’d like to find out more about some of the best GDL courses in the UK based outside London, including how to contact them to find out more, follow the links below:
For daily tips and tricks on how to convert to law, join our Non-Law Students Facebook Help Group now!Join the non-law students facebook help group
If you’d like to find out more about the different GDL providers based in London, including how to contact them to find out more, follow the links below:
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