Thinking of studying a PGDL course in the UK but not sure where to study? There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a law school for your PGDL course.

Who Needs the PGDL?

The Postgraduate Diploma in Law course, previously the Graduate Diploma in Law (the GDL) or also known as the Law Conversion course, is designed to prepare non-law students looking to progress onto the SQE in order to qualify as a solicitor or the Bar Practice Course (BPC) to qualify as a barrister. 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.

Although completing a PGDL is no longer a requirement for students looking to qualify as a solicitor as a result of the introduction of the SQE which replaces the option, the course provides the foundation for the pathway into practice for non-law graduates who want to qualify as a lawyer in England and Wales.

How to Choose Between UK PGDL Universities

There are many options when it comes to studying the PGDL and it’s important to find the one that fits you – while the full-time PGDL 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 PGDL universities. For example, would you prefer to study the PGDL full-time or part-time? Are you looking at options for an online PGDL? Another important factor to consider is tuition fees.



The cost of the PGDL 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 SQE related courses and the BTC, the PGDL 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 PGDL 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 PGDL fees yourself. In that case, you may want to consider a part-time PGDL law course to accommodate your job.

Therefore, when looking at provider options for your PGDL 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 PGDL 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 PGDL is a very standard course, location will be the most provider-unique factor when it comes to studying the PGDL. 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 PGDL at one of the University of Law’s out-of-London campuses will cost £10,100, whereas studying the course one of the London-based campus costs £12,550.


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How Many PGDL Providers Are There?

There are currently 21 PGDL universities in the country (excluding the separate campuses for BPP and University of Law), each of which are listed in the table below.

PGDL Courses UK: Comparison Table

Read our list of some of the best PGDL courses int the UK to help you make your decision.

GDL ProviderLocationsCourse Fees (2020-21)Entry Requirements
University of LawVarious locationsFrom £10,100 - £12,550 depending on location2:2
Bournemouth UniversityBournemouth£9,2502:2
BPP UniversityVarious locationsFrom £9,824 - £12,296 depending on location2:2
University of BrightonBrighton£7,8202:2
Cardiff UniversityCardiff£10,9502:2
University of Central LancashirePreston£9,2502:2
City University LondonLondon, Northampton Square £12,3202:1
De Montfort UniversityLeicester£6,5002:2
University of East AngliaNorwich£9,5002:2
Leeds Beckett UniversityLeeds (Distance Learning)£8,9502:2
London Metropolitan UniversityLondon£6,5002:2
London South Bank UniversityLondon£6,786.662:2
Manchester Metropolitan UniversityManchester£9,250Honours degree. May be considered without degree.
Northumbria UniversityNewcastle upon Tyne£8,990With degree 2:2.
May be considered without degree.
Nottingham Trent UniversityNottingham£9,100
With degree 2:2. May be considered without degree.
Oxford Brookes UniversityOxford£8,9002:2
University of Sheffield (ULaw)Sheffield £10,1002:2
University of SussexBrighton£9,5002:2
University of the West of EnglandBristol£8,7502:2

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 PGDL institutions direct before making any significant application decisions.

PGDL Courses UK

If you’d like to find out more about some of the best PGDL courses in the UK based outside London, including how to contact them to find out more, follow the links below:

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