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.

PGDL Distance Learning Overview

PGDL distance learning gives students who aren’t in a position to physically attend lectures and seminars the opportunity to gain the PGDL 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 PGDL 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 PGDL online will involve learning about the following modules, similar to those that form part of the LLB:

  • Tort Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Contract Law
  • Public Law
  • European Union Law
  • Equity and Trusts Law
  • Land Law

How Does PGDL Distance Learning Work?

A PGDL 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 PGDL 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 the University of Law offer students the opportunity to study the course entirely online. Please note that PGDL exams may have to be taken onsite, however.

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


Wondering How to Fund Your PGDL?

For information on PGDL funding and scholarships, read our guide

See Options

PGDL Online Institutions

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

InstitutionCourse TypePrice (2022/23)Month of Entry
University Of LawFT & PT£10,100January
BPPFT & PT£9,824September, January, May
Leeds Beckett UniversityFT & PT£8,950January or September
Northumbria UniversityFT£8,990September
Nottingham Trent UniversityPT£9.000September

Fees correct as of September 2022. Please check the individual institutions’ websites for the most up-to-date information.


Factors to Consider in Choosing A Course

Funding Your Online PGDL

Studying law can be quite expensive. Unfortunately, you can’t use a student loan to fund the PGDL, but many of the above institutions offer PGDL 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 qualification with our PGDL Funding page here >>

Duration of the PGDL Online

Some of the universities above will do the online course either in one year full-time (University of Law, BPP and Lancashire 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. 

Read about part-time PGDL providers >>

PGDL Online Entry Requirements

The entry requirements for online PGDL 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 PGDL.

Benefits of Studying the PGDL Online

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

  • Always having access to learning resources online so you can go over a subject you’re having problems with as many times as you want
  • Being able to study in your own time. If you’re studying law as a mature student, for example, you may have other commitments such as work and family life
  • Not having to relocate to be closer to your chosen law school, You can save money and the hassle of moving to a new place this way
  • Being able to save money because the flexible work schedule means you don’t necessarily have to leave your job

Disadvantages of PGDL Distance Learning

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

  • Not being able to build a rapport with fellow students on the course
  • Sometimes missing out on things like pro bono projects which require physical attendance
  • Having to have more self-discipline because you will be responsible for creating your own learning schedule

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