What is a PGDL / GDL?

A PGDL or GDL conversion course is an academic programme designed for individuals who hold a non-law degree but aspire to pursue a career in law. These courses cover the essential content taught during a traditional three-year law degree but are condensed into a shorter timeframe, typically ranging from 8 months to 2 years depending on the study mode (full-time or part-time).

The aim of a conversion course is to equip students with the necessary legal knowledge and skills required to practice law. This includes preparing students for exams such as the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) and gaining Qualifying Work Experience (QWE), which are essential steps in becoming a solicitor in the UK.

Conversion courses are often demanding, with students expected to pass multiple modules within a limited number of attempts. While the pass mark is typically around 40%, achieving higher grades, such as a distinction, can be advantageous, particularly when seeking sponsorship from law firms or when applying for post-law school opportunities.

These courses are offered by specialised law schools as well as some traditional universities. They may be delivered through in-person teaching, online learning, or a combination of both. Admission requirements typically include a minimum of a 2.2 degree or equivalent qualification.

For students sponsored by law firms, many decisions regarding the choice of institution, course duration, and fee coverage may be made by the sponsoring organisation. This often includes enrolment in an accelerated 8-month course and financial support for tuition fees.
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