Jan 04, 2024

Written By Natasha Jones

How hard is a law conversion course?

Jan 04, 2024

Written By Natasha Jones

Nowadays, more and more aspiring lawyers are opting to study a non-law subject at undergraduate level and then taking a law conversion course post-university. If studied on a full-time basis, law conversion courses condense a three-year qualifying law degree into a one-year course. Want to know if this is manageable? Look no further!

Law degree vs law conversion course

To be considered a qualifying law degree, there are specific requirements that must be met regarding the subjects that must be studied, among other things.

Students must have studied the key elements and general principles of the following six subjects:

 - Public Law (including Constitutional Law, Administrative Law and Human Rights)

- Law of the European Union Criminal Law Obligations (including Contract, Restitution and Tort)

- Property Law

- Equity and and the Law of Trusts

These are known as the Foundations of Legal Knowledge. Legal research skills must also be integrated into a law degree for it to be considered qualifying.

SRA-approved law conversion courses, such as the Postgraduate Diploma in Law (PGDL), therefore cover these seven subjects, but normally over the course of one year instead of three.

Undertaking a qualifying law degree or law conversion course was a requirement under the old system of qualifying as a solicitor. For more information about the introduction of the SQE route to qualification and the phasing out of the GDL, feel free to explore our SQE course page.

Managing difficulty

There’s no doubt about it – law conversion courses are intense. The SRA itself has noted this.

Students are usually given three attempts to pass each subject. Upon failing an assessment, you can only be awarded a maximum of 40% for any re-sit that you pass. Students must retake a full conversion course if they fail any subject three times, with no allowances for subjects previously passed. However, there is no limit to how many times you can take a law conversion course.

These courses aren’t designed to be easy, but that’s not to say that they aren’t manageable.

Students also have the option to study a law conversion course part time. A part-time law conversion course should normally take between two and four years to finish, with all assessments passed. Opting for a part-time course could be a good idea if you’re worried about the intensity of studying full time, or you have other work or caring commitments to balance.


If you’ve decided to pursue a career in law, you’re likely no stranger to hard work. Don’t let the intensity put you off. Studying a law conversion course will give you a thorough grounding in the law and will set you in good stead to begin your journey to qualification.

See our Law Conversion Course page for more information, including on how to fund your law conversion.



Law Conversion Course