Aug 18, 2022

Written By Helena Kudiabor

GDL Scholarships

Aug 18, 2022

Written By Helena Kudiabor

Although the GDL (now PGDL) is no longer a requirement, it still provides a good foundation in law for non-law students. This article will detail some of the financial support available for students interested in the course.

What is the GDL?

The GDL stands for the graduate diploma in law. It was a law conversion course for students who had studied a non-law subject as an undergraduate, but were still interested in qualifying as a lawyer.

With the introduction of the SQE, the GDL is no longer a requirement for aspiring solicitors, however many course providers still offer a similar course. The new course is known as the PGDL (Postgraduate Diploma in Law) and provides non-law students with an understanding in law.

Is the PGDL covered by a postgraduate loan?

The UK government offers loans to cover the cost of postgraduate courses, but the PGDL is unfortunately not covered by the loan. Neither are SQE preparation courses.

The only way the course can be covered is if your provider allows you to upgrade the PGDL to a Master’s, by taking additional modules. If you choose this option you can receive up to £11,836 to cover the cost of your master’s, but bear in mind doing a Master's takes longer.

What PGDL scholarships are available?

A number of course providers offer PGDL scholarships, to encourage non-law students to pursue a career in law. Course providers such as the University of Law, BPP University and City University provide both full and partial scholarships to students interested in studying the PGDL. These scholarships are available for both international and domestic students, although there tends to be more opportunities for domestic students.

What is the eligibility criteria for a PGDL scholarship?

Eligibility for scholarships differ between course providers and between specific scholarships. As an example, the University of Law’s Charles Russell Speechlys scholarship provides students with a £5,000 grant.

To be eligible for this scholarship: you’ll need to meet the needs based criteria (i.e refugee status, registered disability, low household income), and pass an online critical thinking assessment. The eligibility for most scholarships is similar to this: based on need, academic performance, or a combination of both.


How do I boost my chances of getting a scholarship?

Scholarships are typically awarded to students based on need or academic achievements. Marginalised students (i.e those from a low income household) are more likely to secure a scholarship, as these groups face additional barriers to entering the profession. Academic achievements are also important, such as a 2:1 or above at undergraduate level.

Finally, make sure you have a solid reason for studying law. Why not attend a court case or get involved in pro bono work? If you can demonstrate a passion for law, you’ll greatly boost your chances of getting a scholarship.