The PGDL is an intense course and requires full-time commitment, but it’s very worthwhile for students who are serious about a career in law. It teaches core legal concepts, aligned to the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s specification of Functional Legal Knowledge which is tested in the SQE.
Many PGDL providers offer part-time options so you can study around your work or family commitments. They also usually have evening or weekend lectures for students who want to make the most of their time in small groups. They may also offer online learning if you want to take the course remotely.
If you’re a non-law graduate, completing the PGDL shows that you’re serious about your law career and that you can take on the more challenging work. It will also help you get a foot in the door of law firms and chambers, as it shows that you’re ready for the professional world of law.
Each PGDL provider has different requirements but you’ll generally need to have a minimum 2:2 undergraduate degree (or equivalent). If you’re a non-law grad, you’ll normally need to have your qualifications assessed for equivalency before applying. Some Inns of Court also have scholarships for PGDL students who can demonstrate exceptional merit and motivation to become barristers. These are highly competitive, however. Most law schools will provide a range of student support services, including pro bono work and access to sports clubs and law-related organisations like ELSA, Mooting and the University of Law society. PGDL