The ultimate guide to Law conversion courses

According to the Chambers Student, approximately 40% of trainees in the UK began their career with a non-Law degree. So, even though you may have chosen a non-Law undergraduate degree, it’s never too late to begin a career in law. If you would like to pursue a career in law you must first complete a conversion course before you can begin your professional qualifications. 

Here at The Profs, 93% of our undergraduate students achieve a grade improvement and 89.8% achieve their university grades. So, we have an excellent history of helping students gain the necessary grades in order to apply for their chosen conversion course. That’s what makes our expert tutors perfect to guide you through the process and help you receive the best possible outcome.

From our experience, we often see that most students feel burnt out after completing their undergraduate degree and hence struggle with the process of applying to Law conversion courses. But don’t worry, we’re here to offer you the best support not only during your application but during your undertaking of the course! Reach out to our expert undergraduate tutors today!

Keep reading for expert advice on converting to a Law degree, including tips from an MA Law conversion offer holder here at The Profs. 

Contents

What is a Law conversion course? 

A Law conversion course is an intensive programme designed for students who hold a non-Law undergraduate degree and wish to pursue a career in law. The Law conversion course was formerly known as the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), however, its title has been updated to the Post Graduate Diploma in Law (PGDL). This course serves as a pathway for those seeking to qualify as solicitors or barristers, providing them with the foundational legal knowledge required for further professional legal training. 

Typically spanning one academic year, the Law conversion course covers key legal subjects such as Contract Law, Tort Law, Criminal Law, and Constitutional Law, among others. It enables students to understand the legal system and principles comprehensively, ensuring they are well-prepared for the subsequent stages.

Reach out to our expert PGDL tutors to maximise your outcome during this course!

Why do you need to do a Law conversion course?

Undertaking a Law conversion course is essential for individuals seeking to transition into Law from a non-Law background. This specialised programme serves as a bridge, enabling students with diverse academic backgrounds to acquire the foundational legal knowledge and skills necessary for a successful legal career. 

Whether you hold a Business, Science, or Humanities degree, the Law conversion course provides a comprehensive understanding of fundamental legal principles. This course equips you with the ability to analyse complex legal issues, conduct legal research, and engage in practical legal reasoning. Additionally, the course ensures familiarity with the intricacies of the legal system and cultivates the practical skills required to thrive in legal practice. 

Ultimately, a Law conversion course is essential for any non-Law student who wishes to pursue a career in law, whether that is a solicitor or a barrister.

What is the difference between a GDL, PGDL, and an MA Law conversion?

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has introduced the SQE pathway to streamline the qualification process for lawyers. This pathway entails two exams, SQE1 and SQE2, which can be completed in just eight months. This new programme is slowly replacing the Legal Practice Course that candidates previously undertook. As the SQE pathway has been introduced this has slowly phased out the original Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and institutions are now introducing the Postgraduate Diploma in Law (PGDL) to support candidates who choose to take the SQE pathway.

The PGDL, which is a comprehensive programme that covers a wide range of legal subjects, provides you with a solid foundation in the key areas of law. The curriculum is designed to equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to pursue a career in law, even if your academic background is in a non-Law discipline. Below are the modules that you will most typically cover whilst undertaking a PGDL.

  • Law & Constitution (including EU Law).
  • Tort Law.
  • Contract Law.
  • Criminal Law.
  • Public & Administrative Law (including Human Rights).
  • Land Law.
  • Trusts.
  • Law of Organisations or Company Law.
  • Skills & Behaviours (no credit).

If you would like to go beyond the PGDL, you can undertake The Master of Arts in Law (MA Law Conversion) conversion course instead, which follows the same structure as the PGDL but at a Master’s level. The PGDL is roughly 8 months long, whereas the MA Law Conversion runs for 12 months. You will study the same modules as if you chose the PGDL, but in this particular course, you will also have to complete a dissertation in a chosen field of law. 

Here at The Profs, 93% of our undergraduate students attain a grade improvement, reach out to our expert tutors to maximise your grades during your Law conversion course!

What is the eligibility criteria for Law conversion courses?

To enrol in the PGDL or MA Law Conversion, the majority of universities require applicants to have 2:2 in a non-Law undergraduate degree. However, it is important to remember that many law firms will require you to have a 2:1 when you apply to training contracts or vacation schemes after your degree. 

Here at The Profs, 93% of the students we help at undergraduate level have a grade improvement! Reach out to our expert university tutors sooner rather than later to ensure that you meet the grade requirements to undertake a Law conversion course.

Where can you take the Law conversion course?

Below is the list of all possible institutions where you can undertake the PGDL. It is important to know that fewer universities offer the MA Law conversion course in comparison to the PGDL.

University Location FeesEntry requirement 
BPP Law School

(BPP also offers a Master of Arts in Law)

  • London
  • Manchester
  • Leeds
  • Cambridge
  • Birmingham
£10,700-£13,400Minimum 2:2
City, University of LondonLondon£13,590Minimum 2:2
Leeds Beckett UniversityLeeds£9,450Minimum 2:2
London South BankLondon£7,333Minimum 2:2
London Metropolitan London£7,150Minimum 2:2
Nottingham TrentNottingham£9,500Minimum 2:2
Northumbria University Newcastle£12,950Minimum 2:2
University of BrightonBrighton£10,500Minimum 2:2
Oxford BrookesOxford£9,250Minimum 2:2
Swansea UniversitySwansea£13,950Minimum 2:2
University of Law

(Also offers Master of Arts in Law)

  • Manchester 
  • Birmingham 
  • Liverpool 
  • London Bloomsbury
  • London Moorgate
  • Manchester 
  • Reading 
  • Leeds 
  • Nottingham 
  • Sheffield
  • Exeter
  • Bristol
  • Guildford
  • Newcastle
£11,500 – £13,600Minimum 2:2
Cardiff UniversityCardiff£11,200Minimum 2:2
University of SussexSussex£10,500Minimum 2:2
Manchester Metropolitan UniversityManchester£11,000Minimum 2:2
University of East AngliaEast Anglia£9,750Minimum 2:2

Please be aware that this information is for the 2024 academic cycle and institutions can vary their fees from year to year, so it is important to always check the universities’ websites for the most up-to-date information. 

Here at The Profs, we have been the highest-rated tuition company on Trustpilot for 7 years, so reach out to our expert tutors to ensure you do not fall below the entry requirements!

Thanks to our support, over 95% of the students we assist receive offers from their first or second-choice universities. For more details on how we can assist you, contact our team today.

How do you apply for a Law conversion course?

Applications for Law conversion courses must be done through the Central Applications Board (CAB). Let’s run through the process step-by-step!

  1. Register on LAWCAB if you are not already signed up. Here you will be asked to enter your email address and create a password. You will be asked to verify your email address in order to proceed further, so look out for this email as this can sometimes end up in your spam folder.
  2. Once you have signed up you will be asked to enter your personal details. Make sure you take your time with this process to ensure you do not make any mistakes, which could delay the process of your application. 
  3. Once you have completed your personal details you will have the option to apply to three different institutions maximum in rank order. This will then be followed by your academic and employment history. Afterwards, you will have to submit your personal statement. 
  4. Next, you will have to provide a reference, ideally an academic referee who can comment on your academic strengths. However, if you cannot find an academic referee, a professional one is also accepted. Make sure you ask for permission from your referee before submitting their details and bear in mind referees cannot be family members! Please also be aware that your application is not released to the institutions until your chosen referee has submitted their reference, so check that your referee has successfully received their reference request.
  5. The final step is paying your application fee and submitting your form. For 2024, the application fee came to £30 but the price can vary from year to year. It should not take too long for you to hear back from the institutions you’ve applied to. The choice of which offer to accept is entirely yours, irrespective of the order in which you listed the institutions on your application. Keep in mind that you are only allowed to accept one offer.

Get in touch with our expert undergraduate admissions tutors if you are applying for the PGDL or our expert postgraduate tutors if you’re applying for the MA Law conversion

How do you pay for the conversion course?

Unfortunately, you are unable to apply for student finance for the cost of your PGDL. However, if you are applying for the MA Law Conversion you will be entitled to a Master’s loan as it is a Law conversion course at a Master’s level. Unlike undergraduate student finance, a Master’s loan is not based on your or your family’s income, and every student receives the same amount. For example, if your course starts on or after the 1st of August 2023, you can get £12,167.

If you are applying for the PGDL and you are unsure of how to fund it, consider the following options:

  • Having a part-time job during your PGDL.
  • Having a full-time job whilst undertaking the PGDL part-time.
  • Private Loans.
  • Scholarships.
  • Bursaries. 

4 tips for Law conversion courses

1. Invest in your personal statement 

Investing plenty of time into writing your statement is crucial for a solid application for Law conversion courses. Numerous applicants may already meet the required entry grades, and institutions offering Law conversion courses heavily rely on personal statements to distinguish among candidates. Therefore, submitting a high-quality personal statement is very important.

Use your statement as an opportunity to demonstrate your commitment and passion. It should especially express why you have decided to make a leap from your non-Law degree. Write about academic accomplishments, career aspirations, skills, and experiences to construct a compelling personal statement explaining why you stand out as an excellent candidate for your chosen Law conversion course.

Developing an exceptional personal statement requires both time and expertise. This is where The Profs can provide valuable assistance. Our expert personal statement tutors can guide you through the entire application process, offering advice on strengthening your academic profile and ultimately creating a standout personal statement tailored to Law conversion courses. 

Get in touch with our expert undergraduate admissions tutors if you are applying for the PGDL or our expert postgraduate tutors if you’re applying for the MA Law conversion. We know how to help you, it’s our forte!

Law conversion offer holder tip: As a lot of students will typically attain a 2:2 or above at university, this creates a lot of competition amongst applicants to Law conversion courses. This means that you should pay extra attention to your personal statement as this will help to set you apart from all of the other students who also meet the entry requirements. Additionally, make sure you don’t forget to demonstrate a clear and well-thought-out career plan, illustrating how the course aligns with your long-term goals. By paying extra attention to your personal statement, you can effectively communicate your individuality and make a compelling case for why you are a deserving candidate in a competitive pool of applicants.

2. Are you as informed as possible?

Ensuring you are as informed as possible is crucial to undertaking any Law conversion course. Before diving into the application process, it’s essential to thoroughly research and understand the entry requirements for your chosen institution and specific course. Different programmes may have varying entry requirements and prerequisites, such as prior independent learning. 

Take the time to assess your eligibility and ensure you meet or can fulfil these criteria to avoid any disappointment. Gaining comprehensive knowledge about the fees associated with your course will also help you make an informed decision regarding how you will cover the costs of your course. 

If you’re unsure what to include in your personal statement, reach out to our team of personal statement tutors today! We can help you to identify where your strengths are and advise you on how to develop your academic and extracurricular profile for submitting your application.

Law conversion offer holder tip: Though it can seem quite daunting to begin researching, it is crucial to start earlier than later. This will help you eliminate the stress of beginning a new course. For example, if your chosen course does not allow you to apply for funding, it’s important that you’re aware of this in advance as it can help you think of ways to begin self-funding your course!

3. How to actually go beyond your degree

If you are applying for a Law conversion course, whether it is a PGDL or a Master’s, there is a high chance that most of the applicants will have never studied Law before. Institutions that offer Law conversion courses do not expect applicants to have experience in studying Law or have work experience in law. What they will look for is evidence of enthusiasm for the field and determination to excel academically. 

In your personal statement, it is crucial to demonstrate that you have extended your exploration and comprehension beyond the scope of your prior academic studies. This might involve delving into extensive legal literature, engaging with podcasts and TED talks, and enrolling in online courses. Check out this page where you can find various TED Talks and other resources on the topic of law!

Gain guidance from our team of expert personal statement tutors who can make your personal statement stand out amongst the competition!

Law conversion offer holder tip: It is quite unlikely that your undergraduate degree focuses much on law, however, you should still step outside of your non-Law degree. Cultivate unique learning experiences, such as immersing yourself in research, independent projects and TED Talks. You can cleverly utilise these activities in your personal statement, which will make you stand out against the rest of the candidates. This can also be a good way to demonstrate key characteristics that you possess, for example, critical analysis, being proactive and stepping outside of your comfort zone.

4. You’ve mentioned a solid 5-year plan, right?

Talking about your long-term plan is critical to approaching a Law conversion course. A well-thought-out plan showcases your commitment and helps align your academic pursuits with your long-term career objectives. An excellent way to do this is by outlining your goals after the Law conversion course, whether that is applying for vacation schemes, training contracts, undertaking the Legal Practice Course (LPC), or the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE). You could also identify areas of law that resonate with your interests, such as corporate law, human rights, or environmental law. 

Remember, a long-term plan for your Law conversion course application will impress admission officers and demonstrate your strategic approach to your legal career. It reflects ambition and a proactive mindset that can set you apart from the competition.

For more support on coming up with a career plan or simply tailoring your personal statement for a Law conversion course, get in touch with our expert GDL tutors and university admissions team!

Law offer holder tip: Converting to Law, means moving away from your current undergraduate degree. So, it’s very important that you showcase your ambition and drive to your new course at your chosen institution. Why do you want to do something completely different to your current degree? Remember institutions want to see that you are genuinely motivated to achieve your academic aspirations as well as your long-term professional goals. Avoid stating cliche plans, such as ‘I want to become a lawyer’. Go beyond that and delve into why you want to do that, what has inspired you, and what motivates you for your long-term goals. For example, you might say: ‘I’m fascinated by the intricate dynamics of contract law, where legal agreements become the foundation of economic relationships.’ Then you can go on to explain your motivation and ambitions!

Get 1-1 expert guidance from an expert admissions tutor

At The Profs, we have expert undergraduate admissions consultants and postgraduate admissions consultants who can guide you through the process of successfully applying to your Law conversion course. In fact, over 95% of our undergraduate and postgraduate applicants receive an offer from their first and second-choice universities. 

We can even support you in your wider degree-level education, using our many years of experience to guide you through everything from writing your dissertation to applying for the most competitive undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Get in touch with our experienced team today to secure your future success.

FAQs

Can you do a Law conversion course with any degree?

Yes, you can pursue a Law conversion course with any degree. The PGDL and MA Law Conversion are specifically tailored for those who have completed an undergraduate degree in a subject other than Law.

Should I take the PGDL or the MA Law Conversion?

Choosing between the PGDL and the MA Law Conversion depends on your academic and career aspirations. 

If you aim to qualify as a solicitor or barrister, the PGDL offers a direct and focused pathway, providing essential legal knowledge for further vocational training. On the other hand, the MA Law Conversion is a more expansive option, appealing to those interested in a deeper exploration of legal theory, research, and potential academic pursuits. 

However, it is essential to remember that both courses will offer you the ability to convert your undergraduate degree to a Law degree.

How long is the Law conversion course?

The course duration will vary from institution to institution, however, a PGDL will take around 8 months to complete, whereas an MA Law conversion will take around 12 months. The duration of the course is another element to factor in when choosing whether to do a PGDL or an MA Law conversion!

How hard are Law conversion courses?

Without a doubt Law conversion courses, whether it is the PGDL or MA Law conversion are intense. Essentially they are compiling 3 years of a standard Law degree at university into 1 year or less! Although it is challenging, it is not impossible. Reach out to our expert tutors today to help minimise the stress of undertaking a Law conversion course!