What is the PGDL?

For those who don’t have a law degree, the PGDL is the course that allows you to become a solicitor or barrister in England and Wales. Previously known as the CPE (Common Professional Examination), it is the evolved successor of the Legal Practice Course (LPC). “The PGDL is laser-focused on preparing non-law graduates to take their legal careers forward by teaching them the academic legal knowledge that is required for the Solicitors Qualifying Exams and centralised bar assessments.”

It’s important to note that achieving a distinction on the PGDL is not necessary for getting a training contract. However, it can tip the balance in your favour in the interview process and shows that you care about the law enough to invest in it and understand its fundamentals – something that law firms and chambers will look at very favourably.

Applicants can apply to study the PGDL full-time or part-time, depending on their circumstances and what suits them best. The University of Law and BPP offer both in-person and online courses. However, if you can find a course with a face-to-face element to it, that would most likely be the better option as it enables you to build rapport and trust with fellow students and lecturers.

There are also a range of scholarships, bursaries and student loans available to help you pay for your PGDL. You can get more information on these on the University of Law and BPP website.