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Law conversion courses


Whether you want to qualify as a solicitor, a barrister, a CILEX Lawyer or if you have not yet decided which route you want to take, a law conversion course will provide you with a solid foundation in law to enable you to continue your journey towards qualification.

What is a law conversion course?

A law conversion aims to provide non-law graduates with the same level of legal knowledge and skills as an LLB law graduate. It is, therefore, an intensive course, effectively condensing a three year law degree into a one year full-time course (or two years part-time).

For a non-law student, a law conversion is a good way to get ahead as it will give you a strong foundation, and academic background, in law before you go on to the next stage of your qualification journey to become a solicitor, barrister, CILEX Lawyer or another role in the legal profession.

There are a variety of law conversion courses on offer from those at post-graduate diploma level to masters.

Is a law conversion course suitable for me?

A law conversion course, such as a GDL or PgDL, is suitable for UK and overseas applicants with a degree in any subject (including those with a non-UK law degree), wishing to take their first steps in UK law at post-graduate level. Whether you are seeking to qualify as a barrister, solicitor, CILEX Lawyer or you are not yet sure which law path you want to take, a law conversion will provide you with a solid foundation upon which to start your qualification journey.

If you are applying for a GDL/law conversion course, be sure to check the eligibility requirements and the course outcome so that you are clear about what you will need to do after you complete the course in order to progress your qualification.

Is there a difference between a GDL and a PGDL?

The GDL and PGDL are both law conversion courses which are designed to bring those who have not previously studied law up to the same knowledge level as law graduates. 

Both are suitable for non-law graduates who want to qualify as either a solicitor or a barrister. And both are also suitable for those looking to fast-track to the CILEX Professional Qualification (CPQ) Advanced Stage by enrolling on the CILEX Graduate Qualification to become a CILEX Lawyer

While the GDL, however, is more tailored towards the LPC route to qualification as a solicitor, the new PGDL courses are more aligned to the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) and will include extra modules such as legal skills and company law, which are required for the SQE 1 assessment.

A GDL will cover the seven Foundations of Legal Knowledge:

Contract law
Criminal law
Equity and Trusts
European Union
Land Law
Public law
Tort law

In a PGDL, you will still cover these but will also cover the areas tested in the SQE 1 assessment which are divided into Functioning Legal Knowledge (FLK) 1 and 2.


Business Law and Practice (which includes Company Law)
Dispute Resolution
Legal System of England and Wales 
Constitutional and Administrative Law
EU Law and Legal Services 


Property Practice
Wills and the Administration of Estates
Solicitors Accounts
Land Law
Criminal Law and Practice

What can I do after a law conversion course?

On completion of a law conversion course, those wishing to qualify as a solicitor could go on to do a course more specifically geared towards preparing for the SQE assessments (if SQE preparation has not been included in the law conversion) while those wanting to qualify as a barrister can apply for a Bar training course (BTC).

Read more about qualifying as a barrister.

To learn more about qualifying as a solicitor through the SQE, visit our SQE section as well as our section on how to prepare for the SQE assessments.

A GDL also enables you to enter the CILEX Professional Qualification (CPQ) at the CPQ Advanced stage through the CILEX Graduate Qualification (CGQ). Find out more about qualifying as a lawyer through CILEX.

How do I apply for a law conversion course?

Sign up to register on LawCAB or log in at My Applications if you already have an account. 

When you have successfully created and logged into your LawCAB account you will be able to create a GDL/law conversion course application form from your dashboard. 

You can select the institution(s) and course(s) you want to apply for - whether a GDL, PgDL, LLM Law Conversion, MA Law (conversion) etc. when you reach the course choice section of your application form.

Full details of the application process can be viewed here.

How do I find a law conversion course?


Use our course finder to find out more information about the different courses that you can apply for through LawCAB.


When you are ready to make your application, sign up for an account or login to your account on LawCAB to create your online GDL application form. 

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Law conversion course FAQs

How do I apply for a course on LawCAB?

If you have not done so already, please 'sign up' to LawCAB. 

Once you have submitted your details in the sign up section (top right of LawCAB homepage) please keep an eye on your inbox for the email verification link.  If it doesn’t arrive, it would be worth checking your promotions folder, or junk/spam folders in case it has got stuck there. (Those with gmail accounts sometimes find that the email goes to their promotions folder.)  Please also make sure that you are using the most up to date version of your internet browser.

After you have clicked on the link to confirm your email address, you will be able to login where you will then be able to view your applicant dashboard from which you can create an online application form, depending on which course type you want to apply for.

Please use the link below for full details of the application process for:

LPC, GDL & SQE courses

CILEX Graduate Qualification (CGQ)

If you have any further questions about the application process, please get in touch with us at

How do I apply for a GDL, PGDL or LLM?

If you have not yet decided whether you want to qualify as a solicitor or a barrister, you can apply for a GDL/PgDL law conversion course through the GDL/law conversion form.

To apply for an LLM, please select the form appropriate to the route you are seeking to qualify through.

  • If you wish to qualify as a barrister or are unsure of your final career route and wish to do a law conversion LLM, please select the GDL/law conversion form.
  • For LLMs tailored to applicants looking qualify through the SQE route, please select the SQE form.
  • If you are looking for a LPC LLM, you will find these in the LPC application form.

You will be able to select the relevant course from the dropdown list of courses under each institution when you reach the course choice section of the application form.

    Information about the courses offered by each institution can be found in Where can I study?. You can also search for courses using our course finder.

    As with all courses, do make sure that you check the eligibility criteria for the course you want to apply for before you submit your application. If in doubt, please contact the admissions teams at your chosen institutions for clarification.

    What do I need for my GDL/law conversion application?

    Academic documentation

    If you are a current undergraduate in your final year, you must attach a transcript to your form showing the courses you have studied in your first two years and the marks awarded so far.

    If you are a graduate, you must attach a copy of your final transcript and/or degree certificate to your form to your form.

    For further information on transcripts, please refer to our FAQ 'What is a transcript?'. 

    Personal statement

    Most course providers require a personal statement. You can either type this into the form or upload as an attachment to the reason and personal statement section of the form. Please see our FAQ on What is a personal statement and what should I include in it? for further information on what to include in your personal statement.


    Most course providers require a reference.

    If you are a current undergraduate or recent graduate, you are encouraged to nominate a current academic tutor who can comment on your suitability for post-graduate study and a career in law, and also provide an expected final grade for your current studies if possible.

    If you cannot nominate an academic tutor, you should nominate a current or recent employer to provide a reference in support of your application. Please see our reference FAQs for further detail.

    Passport details

    If you are applying from outside of the UK and need a visa, you will need to provide your current passport number and expiry date.

    How soon can I apply for a GDL/law conversion course?

    Applications for each academic year open will on or around 1 October of the previous year. You can apply if you are in your final year of your degree or if you already have your degree.

    Where can I study a GDL/law conversion course?

    Please use our course finder to identify the institutions currently offering GDL and/or law conversion courses.

    Can I apply for a GDL/ law conversion course if I don't have a degree?

    Most of the course providers will require a degree (or equivalent qualification) as part of their eligibility criteria.  Please check with the institution you are interested in applying to in the first instance.

    For applicants without a degree who wish to qualify as a solicitor, please refer to the SRA website for further information.

    Please refer to the Bar Standards Boards website for their entry requirements.

    Can I apply for a GDL/law conversion course if I don't have a 2:2 degree?

    Although most of the institutions ask for a minimum 2:2 in order to study for a GDL/law conversion, they will consider each application individually.

    Applicants should complete the application in full, providing as much detail as possible in the personal statement, including any mitigating factors or problems they have experienced during their studies which may have affected their end results. They should also contact one of their academic tutors to ask them to provide a full supporting reference. The institutions will then be able to take everything into consideration when reviewing the application.

    Please note that CAB does not hold a list of providers who will accept applicants who do not meet the usual requirement in obtaining at least a lower second (2:2) in their degree studies.

    Further information about the degree (or equivalent) requirements for qualifying as a solicitor can be found on the SRA website.

    For those wishing to qualify as a barrister, please refer to the Bar Standards Board website for their entry requirements, which state that  a degree with a minimum 2:2 award is an essential requirement.

    Can I still apply for a GDL/law conversion course after 31 August 2021?

    Yes, absolutely! GDL/law conversion courses are a great option for non-law graduates (or those with law degrees obtained outside of the UK) wishing to become barristers or solicitors and for those who are not yet sure.

    Please note: the 31 August 2021 was the deadline for those wanting to start a GDL with a view to qualifying as a solicitor through the LPC route.  The SRA website contains further details on the transition arrangements if you are unsure which qualification route you are eligible for.

    Visit our GDL/law conversion page for further information about law conversion courses.  

    For more information about qualifying as a solicitor, click here.

    Find out more here about qualifying as a barrister.

    Can I apply if I have a criminal conviction?

    Having a criminal conviction could affect your eligibility to qualify as a solicitor or a barrister. If you have a criminal conviction we would advise you to contact the SRA (for solicitors) or BSB (for barristers) before embarking on your route to qualification.