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GDL before or after LLM / MA?

I want to convert to law (for the purposes of being a Barrister). Does it make more sense to do this after my undergrad and then do an LLM, or do an MA and then do a GDL? For reference, the LLM or MA would be at a top uni like Durham.
(edited 3 months ago)
Original post by username6558928
I want to convert to law (for the purposes of being a Barrister). Does it make more sense to do this after my undergrad and then do an LLM, or do an MA and then do a GDL? For reference, the LLM or MA would be at a top uni like Durham.

Hi @username6558928,

In terms of acquiring pupillage there will be very little difference made by which route you choose. Having higher education qualifications after undergrad will give you additional points on applications, however, they won't change much and more is weighted on your general ability to be compelling and your experience with advocacy etc. Therefore, I would decide which route you would prefer to do for yourself and choose that. Also, I would be cautious of placing too greater importance on the institution where you receive qualifications as the pupillage gateway now redacts this information from your application. Therefore, whether you get your degrees from a seemingly top or lower uni makes less difference than it might once of done.

I hope this helps and good luck!

Sophie 🙂
Reply 2
Original post by username6558928
I want to convert to law (for the purposes of being a Barrister). Does it make more sense to do this after my undergrad and then do an LLM, or do an MA and then do a GDL? For reference, the LLM or MA would be at a top uni like Durham.

Just to add to ULaw's post above.

If you are doing a non-law Bachelor's degree and want to convert to law, the quickest way to convert and look to qualify as a barrister would be to complete a law conversion course (e.g. the MA Law, PgDL), you can then take the Bar Practice Course (BPC) and some providers offer an optional LLM award with the BPC (like ULaw).

You don't have to do a MA and GDL, as these are one-in-the-same, a law conversion degree for non-law graduates.

I would also echo ULaw's sentiment regarding institution. Vocational training for the BPC in particular is all samey-samey as it's regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB), so the amount or type of content you'll be receiving will be neither here nor there. If you're going for a 'top university' for aesthetic or 'bragging' reasons, I would think more realistically, as again like ULaw has said these details are now redacted in the pupillage gateway.

You'd be better off look at institutions that offer both a law conversion degree and the BPC, this way you would look to save costs with potential alumni discounts (as these are extremely expensive courses and you can only obtain masters funding once from SFE). You should also look at student satisfaction based on student experience at these providers on the two programmes, not just 'news outlet x rated university y 5* based on great facilities'.

Best of luck in your endeavours nonetheless!

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