Two universities bin law conversion course as market tightens

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By Jonathan Ames on

Keele and Hertfordshire law schools announced today that it’s all over for their Graduate Diploma in Law courses


Two universities have ditched the law conversion course in further evidence that falling enrolment is taking its toll.

Law schools at Keele University in Staffordshire and the University of Hertfordshire will be closing their Graduate Diploma in Law courses.

Both universities confirmed earlier media reports, with Keele’s law school chief, Andrew Francis, issuing a statement explaining the university had binned the GDL so it could “strengthen its strategic focus upon its high quality research-led undergraduate and postgraduate programmes”.

Francis continued with a slightly vague reference to the law faculty’s broader goals:

The school’s commitment to an outward facing legal education … remains the highest priority, and all students are supported in realising their ambitions to enter the legal profession through innovative programmes such as the CLOCK scheme, which was designed and is led by the School of Law at Keele.

The community legal outreach collaboration (CLOCK) programme kicked off three years ago. It aims to train law students to qualify as “community legal companions”, who devote a day to the scheme every fortnight.

Hertfordshire’s law school did not issue a comment.

Both moves follow the release last year of statistics indicating a steep decline in popularity of the GDL. Since the global financial crisis, the GDL market has almost crashed — down by nearly 40%.

In 2008-09 there were 2,290 more new applications for the GDL than those made last year — 5,980 compared to 3,690.


The GDL is for ‘spineless’ losers, says Bristol Uni law student [Legal Cheek]