Cardiff University (GDL)

The Legal Cheek View

Across the road from the Welsh Government buildings and a short walk from the River Taff is Cardiff University, recommended by its students for its “location and brand name”.

The GDL at Cardiff law school is a “challenging course”. In particular, GDL students are “grateful for the fantastic careers service at Cardiff Uni”. GDL students benefit from its support: “It was very, very good. Not only was I able to participate in a fantastic pro-bono scheme, the career services referred me to a law firm for my first paralegal job,” one recent graduate tells us. For many students, an opportunity like this is like gold dust. Indeed, for one insider, “this was my foot in the door into the legal profession”. There’s also mooting and pro bono initiatives, as well as negotiating and client interviewing competitions on the menu.

The tutors are equally supportive. Students appreciate the “good teaching” from lecturers “who actually care”. In particular, they equip their law students with “excellent preparation for the exams”, which are notoriously difficult to pass. To revise ahead of exams you can use the designated study spaces that are exclusive to postgrads. But be warned, there’s “no control over noise or disruption in postgraduate study areas or law library”.

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Core GDL lectures are delivered electronically. You’ll be spending the majority of your week listening to lectures online. This independent study model gives students more flexibility to choose when is a good time to roll their sleeves up and get stuck into the GDL material. Cardiff uni does stress, though, that “this is not a distance learning course”, and students have plenty of face-to-face study time with their tutors. However, you will need a good deal of self-discipline to manage your own timetable, and actually do the work.

The way the GDL itself is structured is student-friendly. If you’re not an early riser, you’ll be happy to know that students only have to come in twice a week, on Thursdays and Fridays. This is designed to “help with other commitments”, such as getting involved with the wider law school experience, or the part-time café job that’s funding your GDL.

If you’re lucky enough, you may even bag yourself a vacation scheme at one of the law firms surrounding the law school, which include Slater and Gordon, Eversheds Sutherland and Blake Morgan.

Key Info

Full time fees £7,250
Part time fees £3,675
Entry requirements 2:2
Full time places 65
Part time places 25

Part-time fees are paid annually over two years.