Situated in the heart of Newcastle, Northumbria University is home to the largest law school in the North East of England. The GDL is taught inside a £70 million futuristic building, which so far boasts 20 awards for its design and construction. Worth googling, the structure is complete with renewable energy systems, rainwater recycling and a steel mesh frame that curves around it.
The GDL at Northumbria is “challenging” but “worth it”. Tutors are supportive and one insider says that they’re “helpful from the beginning”. Students are equipped with all course materials, such as textbooks, as well as “step-by-step workbooks” to help them pass the exams.
As the law school is committed to all things modern, it’s up to date with online learning resources, which one GDL student says are “second to none”. This is just as well as you’ll need all the help you can get: the GDL at Northumbria “moves at a pretty fast pace”.
Study spaces are ample. A student favourite is the third floor of the library: “it’s so quiet”. The ‘Quad’ area next to the library is more “relaxed”, and “an ideal place to chill when the sun’s out” during study breaks. To make you feel like you’re on the set of Legally Blonde, facilities also include “Harvard-style” lecture theatres that fit up to 400 students.
A big perk of doing the GDL at Northumbria is the chance to sign up to its many law societies. The biggest, the Grey Society, has around 600 members and organises social events for students across all law courses.The Woolf Society’s mission is to improve law students’ advocacy skills. The Human Rights Society campaigns and fundraises for charities such as Amnesty International. And there’s even a Student Law Think Tank, which explores areas of law reform that students feel strongly about.
Famous for its Geordie spirit, city life in Newcastle also gets a big tick. One in every six people is a student. By day, students enjoy the “cheap and cheerful” cafés, art exhibitions and local markets. By night, “the nightlife is great”. The bars are abuzz with both undergrads and postgrads, and having “drinks along the Quayside” is a student favourite. One GDL student says they’re “never bored!” And of course, Newcastle is much cheaper than London to live in.