University of Sheffield (GDL)

The Legal Cheek View

As one of the greenest cities in England, Sheffield has more trees per head than any city in Europe. If you’re an aspiring lawyer but also an outdoor adventurer, then doing the GDL at the University of Sheffield is ideal – a third of the city is in the Peak District.

Overall, the GDL is “very comprehensive and enjoyable”. Due to the “excellent teaching and structure”, one Sheffield student “would recommend [the GDL] to any non law graduate wanting to convert” to law. There are “a few eccentric lecturers, but on the whole, very good!” There is a “very strong focus” on tutors’ feedback. The tutors mark non-assessed midterm essays and “give constructive feedback”.

Although tutors run the smaller group seminars, the GDL at Sheffield is mostly self-taught through private study. Most of the traditional GDL lectures have been replaced with online screencasts, “which you can view on any suitable device at any time”. This does allow for more flexible learning, but you’ll have to motivate yourself to stick to a strict timetable – students know all too well how easy it is to fall behind on the GDL.

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You’ll have to do an extra module, though. While the GDL is already an intensive course with its seven core modules, students don’t seem to mind the additional work: “There is a company law module too which helps massively with the commercial electives on the LPC” later on.

Thumbs up also for the GDL course materials at Sheffield: “All resources were stored in one location”, which “was nice”. Some of the tutors even wrote the textbooks. However, one insider reports having “to buy extra books to help” them pass the course. But there’s always the online library, which is “perfect”, and the option of “Google Drive made it easy and convenient for group/shared revision”.

The Information Commons workspace is a student favourite: “IC for life”. GDL students have access to several libraries and study spaces around the campus. When you get hungry, “Bart House’s café is the stuff of legends”. Located inside the law school building, Bartolomé Café serves its famous ‘bowl food’ with a “bowl lot of love”. Going at £3.95, these are very popular at lunchtime and beyond. At £1, hot drinks are also wallet-friendly.

The social life at Sheffield’s law school is in full swing. Even though the GDL is a postgrad ‘professional’ course, “the sense of university spirit and camaraderie still applies”. You can “actually enjoy a social life” – things that GDL students hardly ever say. One GDL insider says they’re “out almost every week”, especially on Thursdays and Saturdays. Clearly, there’s a “great sense of community” at Sheffield: “We genuinely became best friends”.

If you love the outdoors, then studying in Sheffield means that you can seek escape from the law books in its nearby countryside. With its distinctive moorlands, the rural surroundings are dense with rivers, valleys and ancient woodland, and Sheffield students venture out there to hike, climb and cycle.

Key Info

Full time fees £9,500
Entry requirements 2:1
Full time places 60