Should I pursue the GDL or LLB?

May 21, 2022
What is the GDL and the LLB?

GDL provides an alternative route for non-law graduates that want to earn a credential equal to a law degree. If studied full-time, it requires one year to complete. Nevertheless, one can opt for more flexible alternatives, such as studying part-time across two or more years.

The LLB is a three-year full-time undergraduate programme which leads to the next stage in training to enter the legal profession. As such, upon the completion of the LLB, you can choose to pursue the LPC or the SQE if you wish to qualify as a solicitor or the BPTC if you wish to qualify as a barrister. Whereas both credentials are similar, the LLB allows for a more extensive understanding of the law.

Similarities and Differences

The most significant distinction between the two courses is that the GDL has no electives, whereas the LLB allows you to study optional courses in addition to the main subjects. Although the LLB is a demanding course, you will not be pressured to complete everything in one year, giving you more time to engage with the topic. However, if you choose the GDL, your knowledge will be solely focused on law, depending on the modules you select.

The GDL teaches you the seven foundations of legal knowledge: contract, tort, criminal law, equity and trusts, EU law, property law and public law. These are a must-know if you wish to pursue a legal career. If you don’t have a law degree, the GDL is a well-established approach which enables you to start your next training stage. Also, having knowledge of a different subject will be quite an advantage. However, because of the course’s rapid pace, you may spend the majority of your time studying, leaving you with less time to gain legal work experience and less time to get grips with each topic.

Employers don’t mind if candidates have an LLB or the GDL — both are considered equivalent by recruiters. If you desire a less demanding academic experience and more time to apply for vacation schemes and training contracts, the LLB is a good option. The GDL has the advantage of being shorter in duration, allowing you to complete the course in half the time.

Ultimately, it comes down to your finances, schedule, and what you hope to gain from the course – but employers see no difference in value.

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