GDL Awards

Students can apply for scholarships and exhibitions to support them during their GDL year. Applicants who intend to undertake the two-year postgraduate LLB course are also eligible. However, successful applicants will only be funded for one year of the course. For the GDL year, 1 Princess Royal Scholarship of £10,000 and 1 Princess Royal Scholarship of £7,500 each are available. Up to a further £183,000 will also be awarded in Major Scholarships and Exhibitions, the amounts of which will be decided taking into account the successful applicant’s resources and needs.

The Guaranteed Funding Scheme

The Inner Temple is the only Inn that will guarantee a GDL scholarship winner an award of at least equal value for their Bar Course.

Students who are successful in obtaining an award for their GDL year, who successfully complete the GDL course, and who thereafter obtain a place on a Bar Course, will on application automatically receive an award of the same amount for their Bar Course year, without further interview.

GDL award holders therefore have the certainty that a minimum level of funds will be available to them from the Inn throughout their period of study for the Bar. Holders of GDL awards are, however, welcome to apply for a higher award for their Bar Course year. They will not, by doing so, jeopardise their right to the guaranteed amount.

Similarly, since more funds are available for awards for the Bar Course year, unsuccessful applicants for GDL awards are welcome to apply the following year for a Bar Course award. Many such applications have been successful in past years. Permission will not usually be given to defer the taking up of a GDL award.

Holders of GDL awards are, however, welcome to apply for a higher award for their Bar Course.

Application procedure

Applications for 2020 GDL Awards will open at 3pm on Monday 23 March 2020. The closing deadline is 1pm on Friday 1 May 2020.

Candidates must apply using the online form on this website.

Applications should be for GDL courses starting in the autumn of 2020. Candidates opting to do the course part-time should apply before starting. If, however, they are not already in receipt of an award for the first year of their part-time GDL, a part-time candidate may apply by 1pm on the first Friday in May immediately preceding the start of the second year of the part-time course. 

The financial statement section is not compulsory but if it is not completed any award you win other than the Princess Royal Scholarships mentioned above would be at a minimum level as we would have to assume you had sufficient finances in place. We recommend that all applicants fill the financial statement in.

In the last round of GDL applications, the Inner Temple interviewed every applicant. It is the Inn's intention, numbers permitting, to continue to offer interviews to all candidates that apply for a GDL award. Due to the current situation with COVID-19, the Inn will be reviewing the scholarship interview procedure to ensure that we are using the most suitable interview method, in line with Public Health England guidelines. Interviews are likely to take place on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 June, although at this stage it is uncertain whether the interviews will be in person or held via online conference facilities.

References will now be submitted online as part of your application

Applicants must arrange for two references to be submitted in support of their application. These can be two academic references; two professional reference; or one academic reference and one professional reference. All referees must have known the applicant for at least six months and references should be as detailed as possible. Please note that family members cannot provide references and we no longer accept personal references.

As of September 2018, references will be submitted online as part of the scholarship application process. Please note, that it is the responsibility of the applicant to send the unique URL, generated whilst completing the references section of the application, to their referee. The referee will then be able to upload the reference directly to us.

Application forms must be submitted before 1pm on Friday 1 May 2020, however referees will have until Monday 11 May 2020 to upload their reference to us.

Applications for the 2020 GDL Awards are now closed.