GDL Awards

Students can apply for Scholarships and Exhibition Awards to support them during their law conversion course. Eligible courses for an award are: Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), LLM conversion course, and the two-year postgraduate LLB conversion course. These courses may be taken full time or part time.

In 2021, the Inner Temple will offer £200,500 in GDL scholarships.

Breakdown of Awards

Award Amount Available
Two Princess Royal Scholarships One award of £10,000 and one award of £7,500

Four Major Scholarships & up to 30 Exhibition Awards

Budget of £183,000. Awards will be made on merit, then for each successful applicant, financial means will be considered to decide the award amount

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 receive a GDL award from the Inn, and successfully complete their law conversion course, will automatically receive an award of the same amount for their Bar Course, 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, encouraged to apply for a higher award for their Bar Course year. This application should be made in the autumn prior to the start of the Bar Course. By applying for a higher Bar Course award, scholars will not jeopardise their right to the guaranteed funding.

Applicants who are unsuccessful at obtaining a GDL award are welcome reapply for a GDL award in the following application round, and are also welcome to apply for a Bar Course Scholarship Award on obtaining a Qualifying Law Degree.

Application Procedure

Applications for 2021 GDL Awards will open at 1pm on Friday 26 March 2021. The closing deadline is 1pm on Friday 7 May 2021.

In order to apply for a scholarship you will be required to submit an online application form, which will be linked below, when the application window is open.

The application form is broken down into 7 sections – contact information; educational details; legal and non-legal work experience; supporting information; references; financial circumstances and equality monitoring. The ‘supporting information’ section includes professional statement/ essay style questions, which are specific to the scholarship you are applying for.

Candidates submit one application form and are considered for all Inner Temple Bar Course Awards (listed above) at the same time.

References

Applicants are required to arrange for two references to be included in support of a scholarship application, which can be either academic or professional references.  All referees should have known the applicant for at least 6 months, and references should be as detailed as possible. Please note that family members cannot provide references.

References will be submitted online as part of the application form. Applicants will be required to send a unique URL, generated whilst completing the references section of the application form, to their referee. The referee will then be able to upload the reference directly to us. Guidance to assist your referee is downloadable below.

Interview Process

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.

In 2021, interviews for the GDL awards will be held on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 June. Invitations to interview, confirming your interview date and time, are sent out via email in mid-May.  We recommend holding both dates available in your diary until you receive your invitation to interview.

On the day of your interview, when you arrive you will be greeted by the Scholarships Team, registered and shown to the waiting area. A couple of minutes prior to the start of your interview, one of the team will collect you from the waiting area and take you through to your interview.

Interviews are conducted by a panel for 4 members of the Inn, and last approximately 20 minutes. All panel members will have been sent your application form prior to the interviews. The questions asked will be based on information from your application form and there will also be a situational test. This will be an oral test and you will not be expected to have prepared for it in advance.

After the interviews, results are usually distributed within 2 weeks, via email.

GDL Scholarship Application Statistics

GDL Scholarship Statistics 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020

Applicants

62 83 104

85

108 123
Interviewed applicants (minus withdrawals) 57 82 95

76

106 120
Total Awards

23

19 27

36

34 36

Alternative sources of funding for the GDL

Student Finance

If applying for the LLM conversion course, students are eligible to apply for a Masters Loan (of £11,222 if your course starts on or after 1 August 2020) from Students Finance England.

Postgraduate Loans

Post-graduate loans which cover the cost of course fees and living expenses are available from companies such as Future Finance and LendWise.

Course Providers

Many course providers have their own scholarship schemes which can provide a contribution towards the cost of undertaking the GDL or equivalent conversion course.

Differing Course Types

It is also possible to undertake the GDL part-time over 2 years at certain providers, which enables the splitting of the cost of fees.  If undertaking the GDL part time, it is possible to apply for an Inner Temple scholarship in the spring before you start the course as well as the spring in the first year of your training, if your application is unsuccessful first time around.