On Wednesday the 16th of February 2022, I hosted the Stirling University Law Society Diploma Insight Event online for our law society members.
This event involved one current student from each University provider of the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice. The Diploma students joined us on the zoom call and chatted for around 10 minutes about their experience so far. This was an incredibly interesting and valuable event for all of the students in attendance and really helped us to make informed choices about where to apply for the Diploma. The idea behind the event was that gaining insight from a current Diploma student, who is only one year ahead of ourselves, ensured that we heard an honest and accurate depiction of what the course is like.
It was really interesting to understand that while all the providers have to meet certain teaching requirements and criteria, similarly to the delivery of core LLB modules, each university has a slightly different learning style. For example, The University of Strathclyde, Glasgow has a real focus on group work by allocating students into teams on the first day to provide students with a working environment that resembles a team in a law firm. Whereas, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen (RGU) provides a course which is completely online; providing a lot of flexibility for students who potentially work full time or have other responsibilities during the day.
Another difference between the providers was the elective modules available, and I would say that it is definitely worth checking the Diploma providers’ websites to see the different options that are available.
One of our speakers used menti.com to conduct a poll for the students in attendance and asked which factors are the most important when deciding where to apply for the Diploma. The most important factor rated by attendees was career opportunities, the second was the quality of education, the third was student experience and last was pro-bono opportunities.
The advice we were given by our panel of students included a recommendation to attend the individual open days and evenings for each provider in order to gain a really good understanding of what the universities are like, and to chat to the staff and see if you think the university is a good fit for you. Another tip was to reach out to the provider’s admissions team via email and ask any questions you may have - they are always happy to help!
Reflecting on the event, I would say that one of the resounding messages from all of the students was that the decision of where to apply for the Diploma is not something to rush into. It was advised that you should take time to evaluate whether you want to apply straight away or take a gap year to pursue other interests that you may have.
Moreover, it was advised that when deciding which university you wish to study at, you should make sure that the city is somewhere which suits your circumstances. For example, has good public transport if you are considering commuting or is somewhere that you would like to live for the year. There are a lot of factors which are important in deciding where it is best to study, which is why it is important to do your research and evaluate which choice is best for you.
I hope that you find this post useful and if you have any questions feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn.
Fourth Year LLB Student, and Stirling University Law Society President
The Scottish Lawyer has created a FREE template especially geared towards assisting you with making your decision on where to study the Diploma and tracking your application progress - click here to access it via our website and download your own template now.
You can find more information about studying the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice on the Law Society of Scotland's website.
Views expressed in guest posts are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of The Scottish Lawyer.