What is the PGDL?

A PGDL is an academic qualification that enables students to pursue a legal career as a solicitor or barrister in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The course is intensive and requires students to engage in extensive independent study and research of the law. It is usually assessed through a combination of coursework and exams. Students may also be required to complete compulsory modules such as legal research and writing.

Unlike a traditional undergraduate degree, the PGDL is usually completed in one academic year (depending on the institution). The course focuses on the law as it applies to contemporary practice, and is suited to candidates who want to become practising lawyers but who do not wish to specialise.

The PGDL can be expensive, and it’s important to weigh up your options carefully before applying. The good news is that there are a number of ways to finance the course.

Scholarships are available from a variety of institutions, and you should check each one’s website for details. BPP University Law School and the University of Law both offer scholarships, for example. These scholarships are usually competitive, but they can significantly reduce the cost of your PGDL.

It is possible to switch between legal careers once you have completed your PGDL, but it will require you to secure a training contract and to successfully pass the Bar Professional Training Course (BPC). There are a number of different routes into the legal profession, including as a paralegal, trainee solicitor, corporate lawyer or private client paralegal, and switching between these paths can be difficult.

For many water science applications, the availability of high-quality data is essential to model performance. For example, out-of-bound predictions of a process-based model can be improved significantly by calibrating the model for each individual lake; however, such site-specific calibration requires substantial handling time and expert judgement to ensure that PB parameters are within appropriate ranges and that the models are not overfitting.

PGDL, on the other hand, can improve water quality forecasts by learning from existing process-based models without the need for manual site-specific calibration. The LSTMs used by PGDL recognise critical time series patterns and relationships, such as energy conservation laws that are encoded in most process-based models. In the seasons experiment, a PGDL model pretrained on the remaining observations from the lakes with sufficient data provided more accurate predictions than either an empirical-only or a hybrid process-guided DL model for each of the lakes (Figure 2).

Attending lectures and making notes is vital to ensuring you are fully prepared for assessments. While it’s tempting to skip lectures if you don’t get on with the lecturers or their teaching style, this can be a serious mistake. If you do miss lectures, try to catch up as soon as possible so that you are not at a disadvantage come assessment time. Moreover, attending lectures helps you to ease into your studies and settle back into the life of a student after leaving work.