Tuesday, 6 May 2008

GDL in 28 days

Have you seen those massive computer books telling you that it is easy to learn Visual Basic in 21 days, or Windows programming in 28 days?

Well, I have done the GDL in 28 days!

How is that possible I hear you ask. Piece of cake. Even better than that, each of the core subjects has been done in 24 hours!

Crikey Moses.

The Graduate Diploma in Law is a conversion course to take you from a degree in anything to a degree in law. I noticed that I think its Nottingham, if you do the LPC or BVC with them you automatically get the LLB to use after your name. If you haven't already get a degree like me, you can obtain a 'Certificate of Academic Standing' from either the Law Society or Bar Council to get you onto the course.

The GDL comprises Criminal law, Tort, Land, European, Public, Contract and Equity's and trusts. You also have to do a 5000 word research project.

How did I do it all in 28 days?

Distance learning. Not for the faint hearted (I have since discovered), and between September and June you attend 4 weekends covering 4 subjects in year 1 and 3 plus the project in year 2. Each weekend is 4 days with a day on each subject. So by a simple arithmetic calculation, 4 days on each subject multiplied by 7 subjects makes 28 days of lectures.

Each day of lectures is 6 hours, split into 4 sessions of an hour and a half, so each subject is completed in 24 hours!

Don't go thinking that anyone could sit through 24 hours in one stretch though! I often found that 3 hours into a lecture only 30 minutes had passed! Its a nightmare, cramming so much information into such a short space of time, and if you allow your concentration to wander just for a second, you are lost. After a day of lectures my brain hurts. After a weekend, it can no longer function. I am temporarily unable to speak, compose any thoughts, let alone undertake the 3 hour drive home!

I will admit, in addition to the lecture weekends a lot of research, reading, and writing assignments is required, and although they suggest 15 hours a week is needed, I don't think I ever did more than 3 a week. Now I am approaching the exams I will be spending every spare minute studying something or another, but essentially its not been a difficult road, albeit tiring, slightly interesting, and more than a little gutty.

Distance Learning is great with the social life, drinks, dinners, having a laugh, but on the downside, you are pretty much removed and detached from things. The lecturers have been excellent, offering their time to help selflessly, but I have only ever thought to approach them once or twice for help. (Maybe I should have done with Equity's and trusts!)

So there you have it, essentially a law degree in 28 days!

Now I must go and lie down. Its been a difficult weekend!