I completed the first two years of my law degree through a distance learning programme abroad with an average of mid-lower second class during the pandemic and then switched to a RG university in the UK after taking a gap year. But I then struggled socially and only got a 57% at the end of the year at the degree.

My question is if I were to really try to point out that narrative, would I be able to get into a decent PhD programme with funding if I gather 1-2 years of legal work experience after finishing LLM with good grades at the same university? What would be the best way to move forward if I want to qualify as a solicitor through the SQE (assuming that I would pass the SQE 1&2 exams)?

Please note that I do not consider myself a dull student but I did put in a very limited amount of time because of feeling very isolated and before moving I was very confident about coping well due to having good English skills and a somewhat decent understanding of the culture but things quickly started looking bleak as I never thought it would be that much diffcult for me to have people consider me a potential friend.

I am a non-UK citizen and would appreciate any advice you have on that matter. I am not looking to get UK citizenship/residency (as I simply do not have the luxury to spend a better part of a decade in a country during my twenties in hopes of getting those but am open to studying or working (at a legal field) in the UK or elsewhere and develop the ability to learn about how life is really like there and be financially self-reliant) but a somewhat solid portfolio but I cannot put much more financial stress on my parents.

1 Answer 1


Yes. I can't speak to the law aspect, but excelling in a master's would almost certainly improve your chances at a PhD.

Your best bet would be to do a master's at a university you are interested in. If you do exceptionally well I wouldn't be surprised if your advisor or someone else in the department straight up offered you a spot. Even if you don't make that huge of an impression, a solid performance would certainly give you a leg up in PhD applications there.

You're best bet is to scope out smaller programs at solid universities. A smaller program might give you the space to shine and develop relationships with advisors and faculty. Even if you don't end up there, you'll likely get more personalized recommendations if you make a good impression.

This advice might be a bit field specific. In my experience it holds true for biology and other sciences where the largest component of a PhD is lab work. I would think that the general point would stand for any field though - doing well in a master's is just a way to get your foot in the door somewhere.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .