How I chose to study in the PG Laws Programme

Since I have completed my first two weeks as a PG Laws student, I have had a chance to see how my reasons for enrolling match the reality of study. I have four principle reasons for enrolling. One is the quite common goal of pursuing a new career path. The other three might be unique and personal. I am studying law to improve my verbal skills, develop special knowledge of European history, and to reduce stress.book-841171_640
When my study materials arrived, it gave me a chance to dive into my course in Western European Legal History. The study skills materials that the university sends to new students are comprehensive and very helpful. My packet included the three books of essential reading for Foundations: Roman and canon law 500 -1100, the course study guide and the PG Laws handbook.

You might have heard that law school can be stressful. The Master of Laws (LLM) Skills Guide addresses that head on with some great tips for managing the challenges of postgraduate study. Ironically, I enrolled in the program to relax. That might sound funny but it is true. My professional life is incredibly stressful and the career change I would like to make requires the skills I expect to develop during my study. Other things, like structure, narrowly focusing on interesting and relevant content, and the opportunity to a do a great deal of writing and research brings a high degree of stress relief. For me, this opportunity to break the challenges of a career transition and skills development into manageable pieces that I can take control of helps me cope with stress.

Besides thinking over how to tackle stress and a career change, one of the things I did, while deciding to enrol in a postgraduate course of study, was to sit a graduate school admission test common in the USA. The tests would be required for the US schools I considered for postgraduate study, and I wondered if I had the maths skills needed for international management courses. In another ironic moment, when I got the test results, my maths skills were in the highest percentile but my verbal skills score was quite a bit lower. While my maths aptitude has been noted as my greatest strength on several occasions, I find writing and research more interesting and enjoyable. The test results also explained why these tasks are challenging for me. Research and writing is important to me personally and professionally, so finding a program where I can significantly develop verbal skills is a very high priority. For me, the PG Laws programme offers the best mix of courses and specializations requiring maths and verbal skills.

Another significant opportunity with the University of London PG Laws programme is the opportunity to gain credentials progressively, like a PG Certificate and PG Diploma, while working towards the LLM degree. In addition, students can develop areas of specialization in legal studies. Initially, I thought I would pursue specializations in International Management and Environmental Law because of the impact it will have on my career. By the time I selected my course, I decided to enrol in the Western European Legal History module, a course that requires ‘the skills of an historian and a lawyer’, as the study guide describes it. This course interests me the most and offers the chance to engage in research relating to a personal project and my fledgling career change. I am not sure what area to pursue as a second specialization just yet.

That is a lot of information about how I arrived in the PG Laws Programme! I looked at perhaps a dozen graduate programs in several areas of study in the USA and in the UK. This programme meets all of my professional and academic needs, and perhaps, more importantly, offers the best opportunity to pursue my personal interests and goals. I have had my nose in one law book or another for the past two weeks. It already feels like my research and organizational skills have improved – and I know my stress level is much more manageable.

Caowrites has just enrolled in the Postgraduate Laws Programme. She previously earned a BA English degree and blogged regularly about her experience. She studies by distance learning in the United States.

10 thoughts on “How I chose to study in the PG Laws Programme

  1. Nice to see you back. Although, after considering all subject options for registration, I finally settled on UG Law only last year, I did frequent the UoLIP student blog before then and have always enjoyed reading your posts. Congratulations on you English results by the way.

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  2. Anthony would be interesting to learn why you chose the UG vs PG studies in Law? Do you also have another degree in a different subject? Lastly why did you choose Law? Cheers Robert London UK

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  3. Howdy:
    We all support Jellybean to take a note for her if she (or he) is stressed out for studying excessively.
    We still have a little snow here,

    Cheers
    David

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  4. Hi Robert. I have a degree in English from Goldsmith’s. My choice for an English degree was inspired by personal interest and also because it was helpful professionally. I chose PG law from the same motivations. This degree satisfies my personal interests and best positions me for advancement in my career. Does that help?

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  5. Thanks! I am so glad to be back. Best of luck with your program – it is very difficult to choose from the options available. I struggled over it for about a year…

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  6. Hi Robert – I am so sorry to have missed this comment until now. My undergraduate degree (also from U of L International Programmes) is in English, which was a wonderful experience and education. Law was important to me because: 1) I always wanted to be a lawyer 2) As a non profit executive, a law degree with the opportunity to pursue a dual specialization will help me be a better advocate for organizations I work with 3) Many issues in my work involve international actors and require international cooperation to create solutions. This program uniquely addresses this concern. 4) Argument, writing, and research is very interesting and motivating to me. 5) The intercollegiate structure is a wonderful chance to study with oversight from different schools. 6) The Queen Mary law program is one of the top 35 in the world.

    That’s quite a list, but it all works together quite well for me. Happy Studies!

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  7. Hello Caowrites. I need a few questions in relation to the English degree, which I am actively considering switching to (from UG Law). As English is not my native language, I need some advice. Poetry and Shakespeare present some challenges. Do you know of any reliable websites which translate Elizabethan English into modern English? Another thing is, are we require to read, and more importantly, memorising every book on the reading list cover to cover.

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  8. Hi – so sorry I missed your question. The English department did not require students to memorize books when I was enrolled. My stars, I would have panicked! It does help to memorize a few key phrases now and then. That’s not difficult when you enjoy the material. I do not know of any sites that translate Elizabethan English to modern English although there are quite a few good dictionaries of earlier English and some texts are enfaced, with earlier text and modern text side by side. One thing I really enjoyed was becoming a proficient reader in Early Modern and Medieval texts. By the time I finished it was easier to read Shakespeare than some modern works. You might try contacting the English department directly with specific questions as I am sure the program of study has changed since I was a student. CAO

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