I was excited to begin studying my postgraduate law degree. But, it can also be a confusing time, particularly if you’re unsure about which pathway you’d like to follow or which modules to choose.
The great thing about studying an LLM at Kent Law School is the plethora of specialisms and modules available to choose. You can even choose to do a combined degree with one major and one minor specialism, which is what I decided to do. The LLM course at the University of Kent offers a unique flexibility as to the modules you can choose. If you are unsure about what path you want to follow you have the opportunity to choose modules from several different specialisms to help you decide what your future specialisation will be.
My degree specialisms are Intellectual Property Law with International Commercial Law. When I started in September, I knew I wanted to specialise in Intellectual Property Law and I had already chosen six modules from the list I found on the Law School’s website. The truth is, I only ended up taking two of those modules because I discovered so many more interesting choices during induction week.
My best advice for all new LLM candidates is to be open-minded! And attend as many lectures during induction week as possible. You might think that you know exactly what you want to do but it’s definitely worth exploring all your options before making your final module decisions. If you’re unsure about a module or require help later in the academic year, don’t hesitate to ask any of your lecturers or Law School staff for help. As a Kent Law School undergraduate and postgraduate student, I’ve found that, throughout my four year at Kent, I could always rely on the staff for support.
A big part of your postgraduate degree will be your end of year dissertation. If you have no idea what you want your dissertation to be based on during the first term don’t worry; you’re not alone! At the beginning of January, before the second term had started, I was panicking that I didn’t have any ideas for a dissertation theme or title. Two weeks later, after going to the first seminar of one of my spring term modules, I knew exactly what I wanted to write about. I chose the Cultural Heritage Law module (highly recommended for anyone who loves art, history and culture), and I immediately fell in love with it. So I decided to base my dissertation on the relationship between Intellectual Property Law and Intangible Cultural Heritage. I am now more than halfway through my postgraduate degree and I can’t wait to start my dissertation research.
My best advice for choosing your modules and dissertation theme is that you need to be passionate about them. Unless you enjoy what you are doing you will not get the best experience out of your degree.
Your postgraduate degree is a great opportunity to further your knowledge and specialise in what fascinates you but it’s also very important to enjoy it. While 2020 has been a very strange year for everyone, I’ve enjoyed every single thing about my LLM and have made amazing friends for life.
To sum up here are my top tips:
- Choose you modules wisely and be open-minded
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
- Don’t panic if you have no idea what your dissertation title will be
- Study hard but also find the time to enjoy the campus and Canterbury
- Make friends (Talk to other people in your seminars or through societies and the postgraduate social events)
- Join societies (I joined the Kent Student Law Society but there are plenty more to choose from)
To all future LLM students – I really hope you’re as excited as I was for starting your LLM at Kent Law School!