Despite the fact that I am deep in the depths of revision purgatory (more on that on another day), today I received an email that has allowed me to finally take a huge sigh of relief as I can say that my postgraduate plans are now confirmed.
I am happy that I can now reveal to you all that I will be studying a Master of Laws (LLM) at the University of Nottingham come September! Although I am very sad that I will no longer be at Leicester next year, I am extremely excited for a new adventure.
Unlike the UCAS system, that aids those students wanting to undertake an undergraduate degree, applying for postgraduate programmes is different. Generally you have to apply directly to the University themselves and each institution has different requirements.
Upon starting the application, I did find it slightly daunting however after speaking to the fantastic advisors at the Career Development Service, as well as the helpful academic staff at the Law School, I was able to complete it and send it off in no time!
Below are a few tips that I think anyone, interested or actually applying for an LLM, might find useful:
1. RESEARCH ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY
The best advice I can give you is to really research about the institution that you are thinking of applying to. It is important to know that an LLM programme at one University will not be the same as an LLM programme at another University. There are often key differences in the structure of the course, the means of assessment and the modules on offer so its a great idea to take some time to find a course that suits you.
2. SPEND SUFFICIENT TIME ON YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT
This section is the hardest part of the application process and I would advise you to spend much time writing and drafting. Depending upon the specific University and their requirements, every personal statement generally should cover these main points:
- What are you career plans?
- Why do you want to study the course at that particular University?
- What skills and experience you have that makes you the best candidate?
- How will studying the course at that particular University help you get one step closer to achieving your career goals?
3. ASK FOR HELP FROM CAREER ADVISORS OR STAFF AT YOUR LAW SCHOOL
Something that you should definitely do is speak to a Career Advisor. The University of Leicester has the truly amazing Career Development Service that were the first port of call in helping me with my application and checking over my personal statement!
Also, you may find that you are able to speak to your University Tutor or members of the academic staff within your Law School. I would like to say a big thank you to Dr Stelios Andreadakis, Mr Steven Evans and Dr Gemma Turton who in my final year gave me lots of support and guidance in completing my application.
4. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ALL THE CORRECT DOCUMENTS
The most annoying part of the process is compiling together and scanning all the relevant documents that you need to support your application. Different universities have different requirements so it is crucial that you read the instructions properly and provide them with exactly what they ask for. Depending on whether you are a Home or International student, some examples of documents that you need to provide range from your ‘to-date’ University transcript, a list of the modules that you are currently taking if you are in your final year of undergraduate study and your CV.
5. REFEREES, REFEREES REFEREES
The final but extremely important part of the application process is the information for you reference. Generally, most universities require you to provide the details of two people who will provide a reference for you – one of which needs to be an academic or University tutor at your current institution. Make sure that you firstly ask before providing their details and also make sure that they know you well enough to provide a detailed reference.
I hope that these tips have been helpful. It is a really long process but in the end, incredibly worthwhile. Generally the waiting time in terms of hearing the outcome of your application is 4-6 weeks however I was incredibly lucky and received a response in exactly a week after applying!
If you are curious to find out more about the array of postgraduate programmes the University of Leicester has to offer, take a look at their website!
Until next time,