Soon after enrolling into college, you will be invited to attend a series of induction sessions to help you choose your LLM study program and prepare for a particular specialism. It’s possible that you have already indicated your LLM specialism to the college at the time of induction but you will still need to choose your specific modules to study throughout the year. You will also have a week of LLM seminars to attend and try modules that you think would go well within your chosen program of LLM study. So don’t worry, use this time wisely and you are sure to choose the right LLM modules!
Here are some tips that could help you get a better direction into finding your right LLM program.
1.CHECK IF MODULES ARE RUNNING IN THAT YEAR
Modules may vary from each year, so it would be a good idea to check if the one that you are interested in is available for that year. It is likely that modules under some specialisms may have changed or been scrapped for that particular year. It is also possible that the professor whom you thought was going to convene a particular module may have taken a sabbatical that year, so you would need to quickly decide on whether to continue with it or change to another one related to your specialism.
2. MODULES UNDER GENERAL OR SPECIAL LLM
Modules can be chosen under General or Special LLM. As the title suggests, a General LLM allows you to select modules from a variety of topics rather than a specific set of topics. This can make it flexible for you to fit in modules that may be of general interest to you. On the other hand LLM specialisms are specific to an area of law and may include for example, LLM in International Economic Law, LLM in Public International Law, LLM in Environmental Law or LLM in Banking and Finance Law. Colleges can specify the total credits that apply to the specialisms requiring that a certain number of credits apply from the recognised list of modules under the specialism including compulsory dissertation in the field and any credits left over can be related or unrelated and selected from the general list of LLM available modules.
3. GOING OVER YOUR OPTIONS UNDER THE SPECIALISM
Taught modules will usually be listed under each of the LLM specialisms on the college website. If you’re not sure of the combination of modules that you can take, talk to staff during module presentations or at networking events and get guidance on the right set of modules that would fit within your specialism. Another approach is to consult alumni (who are usually seen at networking events) and ask them the combination of modules that they chose and how they came to the decision.
4. SELECTING MODULES BY ASSESSMENTS
You are probably wondering how modules would impact your assessments…I n fact it works out in the reverse! Often students end up choosing modules which are not balanced given the nature of assessments they involve... still confused? Let’s give you an example. If you choose three modules and all three involve assessments by way of essay-based submissions, would you find that suited you (or would you think it’s excessive along with a written dissertation!). Would you instead prefer a mix of exams and essays? It really depends on each student on what they are most comfortable with. You may find it hard to balance assessments if you didn’t find a module that could work out for your specialism. Either way it is good to know the type of assessments that you will need to prepare for before selecting LLM modules.
5. PREREQUISITES FOR THE COURSE
Some colleges may require prerequisites for choosing certain LLM modules.
This could mean:
* Having studied topics previously which correspond to the subject matter of the LLM module, or
* Having undertaken a minimum level of work experience in that field.
Where such prerequisites don’t apply, it would be a good idea to choose module groupings that you think would fit well with your future career interests. Out of the three modules, two may be most relevant to your specialism and the third can be a general topic still applicable to your field.
If you still feel unsure about the third module, then a great plan would be to take up a module that the college is popularly known for!
FINALLY, there are several hidden advantages associated with choosing the right LLM modules. You may end up finding your future work colleagues or business partners if you shared specific course interests during the academic year. This will also give you an exposure into current developments in the field and acquire more information from staff on the best way forward in building your LLM career path.