Will, LLM International Economic Law
Choosing to do a Master’s
I didn’t really want to leave my study after my BA. In my year abroad I touched on things I found really interesting, I’d found something I really liked. It got to the point when I was doing readings for my classes in Hong Kong and it was just fun. It was like oh I’ve got some free time, let’s sit down and learn more about this!
I’m not currently qualified to be a lawyer working in international arbitrations, I need more qualifications, and I also need to know that it’s definitely something that I want to do.
If you’re going for competitive fields it seems like a no brainer. If you enjoy your subject, if you enjoy studying, it’s something that’s invaluable.
The Move to Postgrad
The actual study in itself is very different, undergrad is very much like here’s a big lecture and here’s some readings and we’ll talk about it in the seminar. I’ve never had something that could come close to a lecture in masters, it’s far more interactive.
You meet a lot of people and because essentially you’ve focused on a more specialist area, whereas undergrad is quite general, you find people with similar interests, and you will find yourself just chatting to these people, who come from different backgrounds and different perspectives. You find yourself learning so much from that side as well as the classroom and the reading side.
The Postgraduate Loan
I think that one of the most helpful things to think about in terms of the debt is NOT to think about how much it is, but instead to essentially think of it as like a quasi-graduate tax which I think helps me out a lot.
And yeah again when I looked for a masters course, I realised it was probably going to be a lot, but there are factsheets out there, they have stuff on the gov.uk website and on the student finance website about the repayment rate and the percentage you’re looking at.
My debt has just kept going up and up and will keep going up for a while, because being from a less well-off background my maintenance loans have been a lot higher than other peoples… plus now this 10 grand postgraduate loan on top of it means that my debt is a lot… I don’t know what it is, I don’t care. What matters is the percentage.
The loan is £10000 and the course is a bit over £8000, so I knew my course was paid for and I just had to sort out living, which was just a part time job. It didn’t really seem that daunting a prospect. I mean, I’ve worked since I was 13, I don’t expect to not work. I’ve worked everywhere, in nightclubs, in subways, I did a lot of stuff for widening participation in my first couple of years.
Working while studying I find phenomenally important, it keeps you grounded in the real world, it gives you a different perspective on things.