25 March 2019

Postgraduate: The Journey Till Now


Mehul Parekh



If you’ve ever considered studying or even applying for a post-graduate course, this post is definitely worth a read!

Like many of my peers, having studied an undergraduate course in law, for me I only ever saw two options really; do the LPC and apply for training contracts or study on a masters course with the view of progressing onto a PhD.

In my college days I used to eagerly  await the day I would finally get to leave full time education forever and step out into the real world. Unfortunately however after I graduated with a First Class honours Degree in Law LLB in the summer of 2018, I decided that postgraduate study was perhaps the better option, at least for me personally!

Of course people choose to study on a postgraduate course for a host of reasons ranging from it being the only option to having the welcome prospect of increased career options. However for me, studying on my postgraduate course served as the necessary stepping stone which helped cement my research topic for my PhD.

Hence, I progressed onto the next chapter of my higher education studies. Starting from October 2018, I began studying on the International Business Law LLM at De Montfort University Leicester.

Firstly, flexibility is, in my opinion, one of the main benefits of postgraduate study.

Immediately after I began my course, I realised how different the style of learning was compared to undergraduate studies. I mean there are no lessons, instead there are group discussions based on the suggested and compulsory reading we had to complete.

Gone were the days where I had to attend mass lectures aimed at hundreds of students. Instead, I found my timetable sparsely filled with no more than 1 seminar a day, which spanned 2 hours. I no longer had to attend University every single day, rather I was timetabled to only attend university a maximum of 3 days a week, some weeks I didn’t have to attend at all.

In essence I increasingly found myself having more and more unstructured time, leaving me free to do anything I want to do.

Being completely honest, in the first month of my studies having not realised the reason behind such a reduced timetable, I did end up wasting away hours surfing through social media and watching Netflix.

After waking up late every single day for a whole month I realised that I was wasting my life away, doing nothing productive at all! So I sat down and decided to try and structure the flexibility of time I now found myself with.

Once I started structuring my time and scheduling in dedicated reading and research hours, I not only found my myself being more productive but it also enabled me to make valuable contributions in my seminars. I found this really useful as the main method of learning on my course is through actively participating in informative discussions which occur in my seminars.

Hence, I feel that postgraduate study has also helped me develop as a person, as alongside learning skills vital to my discipline I’ve learnt to better manage my time.

Being somebody who thoroughly enjoys meeting new people, my course has provided me with the opportunity to meet people from many different countries around the globe, who each bring with them different perspectives of how the legal system operates in their home jurisdiction.

As, my peer group is much smaller than at undergraduate level, it not only makes such discussion possible, but more interesting as the informal setting allows for the open discussion of some challenging and controversial international business practices and how the law controls them.

 A few months on, and I can say with confidence that I have started preferring such seminars as opposed to the undergraduate method of learning through lectures. I believe this is now really evident from my academic analysis and writing skills.

This year, as part of my course I will also be required to complete a 15,000 word dissertation project. Whilst at first glance this seemed to me as an impossible feat, having chosen to conduct in-depth doctrinal research in Consumer Law, I’ve really started enjoying my research hours and reading around this area of law.

Prior to this year, I would’ve never believed that I will find my passion lies in further studies and academia.

All in all, though there are no set qualifications which can ever guarantee you your dream job, I believe that doing a postgraduate course is a lifelong investment that has definitely helped shape my future.

As my final words of advice I would definitely advise anyone who is considering to study a postgraduate course to take their time in carefully choosing your options!

Never let the perceived drawbacks of postgraduate study impact your decision of choosing what is best for you.

Studying on my postgraduate course has provided me with a positive challenge, sparked an ambition to educate my mind all whilst providing a whole new experience of what university life has to offer.

Stay curious... Keep Learning!


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