Course LLM Criminal Law and Criminal Justice
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Thanks for asking Annemie a question, be sure to check back soon!
I graduated from the University of Ghana, Legon with Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology with English Language and a cumulative grade point average of 3.33 out of 4.00. My desire is to pursue a law programme and wanted to know the procedures involved in acquiring admission into your programme as well as the requirements.
The procedure you have to follow for applying is an electronical one which you can access through the website of the University. During this procedure you have to provide personal information and also proof of the fact that you fulfill the requirements for the program. I found every step of the procedure very clear and if you had questions, there was a possibility to ask for help. Furhter information about how to apply: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/apply-pg/index.aspx
If you have decided and wants to apply, go to: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/taught/law/criminal-law.aspx#CourseDetailsTab , and under the contact details for this program, you can find a button ‘Apply for this course’
The requirements for my program (LLM Criminal Law and Criminal Justice) are the following for international students:
– International qualifications which are equivalent to a UK honours degree in Law will be considered. ( http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/taught/law/criminal-law.aspx#CourseDetailsTab (Course details –> Entry requirements)
– Persons coming from Ghana will be considered for a postgraduate program such as this LLM if they hold a Bachelor degree from a recognised institution and have a minimum of an upper second class degree (2.1) with a minimum GPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or 3.5/5.0. (see for special information for persons coming from Ghana: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/International/students/country/Ghana/index.aspx)
As you have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology with English Language, I am not sure if this falls under ‘a degree in another discipline augmented with a pass in the Common Professional Examination.’ (see for this requirement the LLM webpage course details –> entry requirements) If I were you, I would go to the ‘Got Any question’ button at the top of the LLM webpage and ask it directly to the University. I will also try to find an answer on this question before the end of next week. (I did not want to wait till then to answer the rest of your question.)
As I presume you are a native English speaker, you do not have to do a language test of course. (see LLM Criminal law webpage given above under Course details –> Entry requirements) On the webpage concerning general entry requirements for persons coming from Ghana, there is indicated that for the language requirement, English language at grade C6 or above in the WAEC SSSCE is sufficient. (see Ghana webpage given above)
I hope I have answered at least a part of your question. I will ask around about entrance requirements for non-law undergraduate degrees and will let you know as soon as I find out!
What, for you, are the best things about the course?
First of all, you have the possibility to choose very specific topics in your field of interest. I have for example a module about prisons and one concerning the death penalty. As a consequence, you go further than only discussing the very general themes and issues of law. Secondly, you can still select from a very broad range of modules, such as the module concerning international human rights law. Thirdly, the professors are very passionate about their topics and this is very important for you as a student.
What is the PGMSA, and what is your role in the committee?
PGMSA stands for Postgraduate and Mature Student Association. It is a student association which organises activities for all postgraduate, taught and research, and mature undergraduate students and also represents them. By ‘mature undergraduate students’ it is mostly meant: undergraduate students above 21 years of age. There is a wide range of different activities that are organised. They vary from playing board games (my favourite activity as the atmosphere is always very relaxed and sociable) to day trips outside Birmingham. An important time for the PGMSA is also ‘Welcome week’, which takes place every year in the middle of September.
This year, I am the Postgraduate Taught Representative of the PGMSA. Consequently, I am occupied mostly with the second task of the PGMSA: representing students. If Postgraduate Taught students have any questions or problems concerning anything, they can come to me in person or email me and I help to get a solution.
What has been the highlight of your time at Birmingham?
What I particularly like about the university and the city of Birmingham itself is the mix of different cultures you come across. It has already been an enriching experience to talk and discuss academic and non-academic issues with persons coming from all over the world.
Why did you choose the University of Birmingham?
I discovered in the last year of my law degree in Belgium my interest in the topic of criminal law. As I had never focused on this topic, I decided to study an extra year to gain some more depth in the area. It was mostly the topic of ‘the death penalty’ that held my attention and as such I simply searched for universities specialising in this area. The University of Birmingham was one of the first results coming up and after I had read the offered Modules, I did not look further for other universities.
How will your degree prepare you for what you want to do afterwards?
What exactly I will be doing at this time next year is not yet clear to me but I am sure that it will be in the area of criminal justice. This program will have given me a basic understanding of the topic and its current issues. Furthermore this program will have helped me in finding and formulating my own (critical) opinion about these issues. Lastly, it has helped me already in discovering where my real interests lie and as such it will further help me in making decisions about the future.