Why did you choose to study a postgraduate degree at Cardiff University?
I chose Cardiff University for my LLM degree because the modules offered suit my career path. I have undergraduate degrees in both business and law. After one year of Masters degree, I want to continue to work as a legal advisor, especially in the Anti Money Laundering field. Cardiff School of Law and Politics offers a module named Money Laundering and Financial Crime. When I read the module description, it caught my attention because it contains the most updated knowledge and practical information about the industry. I had done some research and this kind of module is rare among research universities, which makes Cardiff University unique.
The quick, constant and professional support from Cardiff University staff during my application process also had a good impression on me and played a major role in my decision of choosing the University. I felt welcomed even before I came to the UK and that support has been unchanged.
How was your experience as a postgraduate at Cardiff University, in terms of the programme?
I am happy with the quality of education that I have received from the University. Professors are knowledgeable, approachable, supportive and able to inspire me to study.
It has been simple to communicate with them to discuss academic questions. There is a module named LLM Postgraduate Study Skill in the first semester where LLM students can meet an enthusiastic professor who helps us understand the academic requirements for LLM students and practice legal research skills.
Together with the Postgraduate Study Skill module, the feedbacks I received after assessments about critical thinking, sources of materials and how to form arguments have been helpful for my thoughts, writing and research skills. Libraries are huge with volumes of online, hard copies of books, journals and friendly support staff so I have no difficulty in using these resources for my study and research.
How was your experience of living in Cardiff, in terms of the city, social life and accommodation, again specifically as a postgraduate student?
Before I went to Cardiff University in September 2018, I booked a room in one University residence building and it has been perfect for me since the first I came here. My residence is close to Law School, to Arts and Social Sciences Library, to Cardiff University Students’ Union (where the postgraduate lounge is located), to a big supermarket and to Cardiff city centre! So, it has been convenient for me to travel around these places within 5-10 minutes of walking.
Cardiff is a friendly student city with reasonable living costs and nice, moderate weather. Cardiff is not too big, not too crowded but it has offered me everything for my study and my social life. For the first few days when I came here, I joined various welcome events organized by Cardiff University Students’ Union to know more about the city, the university, the postgraduate community and lots of student clubs and societies. I have made friends in and outside of classes thanks to these activities. Among hundreds of activities, Give It A Go one-day trips to several attractions of the UK throughout the school year and summer are my favourite ones.
What was different about your postgraduate experience at Cardiff University compared to your previous degree?
It has been very different between my postgraduate experience and my previous degrees. At my previous degrees, critical thinking and analysis are things that I rarely use. So, I was quite perplexed for the first few days about how to develop and practice critical thinking in research. The Study Skills and assessment feedbacks helped me realize my weaknesses and I have improved significantly since then.
The seminars and discussions here are also distant from what I experienced at home. In class here, instead of passively listening to what professors say, we need to read materials at home beforehand based on a list of proposed questions and be prepared for discussion. The class is the place where to discuss what we have read and develop new ideas based on current knowledge. No ideas are completely wrong as long as I can justify my arguments. This way of self-learning with reasonable instructions from professors has facilitated my independence in research.
How did you fund your postgraduate degree?
I got a Vice-Chancellor Scholarship of £5000, deducted from my tuition fee. I paid the rest, my accommodation and living costs by my personal saving, with support from my family.
How do you think that your postgraduate degree is helping prepare you for the future – job aspirations, career development, future study etc?
A degree from a Russell Group member like Cardiff University in the United Kingdom will gain me lots of good job opportunities in my country. I intend to keep working as a legal advisor after I finish my degree. As I am interested in the Money Laundering and Financial Crime field, I chose a topic for my dissertation that are relevant to what I learnt from the course and the actual situation in my country so that when I come back home, I have both the research skills and updated knowledge to start a new job in this challenging and exciting field.