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Tips for handling the most important courses in the LLB

Date:03 June 2021
Cristiana Zamfir (image courtesy of C. Zamfir)
Cristiana Zamfir (image courtesy of C. Zamfir)

It all starts in the first year, all courses are introductory courses and everything feels a bit overwhelming because of the plethora of information that is directed to you. The Introduction to International and European Law course is just a small taste of the following big courses that are about to come in the second year. First with Law of the European Union and then later in the year with Public International Law. As a third-year student that is about to graduate, I am going to give new LLB students a few tips on how to successfully navigate these courses with flying colours.

First tip: Do all the reading necessary.
And there will be lots of it, but without it, it would be close to impossible to pass or to even understand the subject. European Law and International Law are both very complex studies, so each student needs a good base in order to start understanding certain concepts.

Second tip: Read the cases and brief them.
Both European Law and International Law will offer lots of cases, and for some (the landmark cases) you might even need to learn them by heart. Taking notes while reading the cases is also useful, the notes will become your exam preparation material. For each given case, try to write down all the legally important facts, the holdings of the case, and the rationale for the court’s decision. 

Third tip: Review and prepare before each exam.
This is the most important tip in my opinion. The seminars are crucial in your preparation for the following exams. In the seminars, you will get to discuss exam-like material and get to ask any questions that you might have for the professor. A follow-up tip, that it might be obvious, but I cannot stress enough is: GO TO CLASS (lectures and seminars). You need to attend every lecture and every seminar in order to succeed.

Fourth tip: Take lecture notes.
They will become exam study material and it is necessary to take notes in order to study and prepare each week for the seminars. Sometimes it might be a bit confusing on how to actually take notes, but fear not! As time passes and you will be progressing through the years at university, you will find yourself taking better notes, more accurate notes, and more focused notes. Using bullet points is always a good start in taking notes.

Fifth tip: Minimize your stress.
This is crucial. The LLB can be quite stressful, but it does not make it impossible to pass. That’s why you might need to find other types of activities that will keep the stress at minimum. Sleep is a very important aspect; you should get at least eight hours of sleep at night in order to function well the next day. You need to find a good balance of studying and enjoying your student life, so make sure you find time to see your fellow classmates/ friends and have a good time.

Sixth tip: Ask for help if you need it.
Seriously, ask for help. Professors will be more than willing to help you with any questions that you might have. They are always trying to make sure that student understand everything. Every professor has weekly office hours. And if you have other personal problems affecting your studies, you can always visit the Study Advisers in the International Office.

I hope that these tips will help you succeed in navigating and passing the above-mentioned courses and that you will have a great time in studying, I know I did. Just don’t overstress yourself and remember that not only are you at university to get on a degree, but also to express yourself and take your next steps into becoming an independent adult. Join extra-curricular groups, and create great memories and friends for life.

- Cristiana Zamfir, Romania, International and European Law student


Interested in more information about our LLB programme? You can ask questions directly to the Faculty by filling out our information request form.