Studying for a law degree at the University of Leeds
Jia Ling Goh (Jacqueline) from Borneo tells us about learning transferrable skills at university, and why she chose to prepare for, and complete, her university degree in the UK.
Hi Jacqueline. What course did you do at Kings, and what degree course are you studying for now?
Did you always know that law was what you wanted to study?
To be honest, no. It is a very challenging and tough degree, so I didn’t feel confident in going for it originally. But, so far I’m finding it interesting and the degree is very valuable – it trains you in different aspects and you get different skills.
Is your plan ideally to become a lawyer?
I’m not sure. At this stage I’m still thinking about being a barrister or solicitor, but I could also engage in other legal services, like paralegal work. But I have a plan to go back to my home country and work for my father. He has encouraged me to do law because he thinks it’s a fundamental basis for all the commercial stuff.
Did you always know you wanted to go to university in the UK?
Well I’m the first one in our family to come so far away to go to university. I started thinking about coming to the UK when one of my cousins came here to study medicine. I wanted to be exposed to British culture as I’ve always had an interest in it.
Most Malaysians who study law will need to come to the UK for at least a year in order to graduate with a degree that is recognised by the Malaysian Bar.
What was your main reason for wanting to do the foundation course?
I wanted to save money and time by not doing A-levels, but I didn’t want to do a specific foundation in law as I wasn’t totally sure that this is what I wanted to study. So, I chose the Advanced Level Foundation as I can keep my options open. I did Economics, Politics and Human Geography as my elective modules.
What made you choose Kings specifically?
I think it’s because of the foundation – because I got to choose different modules, unlike other providers who only offer foundations in business or law, for example.
Were you happy with your experience at Kings overall?
Yes, I would say so. I think the skills I learnt there have been really useful – studying at university is very different to studying at high school, so you need to have a transition to a more independent way of studying. You also need to learn how to write academically, how to do research, and how to think critically.
Are there a lot of international students on your course?
Yes, there are quite a lot - especially Singaporeans and Malaysians.
You lived at Wavy Gate in Oxford, so are you used to the independence of living in a residence?
Yes, I am – definitely.
What made you choose to apply and come to Leeds?
To be honest I’d been looking at Leeds since before I started the foundation. It has everything that I’m looking for – the city, and the course, and the university. I wanted to stay in a city that isn’t too busy.
What help and support did you get from Kings with applying to university?
The teachers looked at my results and gave me a number of suggestions. They asked me to do my own research too and see if there were any other unis I was interested in applying for, and then I came up with five choices. They then looked at the requirements for each to see if they matched what was predicted for me.