Law graduate, David Jones explains to Laura Dunne the demands and rewards of doing an MA in Commercial Law in UCD.
What are you studying?
I’m studying for a Masters in Commercial Law. It’s a one year masters and the year is split between doing taught subjects and a dissertation due in August
What does your course entail?
It is different to an undergraduate degree because it is very much focused on you; your own learning and your own initiative. If you go into a seminar it might only have six or seven people and for two hours you have to talk about work you have prepared in advance. Then you are marked on that so it’s different to an undergrad because it’s very much on you. But I think it is a great way to prove to yourself that you are capable of working on your own initiative and it is a great experience from that respect.
Was your undergraduate degree programme helpful for this?
Doing a general law degree and then following onto commercial law is probably a necessity really. But certainly the training and experiences you have at an undergraduate level will help you out with any postgraduate degree, particularly if you are doing a postgraduate degree in law, an undergrad helps.
What does your work load consist of?
It varies, I’m tutoring as well and I’m doing some research work. In terms of course work it depends, if it’s seminar based, your doing a lot of preparatory work, if it’s lecture based you’re taking notes and then doing essays. The big difference I’ve noticed between undergrad and postgrad is the examination structure. There is a lot of continuous assessment at postgraduate level. I don’t have any exams this summer, it is all continuous assessment which is certainly new because most law subjects are exam based so it is a big difference in that respect.
What do you hope to do when you have finished?
In light of the current situation where everyone is tightening their belts there are very few jobs available in the Irish jobs market. Particularly in the legal sector which has been hit as hard as any other particularly because of the fall off in conveyancing (The buying and selling of houses). On that basis, I suppose the only options that are available really, if you don’t get lucky enough to get an apprenticeship with anyone, are probably to continue an education either on a professional level doing something like a tax qualification or a business qualification. Or alternatively, going abroad, but because of the nature of the crisis I can’t imagine it would be a whole lot better there either. My hopes are to continue an education, ride out the economic situation and hopefully find myself employment in two or three year’s time.