Victoria Hamlyn LLB (Hons) Law graduate

Originally from Newton Abbot, Victoria Hamlyn studied the LLB (Hons) Law course at Plymouth Law School in 2003. Her career has seen her become a lecturer at the University and undertake a PHD funded by Peninsula Institute for Marine Renewable Energy.

Q: Why did you choose the University of Plymouth?
A: I chose to study at the University of Plymouth mainly because of its location in the South West, but also because it offered an appealing atmosphere in which to study.

Q: Why did you choose this particular course at the University? What did you expect to gain from it?
A: I chose to study Law because I had always been interested in the legal and political underpinning of society and how the law influences our everyday lives. I also wanted to enrol on a course which allowed me to utilise my skills in English literature. In particular I wanted to be involved in a field which has the possibility to make a difference and as I had not made a decision as to a vocation, the LLB was an informed choice as I knew it would open the doors to a diverse range of careers including those within the public and private sectors and government.

Q: What was your experience of the course? Did it meet your expectations? 
A: I enjoyed my time as an undergraduate at Plymouth; not only the course but also the people that I met along the way. The LLB itself was challenging but it was also stimulating. The leap from A-level study was demanding in terms of the breadth, depth and complexity of the subject, and also because it was another step towards independent study. It took perseverance and self belief to overcome these difficulties along with the support of the Law School staff.

Studying the compulsory modules alongside my elective choices gave me a firm knowledge-base which helped to nurture my passion for certain aspects of the law and led to my postgraduate study choices. 

Q: Did you receive support, both academically and socially while you were here?
A: I received excellent academic and careers support from the Law School staff. 
The LLB is conducive to a wide variety of legal interests which have social, economic and political impacts: I would advise anyone who is considering embarking on the LLB at Plymouth to bear this in mind as the course will provide for many legal areas of interest. Both vocationally and academically the LLB opens many doors as it provides students with a solid legal understanding and an extensive range of sought after skills including those in research, analysis, critical thinking, negotiation, advocacy and communication.

Q: Did you go straight into work after completing your course? If not, please tell us what you were doing.(e.g. further study, travelling, volunteering)
A: After the LLB I studied at the University of Exeter for an LLM in International and Comparative Public Law, graduating with a Distinction. The course allowed students to elect their modules and I chose to study Environmental Law, International Human Rights Law, the European Convention on Human Rights and European Integration.

Q: If you are currently in employment, please tell us about your career path.
A: Currently I am undertaking a PhD at the University of Plymouth with the support of a studentship from the University, funded by the Peninsula Institute for Marine Renewable Energy (PRIMaRE). The PhD research relates to the legal regimes governing marine renewable energy in England and Wales and their effectiveness in facilitating marine renewable energy development.

I am also employed as an Associate Lecturer by the University, teaching Contract Law at Stage 1 on the LLB.

Q: How has your University of Plymouth qualification enhanced your career opportunities and employability? Did it equip you with the right knowledge and skills?
A: The LLB equipped me with the knowledge and skills I needed to qualify for postgraduate study. In terms of studying for the LLM and the PhD, the LLB syllabus included all of the legal components I required in order to develop a deeper understanding at the postgraduate level; in particular the modules in human rights law, environmental law, tort law and land law have been valuable. The skills gained whilst on the LLB, particularly those relating to research, critical thinking and communication have served as the foundation for all of the postgraduate study I have undertaken.

Without the LLB and the LLM I would not have been able to work as an Associate Lecturer teaching Contract Law.

Q: What would you list as your greatest career achievement? Do you have any goals for the future?
A: All of my academic achievements are a source of great pride, as each form a step towards my ultimate career goals. My proudest moments have been being awarded an LLM with Distinction and being accepted for the PhD studentship. Vocationally, being asked to teach at the undergraduate level has really helped to shape my aspirations and skills.

Looking to the future, I am hoping to enter full-time employment as a university lecturer and researcher and perhaps to provide legal advice to non-governmental organisations.

Q: What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get in to the same line of work?
A: Each course is a step on the ladder towards your ultimate career aspiration, and therefore it is important to identify your interests and passions and to work on your knowledge and skills base with your future in mind: take advantage of opportunities the available opportunities along the way.

Q: Would you recommend undertaking a course with the University of Plymouth, and why?
A: Plymouth was and remains a high quality University at which to study: I am fortunate to have experienced the University at different stages in its development and from different angles. It is a great option for students looking for an innovative, progressive and modern University in a lively, yet historical city.

Bright red lifebuoy on the pier