Meet our Head of Law, Dr Naila Anwar

I’m Dr Naila Anwar, I’m the Head of Law
for the University of Essex Online’s law programmes. I oversee both the undergrad and
LLM law programmes. Here’s a little bit about my work experience: before joining the
University of Essex Online in May 2015 I worked for a number of HE (that
means higher education) and FE (further education) sectors here in the UK and I
have taught extensively both undergrad and Masters modules. My academic qualifications: I’ve completed a PhD from University of Nottingham, my specialisation was international trade, and environmental relationships and prior
to pursuing my PhD I have completed a Master’s from the University of Sheffield;
again, my specialisation was public international law and my dissertation was
very close to my PhD thesis – that’s trade and environmental relationships – I’m also an enrolled solicitor and I have work experience of working in a
number of NGOs. Our LLM programme is very close to my specialised areas, which
is trade, and as I also mentioned my PhD is in international trade and
environmental relationships. So our LLM learning programme’s title is LLM in International Trade and Commercial Law. This programme is very contemporary and
also very useful for students who want to specialise in the trade and commercial
law sector. This programme constitutes a number of international trade and
commerce-related modules. I think the unique factor of our
LLM program is the fact that it is 100% online. That means that there is no blending, no face-to-face
interaction, or campus-based commitment. When we say 100%
online, we mean that it is coursework-based, but having said that,
is not totally assessment-based. We use a variety of methods of assignment and assessment to test our students’ knowledge and understanding. So this is one unique
factor and the second unique factor is we provide every single student with a Student Adviser who will be the first point of contact and so that means
students won’t feel isolated, which is a very common concern we get from students feeling isolated being online so they can just
pick up a phone or just Skype or just message their Adviser or email and can
get answers to their queries instantly. And finally, I cannot praise enough our
subject experts who are teaching in different modules and they are
established in their own sectors and very dedicated and professional. The course is tailored to online learning, as I said, as it is coursework-based so students
will have access to eBooks which are all deposited in our Moodle platform, so we use
Moodle as our online depository. And all materials are accessible through that
Moodle platform and so in terms of textbook, apart from a textbook a student
will also receive additional materials like pre-recorded lecturecast and also a further
reading list along with a link to University of Essex Online online
resources or e-resources so our students will have access to the University of Essex
library resources without even needing to visit the library so they will be given a login and
using that login they can access materials and as I said that these further reading
lists are provided in that platform. So, being a Masters programme it is very
important that the students have this access to these wider resources so we
provide that along with pre-recorded lecturecasts, support from tutors and Student Advisers. Legal experience would help, but I wouldn’t say that it was a pre-requisite for our LLM programme. There is a saying that
international law is not a law at all ,although I disagree with that, at the
same time as I said this is a contradictory area and students don’t
need to have any legal experience. I would say that this programme will be
suitable for a student who studied law before, or business, or even politics, or
international relations. So a prospective student from a
variety of backgrounds can take up this LLM programme. Maybe a pre-understanding
about how international law works would help but, as I said, we do have
a module which will introduce this foundation of information. As you can see,
this is really broad programme ,international trade and commerce, and
that links to a variety of career sectors. So not necessarily only solicitors who want to specialise in the trade and environmental
sector will find this program beneficial Along with them, someone who is working
in a multinational corporation who wants to know how transboundary transactions
works will find this programme useful. Or, just someone working in a multinational company who is just interested to know about
how trade and commerce work for their company will find it useful. So these are
private sectors or solicitors I’m talking about but also prospective
students working in government sectors will also find this useful. This is direct career progression what I’m saying but this programme will
help the student to develop a number of transferable skills including analytical
skills, their resources skills, report-writing, presentation skills. These skills are invaluable in any career sector. The advice I’ll give you is that LLM programmes are a specialised programme. So when you
are thinking about an LLM programme, think why do you want to specialise in this
particular sector? What is your future goal? My personal experiences is
that very few students will study a Masters programme just for their interest.
Most of the time people think having an extra qualification will improve their job
prospects, so target your job sector and see that this programme is suitable
for you and then take up the relevant programme.

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