Renatus Otto Franz Derler
The University of Buckingham truly embodies the Oxbridge tutorial system by providing weekly tutorial sessions with a tutor who is a subject-specific academic expert and three to six students. This may sound daunting; however, the purpose is to stimulate a thorough discussion about the set week’s tutorial materials which consist of prescribed reading, essay and problem questions. The tutorials also serve to deconstruct our mental thinking and learn how to argue using critical reasoning. This process helped me to develop my critical thinking skills and pushed me academically to think outside the box. The underlying aim is to become a critical, open-minded, independent and original thinker. By the same token, the tutorial system enables tutors to supervise the students’ learning development by supporting each student individually.
This personalised learning environment was further strengthened by our lecturers organising masterclasses and seminars with academic experts and leading practitioners in the legal world. Guest speakers included Baroness Hale, Sir Ivan Lawrence QC, HH Judge Hazel Marshall QC and The Hon. Dr Jocelynne A. Scutt to name but a few. The overall benefit was that we did not just regurgitate textbook information but learned first-hand insightful, hands-on knowledge.
Furthermore, additional courses offered outside the Law School, such as academic literacy led by ASK (the Academic Skills department) helps you to attain key skills in critical thinking and critical reading which enables you to attain distinction level results. You will gain transferable skills in how to reflect on your learning, how to refine essays so that they have a clear line of argument and, most importantly, how to maintain academic objectivity.
All in all, my experience at The University of Buckingham offered me rigorous and personalised academic attention that further developed my legal skills and knowledge. My own legal and academic journey will hopefully continue in October 2022 by reading the LLM (Master of Law) programme at the University of Cambridge where I will focus on Public International Law, European Union Law and Equity Law.