Dan Burt (LLB)

When I was asked to write this, I wanted to give a different perspective of the student experience at Buckingham. Mine is one of career-changing as a mature student and parent, and the risk – a trifecta of the personal, the financial and the vocational – that comes with it. I wanted to reassure anyone that’s thinking about making a career transition, that a degree at Buckingham gives a student all the tools necessary to make a success of the early stages of that transition.

At the end of 2019 and having had a successful decade-long career in broadcasting, I was sitting in my living room when a flyer for Buckingham’s 2-year LLB fell through my letterbox. Little was anyone to know the chain of events this would trigger.

Within a week of the loud clunk of the letterbox closing, I had quit my job, said my goodbyes to my colleagues at work, took my remaining holiday allowance for a Christmas break and been accepted to study Law at Buckingham.

That’s not ‘just’ law. That’s a full qualifying law degree. To be completed in under 2 years. With – at the time – a 9-month-old son. And a house in the middle of a renovation.

It was Nietzsche who once said, “there is always some reason in madness”. About a week before I started, I was struggling to see the reason and was seeing only the madness. I wrote about a dozen unsent drafts to my boss at work to plead, beg, cry for my old job back. But they remain unsent to this day.

And on this day, I write this testimonial having achieved a First Class Honours in my LLB, in under two years, not only having overcome the frankly ridiculous obstacles I had anticipated but the one that no one could have seen coming – Covid-19.

Studies moved online, my partner’s work moved online, my son’s nursery closed and we were trapped in our semi-complete house with two useable rooms and a degree to finish, and somehow we coped.

And this is where it becomes less about me and more about Buckingham. Without the help and unending patience of my tutors and the exemplary teaching and patience of the lecturers, tutorial leaders and support staff, I wouldn’t have even got a degree, much less a First.

I was fortunate to sample Buckingham Law School’s teaching both on-campus and online and can say without prejudice that students that return to campus will experience the same exemplary teaching that those of us who had teaching delivered online during the pandemic did.

All the teaching and pastoral care the Law School provides, to the superb careers service it offers – led by Julie O’Shea and her team – and an incredibly compelling degree package emerges.

When you see marketing blurb about businesses and institutions being able to achieve the impossible, you doubt its veracity. But in the case of Buckingham, they weren’t kidding. You absolutely can get a respected and noteworthy law degree in two years, you don’t feel like you’re always working at breakneck speed to achieve it and it presents a wealth of career opportunities you never realised existed.

It was hard and it challenged me and I have a few more grey hairs and wrinkles now, but I cannot recommend it enough. It turns out I wasn’t so mad after all.