A Guide to Selecting Optional Subjects
Updated: Sep 16, 2021
While most law students will not face this problem in the first year of their LLB, stepping into the second and third years brings on the pressures of choosing your optional subjects. At times the multiple options can be overwhelming, so how do you choose the best module for you?
Choose Modules that are Easier to Score in
Firstly, you must know that some modules are easier to score than the others. In my second year, I was struggling to choose between Family law and Commercial law; while my interest was in the former upon talking to others who had undertaken the module, I was vehemently advised not to choose it for the reason that most people in the above year had obtained a mark just above the pass mark. So I ended up choosing Commercial law, because I would be guaranteed a better mark. This is not to say that Commercial law does not require work and extra reading, but when balancing both modules, Commercial law was a safer option. So go with the option that would give you a better mark!
Choose Modules that You Find Interesting
This leads to my second tip which is to do your own research; with the internet at our fingertips, it would be almost a crime not to look up the modules which seem interesting to you. Needless to say, this can lead to a whole lot of information which can confuse you so you must keep in mind that your module will actually cover only a part of what is available online. Alternatively, some universities also grant access to look into the topics under each module, which you can do some further reading on. For my third-year optional subjects, I got a hold of subject guides for Conflict of laws and Criminology as they seemed interesting and flipped through the topics to get a better idea of whether the content is feasible.
Learn from the Experiences of Others
Lastly, speak to your seniors! They have felt all the pressures you probably are feeling and you can ask them about their experience with certain modules. Don’t hesitate to ask them about the difficult parts of the modules and whether they would do anything differently if they could. Furthermore, they may be able to brief you on good teachers and give you recommendations of any additional help you may need.
Remember, it’s wise to take your time and choose the module which you can gain a higher mark at since it may add up for your overall class at the end!
Good luck and happy studying!
The writer Dineli Perera (Bachelor of Laws (LLB) - Second Class Honours (Upper Division)) is a former student of ICLS.