Stephanie's LLM International Law and Global Justice student journey

Stephanie Damaceno
Stephanie Damaceno
Postgraduate Student
LLM Corporate and Commercial Law
Postgraduate LLM International Law and Global Justice student, Stephanie, has just completed her first year here at the School of Law. She tells us about her journey into studying here, and her experience so far.
Photo of postgraduate student Stephanie Damaceno outside Firth Court
Stephanie Damaceno - LLM Corporate and Commercial Law student
Watch Stephanie's student journey video here

My name is Steph, I am currently enrolled in the Global Justice and International Law LLM here at the University of Sheffield. I was born and raised in France, so I grew up in the French academic system. As a result, I decided to attend University in Bordeaux, where I spent the first two years of my undergraduate bachelor’s degree in Law. I always wanted to go abroad to study and specifically in the UK. For my third and final year, in which I chose to start specialising in International and European Law, I came to the University of Sheffield. It was a great experience to be in a different academic system where I was able to choose each individual subject I wanted to study and learn some valuable new skills.

What were the motivating factors in deciding to study at postgraduate level?

From the very beginning of my studies, I knew I wanted to do a Masters since I wanted to specialise in International Law. Having studied general law at the undergraduate level, I only really got to do international modules in my final year. As this is the domain in which I want to pursue a career, I thought it was necessary to do a Masters specialised in this area to be able to go more in-depth on these subjects at the academic level while also broadening my knowledge of International Law in subjects I hadn’t had the opportunity to study yet. Furthermore, my undergraduate degree was issued from a French University and as I aspire to work in an international sector, a Masters from a global university, like the University of Sheffield, seemed like the next logical step to broaden my future career prospects.

What excites you about the LLM Corporate & Commercial Law?

The LLM offers a wide range of modules that you can choose from in different areas of International Law. As such it is a very flexible course that allows you to tailor your course to the areas that you are the most passionate about and the areas you wish to discover more in-depth. This is one of the main things that excites me about my course. I have also found that it has been a great occasion to meet people from all over the world since the LLM joins students from very different backgrounds and countries. This means that seminars have been a great forum to understand other people's points of view and be able to exchange with open-mindedness.

Has your postgraduate degree been how you expected it to be?

I expected that my Masters would give me the opportunity to gain a much deeper knowledge and understanding of current International Law-related issues and allow me to research these specialist areas more. This has been the case, through my modules, most of which relate to ongoing crises or international situations, I have been able to delve deeper into these issues, understanding the context behind them and construct a more informed opinion on them too.

What piece of advice would you give to people thinking about studying at postgraduate level?

The main piece of advice I would give to anyone that is considering doing a Masters is to research in depth the modules offered by the University, really asking yourself what are your motivations for doing a Masters, what specialist areas are you passionate about pursuing on a deeper level, and how these will be an asset to your future career. Another vital step is obtaining as much information as you can about the course by talking to the course directors and past or present students.

What skills you’ve learnt so far?

Through my LLM I have been able to develop different skills. First, it has broadened my legal research skills which in turn helped me develop my analytical skills, by being confronted to a vast array of international legal issues. As a result, it has enhanced my critical thinking leading me to try and be as open-minded as I can on different issues, trying to understand both sides of legal debates and form my own opinion on them. Furthermore, the LLM allows for a lot of flexibility, a lot of the workload is based on independent research and study which has enabled me to develop my organisation and time management skills.

What are your career aspirations?

I have always had an interest in International Law. Since I grew up in a multicultural household, I have always been encouraged to look at issues from different perspectives and consider other people’s points of view. This has led me to be interested in the areas of International Law that affect individuals’ rights, like human rights and humanitarian law, but it has also led me to be deeply interested in the ways in which the international system works through its institutions and organizations. As a result, I have always been passionate about wanting to pursue a career in public International Law, working in national, regional, or international institutions and organisations.

How will your course help you in your future career?

While I am very passionate about wanting to pursue a career in International Law, I am not sure what area I want to specifically pursue. As such being able to study modules that pertain to very specific areas of International Law has helped me understand and narrow down what areas I can see myself working in the most. I also believe the skills I have learnt through my LLM will undoubtedly be an asset in my future career.

Four students laughing while sat at a bench, outside the Students' Union

International scholarships

We offer a generous package of financial support for international students, including undergraduate and postgraduate taught scholarships towards the annual tuition fee. Applications are open for existing offer holders.