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Loubna Garrett

Legal Methods (Certificate of Higher Education)

'I’m from Morocco and have lived in this country for seven years. I left university in 1994 and it’s been a long time since I studied. After university I became an air hostess and went off to explore the world.  I did some English qualifications while I was still abroad but when I finally moved here I decided that what I really want to do is law.

'I knew I wanted to go back in to education but ideally I wanted to continue working alongside. I heard about Birkbeck and went to an open evening to find out more. My degree is from Morocco and I come from the French educational system so I needed to do something that would prepare me for doing a degree here. Coming to Birkbeck gave me the opportunity to achieve what I wanted.

'Currently I work for a bank but I’ve always had a passion to study law. Coming to do the certificate at Birkbeck was the first step on what I hope will be a long journey. I’ve used my certificate to prepare me for the LLB Law at Birkbeck but I also hope to go on to an LLM and even a PhD - I want to take it as far as possible. I have lived in the Middle East and would like to use my legal experience to work for a humanitarian organisation.

'I get so much out of studying – I feel that this is my time and that Birkbeck has given me the opportunity to achieve my ambition. The opportunity to work and study has been great for me and I couldn’t let that opportunity go - I’m so glad I did it!
It took me a while to get back in to my studies. Once my kids where settled in to their schools and I found a good job that I enjoy, my head was clear and I felt ready to start my studies.  Now I’ve got the opportunity I’m going to go for it. I was able to pay for my course in instalments which was great – Birkbeck makes it easy and you don’t have to pay it all in one go.

'I like the facilities that Birkbeck has to offer and it appealed to me on so many levels. It has allowed me to pursue my dreams. The fact that it was part-time, evening study meant I still had time for my work and my kids and it was flexible enough to fit in with what is a very busy life. It’s like a puzzle and everything fits in to its own place. The pieces are all scattered around but before I knew it I’d done the corners and then everything else just fell in to place. I am so grateful to Birkbeck for making it all possible.

'It was pretty scary going back into a classroom for the first time but we were all in the same boat and supported each other. It was very refreshing to see people who just wanted to better their education. There was a good mix of ages and a range of experiences which added to the mix. Some people were studying to make a career change and the certificate was a starting point for that. Others like me wanted to use it to go on to further education. Everyone was taking their studies really seriously which created a great atmosphere. Our lecturers were very supportive of the fact that we had other commitments. I had to do an exam on the same day that my husband was booked in for an operation and couldn’t have asked for better support to get me through it! There is the flexibility and understanding there when you need it.

'The certificate provides people who don’t have the relevant qualifications to go on to the LLB. Because of my certificate study I am exempted from the legal method module on the first year of my LLB which has been great for me and falls in nicely with my daily routine. 

'Doing the certificate was brilliant preparation for my degree study. It’s up to you how much you put in to it. You may have to sacrifice things but it’s worth it because you achieve what you want to achieve. I get so much enjoyment from studying and I’m buzzing when I get home from class. It takes drive and passion to do it and I have it! You can do it too so don’t hold back.'

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'The fact that it was part-time, evening study meant I still had time for my work and my kids.'