An Interview with Prerna Deep [Pursuing LLM from University of Edinburgh, UK]

Prerna Deep is the recipient of British Council’s Great Scholarship (2019 India) for pursuing LLM in Criminal Law at the University of Edinburgh. She holds LL.B. from Campus Law Centre, University of Delhi and English Honours from Miranda House, University of Delhi. She is a qualified advocate in the Indian Jurisdiction. As an avid reader and writer, Prerna has authored several Nationally and Internationally published research papers and articles. She can be reached at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/prernadeep6/

1. Please share your name, where you’re from, what course you’re studying and where.

My name is Prerna Deep, and I am from New Delhi, India. I am pursuing LLM in Criminal Law and Criminal Justice at The University of Edinburgh. I have completed my undergraduate in LL.B. from Campus Law Centre, University of Delhi, and English Honours from Miranda House, the University of Delhi, in India.

2. Could you give an overview of the experience you had from applying for the scholarship to coming to study in the UK?

This scholarship was my only chance of fulfilling my dream and coming to the UK for LLM. For me, the most challenging part was believing I could get it and give my 100%. Thankfully the application process was comfortable, but the waiting period between each stage of selection for results felt like a year. It was worth all the pain and hard work when I received the email of selection for the scholarship. Reaching the UK for my masters felt like I am living my dream. Every day, I wake up with gratitude that I got this tremendous opportunity.

3. What are you enjoying most about your course?

LLM coursework at Edinburgh is a dynamic blend of traditional and modern laws that provides me new viewpoints on perusing as a legal critic and enhances my judicial capacities. The interactive seminars that focus on comparative analysis of laws across the world piqued my curiosity to learn more about other legal jurisdictions. Last semester I took a course on ‘Criminal Justice System and Penal Process’ and attended criminal trials and sentencing at Sheriff Court and High Court. It gave me a profound understanding of the criminal justice system.

4. How do you think studying for a UK degree helped you so far?

Studying in the UK has empowered me to comprehend diversity in terms of dialects, outlooks, and finesse, which is molding my identity. The seminar-based academic approach of UK LLM, and the exuberant and diverse background of students that the University caters to allowed me to gain a distinct perspective and put forth my own analysis. It has developed my skills in critical thinking and writing. Studying for a UK degree has made me grow exponentially, not just academically but overall.

5. What would you say to someone from your home country who is thinking about studying in the UK?

Paving my own way through the process of selection at The University of Edinburgh, I understand the needs of prospective Indian students. My advice would be to be sure about the programme you want to pursue because it is capable of changing the direction of your future. Thoroughly research the Universities and be reasonable about your priorities. Tabulate all the details in advance, you would probably need to give IELTS and prepare for it. Work ahead of time as writing SOP takes much longer than you anticipate. If possible, seek advice from seniors who are studying in the UK and give plenty of time to your professors for writing your LOR.

6. Do you have any advice for students looking to apply for the scholarship?

I can understand applying for a scholarship can be a daunting and exhausting process. I would like to emphasize believing in yourself even if you think there are a thousand students better than you, don’t let this push you away from your goal. Be positive and give your best shot. Re-read the questions asked in the application multiple times before answering them and proofread your answers. If something feels made up or off, change it. Your application should be an authentic reflection of you because it sets the premise for selection and for interview questions. I ardently believe even a little effort is capable of prodigious influence, and one should have faith.

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