Oxford BCL subjects: Advice from current or former students


Alain
I opened this thread to collect comments by current/former students about the courses offered within the BCL.

Below is what I have found in another multiple-1000 posts thread: "Oxford BCL and Cambridge LLM Applicants 2009" (http://www.llm-guide.com/board/52045/74/) . Please feel free to add whatever you know about the BCL courses and professors.


------------------------------

Magwa118 Wed Jul 01, 2009:

"I am doing restitution, advanced property and trusts, corporate finance and corporate insolvency.

I would heartily recommend all except advanced property and trusts. The trusts part is fine but the advanced property might not be what people expect. A lot of the course is focused on "what do we mean by property", "is ownership a useful concept", "to what extent do economic justifications, like all purely consequentialist ones, fail to provide a complete justification for property rights". The focus, then, is decidedly philosophical.

Real black letter equity and property law are to be found in corporate finance and insolvency, for obvious reasons.

My tip would be to pick one "lighter" subject (e.g.international dispute settlement). I didn't do that and so am responsible for my own stress and misery."

------------------------------

PublicBCL Wed Jul 01, 2009:

"And don't be misled into thinking the BCL public law and more-philosophical subjects aren't a hard slog either. Comp Human Rts, for one, is just brutal. Jurisprudence & Phil Founds are also notoriously rough.

The BCL's an ugly year. Inspiring, exciting, educational, thrilling, but man does it hurt.

So that is why you should do the BCL if you have the chance. You'll never face a tougher academic Everest."

------------------------------

bchell Wed Jul 01, 2009:

"Don't do evidence.
Do something that actually relates to your other subjects.
Evidence is irrelevant to ever other course.

Actually, better idea: don't do the BCL."

------------------------------

Magwa118 Wed Jul 01, 2009:

"1) Evidence;

Big Dog subject. Massively difficult, huge syllabus.

2) Jurisprudence and Political theory;

Huge Dog subject. BCL best place on earth to do it. Examined by 3 extended essays over easter. Which is either good (fewer exams) or bad (you won't be revising during easter), depending on how you look at it.

Absolutely useless from point of view of practice.

3) Socio economic rights;

Yeah, umm.. probably would avoid this.

4) corporate business taxation;

5) International dispute settlement;

Lightweight.

6) Advanced property and trusts

7) Principles of Civil Procedure;

8) Constituional Theory;

Lightweight,

9) Conflict of Laws.

Massive. Hugely useful in practice. Well respected."

------------------------------

bchell Wed Jul 01, 2009:

"The real Big Dog subjects are, as my learned and noble friend Magwa has pointed out, Evidence, Juris, Restitution, Corp Insolvency, and Conflicts.

Make sure you do at least one of those five. If not, you'll forever be explaining why you didn't do one of those subjects to people in the know. Those subjects are the BCL.

Be warned: Evidence is very, very time consuming. Also, if you are not planning to work in crime in the UK it will be of limited practical worth; but of more practical worth than that socio thing, I assure you."

------------------------------

BCWhatever Wed Jul 01, 2009:

"In addition to Magwa's remarks:

1) Evidence;
Definitely. But almost entirely focussed on criminal law. If you're interested in privilege - which is to say, if you don't intend to go to the criminal bar - do Civil Procedure instead. Zuckerman's a hoot, and one of the top 2 in the world in his field. I repeat: this is really a course for intending CRIMINAL barristers. Even the reading list for privilege is largely treated as an opportunity to discuss public interest immunity.

2) Jurisprudence and Political theory;
Again: definitely. Doesn't get better than Oxford if Juris floats your boat.

3) Socio economic rights;
Haha.

4) corporate business taxation;
Wouldn't have the first idea. But from a practice point of view: if you're thinking transactional work, tax decides nearly everything. So it would be useful to have a handle on it.

5) International dispute settlement;
Ludicrously lightweight. Prepare for big international 'court' love-in.

6) Advanced property and trusts.
Despite Magwa's prejudices, a good course. It's also your only opportunity to be taught by BMc. Ben McFarlane. Big. Dog. Watch that space.

7) Principles of Civil Procedure;
See above. Nearly everyone doing it seems to regard it as a great subject. Would probably like to have done it myself ... It's possible you will get more out of it if you've spent some time as a solicitor - or at the bar, though I appreciate it would be unusual to come from the (English, at any rate) bar to the BCL - but by no means necessary.

8) Constituional Theory;
No idea. I imagine if you find constitutions interesting, you'll find this interesting. Useless for the next 30 years of your practice, in all likelihood.

9) Conflict of Laws.
Agreed. Brilliant course. Professor (definitely "Professor", even on this forum) Briggs is scarily brilliant. Reputedly scary too (though I've never understood that). Ed Peel makes for a good double act.
Huge respect in the real world. A difficult topic that most practitioners (and the ECJ, but that's a different story) get wrong when they come across it.

2 others I'd suggest thinking about for those who are planning on doing the BCL (by which I mean private law subjects). RUMOUR has it:
(a) Jamie Edelman and Ed Peel are taking a Remedies course next year - which would likely be extremely useful for practice, and is (in my view, at least) an excellent area for research. If BMc is teaching as well, make it a priority. Assuming it's offered ...

(b) John Armour is on sabbatical in the US for Michelmas next year. Which means Insolvency will be taught in Hilary and Trinity 2010. By all means do it - it's an excellent course - but be prepared to do a huge amount of self-motivated work in Michelmas, otherwise you will die. I don't mean that figuratively. And it won't be easy to make time to do work on Insolvency. Unless you choose some lightweights, 2 serious BCL courses are good for about 8-10 hours a day, 6 or 7 days a week.

If you want your life to be manageable, or make a good result in the exams more likely, I strongly suggest ensuring there's as much overlap as possible in your courses. Alternatively, you can go for a broad education, but make your chances of a distinction a little slimmer. You pays your money; and takes your choice.

Speaking from a private law perspective: if you want to do commercial / private law, but don't want to be stretched to the limit (and beyond) of sanity, go to Cambridge. It's not easy by any stretch, but it's not the BCL."

------------------------------

bchell Thu Jul 02, 2009:

"DO NOT DO CPL UNLESS YOU REALLY LIKE THE FRENCH.

You will lose the plot otherwise.

No French needed, but it is incredibly frustrating to try to learn about what the French laughably call a legal system. The guy who partly runs the show is a weapon though. But he doesn't take the French part. And that's where it all goes pear-shaped.

You'll find yourself on google trying to figure out what all these ridiculous French "legal concepts" entail. Then you find out that they don't mean anything. It is intolerable."

------------------------------

Magwa118 Thu Jul 02:

"Australian academics would say Virgo is a gun. Because Grantham and Rickett are beguiled by his views on property.

Don't do restitution anywhere but Oxford. Oxford is its home. Birks was here. Burrows is here. Swadling is such a big swinging dick, its not even funny. MASSIVE dog.

If you do it in Cambridge you have to put up with "vindication of property rights" as a theory for beneficiary's right to claim interest in substitute assets. Simply wrong and incoherent, despite Foskett v McKeown.

If you want to be an academic then i'm sure, in the long run, it doesn't matter if you do the BCL, LLM, or Wipe my Arse and Eat it.

The English Bar, however, and particularly the best chambers recognise that the BCL is top banana. I was told by a certain chambers that the only thing on a CV that would REALLY impress, make them stand back and say "well, that is one clever cookie" is a distinction in the BCL. The rest, as they say, is silence.

BcHell: your thoughts please on Virgo. (I decided against failure of consideration BTW. Will chance it tomorrow. We'll be fine)"

------------------------------

bchell Thu Jul 02, 2009:

"Ah yes, Magwa is correct. The last thing you want to do is learn:
1. Property is an event or;
2. Vindication of property rights explains cases like Foskett.

There's a view out there, which is put at Cambridge inter alia, that property explains all. If you learn that and only that you will miss the mainstream view.

You would be absolutely mad to go anywhere else for Restitution. Get onto Bailii or any other legal research site and have a look at the number of times Swads, Burrows, Edelman, Stevens, Mitchell and of course Professor Birks are cited. It's pretty enthralling being in a seminar, reading the cases and find out that the three guys taking the seminar are all cited with approval. For example check out DMG, FII and Westdeutsche: three rather recent cases where people who have taught Magwa and I have been cited with approval.

One of the things Oxford offers too, don't forget, is the chance to go to undergrad lectures. Undergrads here are spoiled for choice. Every week you can see the world's biggest guns in private and public law lecturing for free. It's pretty impressive.

Magwa: I'm relieved. Let's hope."

------------------------------

PublicBCL Thu Jul 02:

"The BCL is not a research degree, and it will not provide you with much in the way of additional research skills (you are provided with lengthy weekly reading lists, which you are required to read; research beyond the lists is unusual and not necessarily helpful). The lists are long.

The one exception is if you do (i) a dissertation in lieu of one subject or (ii) Jurisprudence & Political Theory, in which case you do extended research essays.

Other than that, there's not much to say about research and the BCL. If you wanted to you could follow the BCL with a full research degree (i.e. Mphil or Dphil) but I do not know much about how they work."
I opened this thread to collect comments by current/former students about the courses offered within the BCL.

Below is what I have found in another multiple-1000 posts thread: "Oxford BCL and Cambridge LLM Applicants 2009" (http://www.llm-guide.com/board/52045/74/) . Please feel free to add whatever you know about the BCL courses and professors.


------------------------------

Magwa118 Wed Jul 01, 2009:

"I am doing restitution, advanced property and trusts, corporate finance and corporate insolvency.

I would heartily recommend all except advanced property and trusts. The trusts part is fine but the advanced property might not be what people expect. A lot of the course is focused on "what do we mean by property", "is ownership a useful concept", "to what extent do economic justifications, like all purely consequentialist ones, fail to provide a complete justification for property rights". The focus, then, is decidedly philosophical.

Real black letter equity and property law are to be found in corporate finance and insolvency, for obvious reasons.

My tip would be to pick one "lighter" subject (e.g.international dispute settlement). I didn't do that and so am responsible for my own stress and misery."

------------------------------

PublicBCL Wed Jul 01, 2009:

"And don't be misled into thinking the BCL public law and more-philosophical subjects aren't a hard slog either. Comp Human Rts, for one, is just brutal. Jurisprudence & Phil Founds are also notoriously rough.

The BCL's an ugly year. Inspiring, exciting, educational, thrilling, but man does it hurt.

So that is why you should do the BCL if you have the chance. You'll never face a tougher academic Everest."

------------------------------

bchell Wed Jul 01, 2009:

"Don't do evidence.
Do something that actually relates to your other subjects.
Evidence is irrelevant to ever other course.

Actually, better idea: don't do the BCL."

------------------------------

Magwa118 Wed Jul 01, 2009:

"1) Evidence;

Big Dog subject. Massively difficult, huge syllabus.

2) Jurisprudence and Political theory;

Huge Dog subject. BCL best place on earth to do it. Examined by 3 extended essays over easter. Which is either good (fewer exams) or bad (you won't be revising during easter), depending on how you look at it.

Absolutely useless from point of view of practice.

3) Socio economic rights;

Yeah, umm.. probably would avoid this.

4) corporate business taxation;

5) International dispute settlement;

Lightweight.

6) Advanced property and trusts

7) Principles of Civil Procedure;

8) Constituional Theory;

Lightweight,

9) Conflict of Laws.

Massive. Hugely useful in practice. Well respected."

------------------------------

bchell Wed Jul 01, 2009:

"The real Big Dog subjects are, as my learned and noble friend Magwa has pointed out, Evidence, Juris, Restitution, Corp Insolvency, and Conflicts.

Make sure you do at least one of those five. If not, you'll forever be explaining why you didn't do one of those subjects to people in the know. Those subjects are the BCL.

Be warned: Evidence is very, very time consuming. Also, if you are not planning to work in crime in the UK it will be of limited practical worth; but of more practical worth than that socio thing, I assure you."

------------------------------

BCWhatever Wed Jul 01, 2009:

"In addition to Magwa's remarks:

1) Evidence;
Definitely. But almost entirely focussed on criminal law. If you're interested in privilege - which is to say, if you don't intend to go to the criminal bar - do Civil Procedure instead. Zuckerman's a hoot, and one of the top 2 in the world in his field. I repeat: this is really a course for intending CRIMINAL barristers. Even the reading list for privilege is largely treated as an opportunity to discuss public interest immunity.

2) Jurisprudence and Political theory;
Again: definitely. Doesn't get better than Oxford if Juris floats your boat.

3) Socio economic rights;
Haha.

4) corporate business taxation;
Wouldn't have the first idea. But from a practice point of view: if you're thinking transactional work, tax decides nearly everything. So it would be useful to have a handle on it.

5) International dispute settlement;
Ludicrously lightweight. Prepare for big international 'court' love-in.

6) Advanced property and trusts.
Despite Magwa's prejudices, a good course. It's also your only opportunity to be taught by BMc. Ben McFarlane. Big. Dog. Watch that space.

7) Principles of Civil Procedure;
See above. Nearly everyone doing it seems to regard it as a great subject. Would probably like to have done it myself ... It's possible you will get more out of it if you've spent some time as a solicitor - or at the bar, though I appreciate it would be unusual to come from the (English, at any rate) bar to the BCL - but by no means necessary.

8) Constituional Theory;
No idea. I imagine if you find constitutions interesting, you'll find this interesting. Useless for the next 30 years of your practice, in all likelihood.

9) Conflict of Laws.
Agreed. Brilliant course. Professor (definitely "Professor", even on this forum) Briggs is scarily brilliant. Reputedly scary too (though I've never understood that). Ed Peel makes for a good double act.
Huge respect in the real world. A difficult topic that most practitioners (and the ECJ, but that's a different story) get wrong when they come across it.

2 others I'd suggest thinking about for those who are planning on doing the BCL (by which I mean private law subjects). RUMOUR has it:
(a) Jamie Edelman and Ed Peel are taking a Remedies course next year - which would likely be extremely useful for practice, and is (in my view, at least) an excellent area for research. If BMc is teaching as well, make it a priority. Assuming it's offered ...

(b) John Armour is on sabbatical in the US for Michelmas next year. Which means Insolvency will be taught in Hilary and Trinity 2010. By all means do it - it's an excellent course - but be prepared to do a huge amount of self-motivated work in Michelmas, otherwise you will die. I don't mean that figuratively. And it won't be easy to make time to do work on Insolvency. Unless you choose some lightweights, 2 serious BCL courses are good for about 8-10 hours a day, 6 or 7 days a week.

If you want your life to be manageable, or make a good result in the exams more likely, I strongly suggest ensuring there's as much overlap as possible in your courses. Alternatively, you can go for a broad education, but make your chances of a distinction a little slimmer. You pays your money; and takes your choice.

Speaking from a private law perspective: if you want to do commercial / private law, but don't want to be stretched to the limit (and beyond) of sanity, go to Cambridge. It's not easy by any stretch, but it's not the BCL."

------------------------------

bchell Thu Jul 02, 2009:

"DO NOT DO CPL UNLESS YOU REALLY LIKE THE FRENCH.

You will lose the plot otherwise.

No French needed, but it is incredibly frustrating to try to learn about what the French laughably call a legal system. The guy who partly runs the show is a weapon though. But he doesn't take the French part. And that's where it all goes pear-shaped.

You'll find yourself on google trying to figure out what all these ridiculous French "legal concepts" entail. Then you find out that they don't mean anything. It is intolerable."

------------------------------

Magwa118 Thu Jul 02:

"Australian academics would say Virgo is a gun. Because Grantham and Rickett are beguiled by his views on property.

Don't do restitution anywhere but Oxford. Oxford is its home. Birks was here. Burrows is here. Swadling is such a big swinging dick, its not even funny. MASSIVE dog.

If you do it in Cambridge you have to put up with "vindication of property rights" as a theory for beneficiary's right to claim interest in substitute assets. Simply wrong and incoherent, despite Foskett v McKeown.

If you want to be an academic then i'm sure, in the long run, it doesn't matter if you do the BCL, LLM, or Wipe my Arse and Eat it.

The English Bar, however, and particularly the best chambers recognise that the BCL is top banana. I was told by a certain chambers that the only thing on a CV that would REALLY impress, make them stand back and say "well, that is one clever cookie" is a distinction in the BCL. The rest, as they say, is silence.

BcHell: your thoughts please on Virgo. (I decided against failure of consideration BTW. Will chance it tomorrow. We'll be fine)"

------------------------------

bchell Thu Jul 02, 2009:

"Ah yes, Magwa is correct. The last thing you want to do is learn:
1. Property is an event or;
2. Vindication of property rights explains cases like Foskett.

There's a view out there, which is put at Cambridge inter alia, that property explains all. If you learn that and only that you will miss the mainstream view.

You would be absolutely mad to go anywhere else for Restitution. Get onto Bailii or any other legal research site and have a look at the number of times Swads, Burrows, Edelman, Stevens, Mitchell and of course Professor Birks are cited. It's pretty enthralling being in a seminar, reading the cases and find out that the three guys taking the seminar are all cited with approval. For example check out DMG, FII and Westdeutsche: three rather recent cases where people who have taught Magwa and I have been cited with approval.

One of the things Oxford offers too, don't forget, is the chance to go to undergrad lectures. Undergrads here are spoiled for choice. Every week you can see the world's biggest guns in private and public law lecturing for free. It's pretty impressive.

Magwa: I'm relieved. Let's hope."

------------------------------

PublicBCL Thu Jul 02:

"The BCL is not a research degree, and it will not provide you with much in the way of additional research skills (you are provided with lengthy weekly reading lists, which you are required to read; research beyond the lists is unusual and not necessarily helpful). The lists are long.

The one exception is if you do (i) a dissertation in lieu of one subject or (ii) Jurisprudence & Political Theory, in which case you do extended research essays.

Other than that, there's not much to say about research and the BCL. If you wanted to you could follow the BCL with a full research degree (i.e. Mphil or Dphil) but I do not know much about how they work."
quote
starstar
If I have a specific query about one of the BCL courses, do you think it would be ok to email the professor taking the course to ask him/her? Or is this a bit inappropriate?
If I have a specific query about one of the BCL courses, do you think it would be ok to email the professor taking the course to ask him/her? Or is this a bit inappropriate?
quote
Tigerland
Hi, thanks for putting this together.

I wondered whether anyone had thoughts on the combination of conflicts, restitution, commercial remedies and european employment and equality on the BCL in terms of workload/manageability?
Hi, thanks for putting this together.

I wondered whether anyone had thoughts on the combination of conflicts, restitution, commercial remedies and european employment and equality on the BCL in terms of workload/manageability?
quote
Drozd
I'm not sure you should email the professors. There'll be plenty of info available once you arrive in Oxford, and you'll have time before Week 1 to figure out what subjects you like the look of.

Tigerland: Conflicts and restitution will keep you busy. But plenty of people combine those 2 (or indeed 3 or 4 of the 'big' courses).
I'm not sure you should email the professors. There'll be plenty of info available once you arrive in Oxford, and you'll have time before Week 1 to figure out what subjects you like the look of.

Tigerland: Conflicts and restitution will keep you busy. But plenty of people combine those 2 (or indeed 3 or 4 of the 'big' courses).
quote
Rupepo
Hi,

Do you know anything about the courses in "competition law" and in "regulation"?

Thanks!
Hi,

Do you know anything about the courses in "competition law" and in "regulation"?

Thanks!
quote
If I have a specific query about one of the BCL courses, do you think it would be ok to email the professor taking the course to ask him/her? Or is this a bit inappropriate?


This thread is a bit old I realise but I did the BCL a couple years back so here is my two eurocents:

It is up to you, but my advice about subject selection would be this:
--read info on the website, consider it, + understand that the final subject catalogue may be revised over the coming summer vacation.
--do *not* make final decisions or even semi- final decisions before you have arrived in Oxford. During your first week or two you will be provided with large amounts of information, including mini "taster" lectures in each subject, and afforded the opportunity to "sit in" on as many seminars as you like especially in the first couple of weeks of teaching. You cannot get a good sense of what each subject involves before you get into Oxford. Proof of that is the wildly diverging (and chest-beatingly testosterone-fuelled rhetorical) comments excerpted above.
--in light of this, think carefully about emailing professors at this stage to ask questions about subjects. They will surely be baffled by why you're emailing, and they'll be busy marking essays and exams. If you still have questions, once you're here, + after you've heard their taster lectures, then of course ask them questions. But doing it now = unnecessary.
--lastly, it's fun and exciting to think about subject selection now and to think about what you'll be able to do in Oxford. But there'll be plenty of time for that in september and Michaelmas. Don't worry too much about it for now :D
<blockquote>If I have a specific query about one of the BCL courses, do you think it would be ok to email the professor taking the course to ask him/her? Or is this a bit inappropriate?</blockquote>

This thread is a bit old I realise but I did the BCL a couple years back so here is my two eurocents:

It is up to you, but my advice about subject selection would be this:
--read info on the website, consider it, + understand that the final subject catalogue may be revised over the coming summer vacation.
--do *not* make final decisions or even semi- final decisions before you have arrived in Oxford. During your first week or two you will be provided with large amounts of information, including mini "taster" lectures in each subject, and afforded the opportunity to "sit in" on as many seminars as you like especially in the first couple of weeks of teaching. You cannot get a good sense of what each subject involves before you get into Oxford. Proof of that is the wildly diverging (and chest-beatingly testosterone-fuelled rhetorical) comments excerpted above.
--in light of this, think carefully about emailing professors at this stage to ask questions about subjects. They will surely be baffled by why you're emailing, and they'll be busy marking essays and exams. If you still have questions, once you're here, + after you've heard their taster lectures, then of course ask them questions. But doing it now = unnecessary.
--lastly, it's fun and exciting to think about subject selection now and to think about what you'll be able to do in Oxford. But there'll be plenty of time for that in september and Michaelmas. Don't worry too much about it for now :D
quote
EmilyMc
This is all extremely useful! Thanks so much to everyone for the subject tips and general advice.

Taking all this into account, I think I am going to do:
- Conflict of laws (big subject)
- Jurisprudence (another big one)
- International dispute resolution (hopefully a bit lighter - and will complement conflict of laws); and
- Civil procedure (instead of evidence - as practice civil law)

The first two are definites - but I'm very interested in any thoughts about the latter.

A few people have said that international dispute resolution is a breeze - but is it interesting? Does this course have a decent reputation? Do people regret taking it or recommend it? Learning something about this will certainly be valuable - we come across international arbitration stuff reasonably regularly at my firm.

And civil procedure - the main question I have is, how substantial is the workload? If this is another huge subject, I might be overloading myself (based on the feedback that people have given about juris and conflicts).

I am planning obviously to attend all the taster classes but I would really appreciate any advice from people who have been through it! Or if there is another forum or site where BCL students give feedback about their subject experiences, please let me know!

thanks!
This is all extremely useful! Thanks so much to everyone for the subject tips and general advice.

Taking all this into account, I think I am going to do:
- Conflict of laws (big subject)
- Jurisprudence (another big one)
- International dispute resolution (hopefully a bit lighter - and will complement conflict of laws); and
- Civil procedure (instead of evidence - as practice civil law)

The first two are definites - but I'm very interested in any thoughts about the latter.

A few people have said that international dispute resolution is a breeze - but is it interesting? Does this course have a decent reputation? Do people regret taking it or recommend it? Learning something about this will certainly be valuable - we come across international arbitration stuff reasonably regularly at my firm.

And civil procedure - the main question I have is, how substantial is the workload? If this is another huge subject, I might be overloading myself (based on the feedback that people have given about juris and conflicts).

I am planning obviously to attend all the taster classes but I would really appreciate any advice from people who have been through it! Or if there is another forum or site where BCL students give feedback about their subject experiences, please let me know!

thanks!
quote
JustineM
Hi Emily,

I too am starting the BCL in Sep 2012. I was also wondering about choices. I think I have decided on:
Corporate Finance Law
Corporate Insolvency
European Intellectual Property
Dissertation.

But - there is a lot of talk about Conflict of Laws and its usefulness in practice so I don't know now whether to replace dissertation for that.

What made you pick Conflict of Laws?

Also does anyone know whether my options are big subjects or lighter ones?

Please let me know, thanks xx
Hi Emily,

I too am starting the BCL in Sep 2012. I was also wondering about choices. I think I have decided on:
Corporate Finance Law
Corporate Insolvency
European Intellectual Property
Dissertation.

But - there is a lot of talk about Conflict of Laws and its usefulness in practice so I don't know now whether to replace dissertation for that.

What made you pick Conflict of Laws?

Also does anyone know whether my options are big subjects or lighter ones?

Please let me know, thanks xx
quote
What "culture secretary" said:

This thread is a bit old I realise but I did the BCL a couple years back so here is my two eurocents:

It is up to you, but my advice about subject selection would be this:
--read info on the website, consider it, + understand that the final subject catalogue may be revised over the coming summer vacation.
--do *not* make final decisions or even semi- final decisions before you have arrived in Oxford. During your first week or two you will be provided with large amounts of information, including mini "taster" lectures in each subject, and afforded the opportunity to "sit in" on as many seminars as you like especially in the first couple of weeks of teaching. You cannot get a good sense of what each subject involves before you get into Oxford. Proof of that is the wildly diverging (and chest-beatingly testosterone-fuelled rhetorical) comments excerpted above.
--in light of this, think carefully about emailing professors at this stage to ask questions about subjects. They will surely be baffled by why you're emailing, and they'll be busy marking essays and exams. If you still have questions, once you're here, + after you've heard their taster lectures, then of course ask them questions. But doing it now = unnecessary.
--lastly, it's fun and exciting to think about subject selection now and to think about what you'll be able to do in Oxford. But there'll be plenty of time for that in september and Michaelmas. Don't worry too much about it for now :D
What "culture secretary" said:
<blockquote>
This thread is a bit old I realise but I did the BCL a couple years back so here is my two eurocents:

It is up to you, but my advice about subject selection would be this:
--read info on the website, consider it, + understand that the final subject catalogue may be revised over the coming summer vacation.
--do *not* make final decisions or even semi- final decisions before you have arrived in Oxford. During your first week or two you will be provided with large amounts of information, including mini "taster" lectures in each subject, and afforded the opportunity to "sit in" on as many seminars as you like especially in the first couple of weeks of teaching. You cannot get a good sense of what each subject involves before you get into Oxford. Proof of that is the wildly diverging (and chest-beatingly testosterone-fuelled rhetorical) comments excerpted above.
--in light of this, think carefully about emailing professors at this stage to ask questions about subjects. They will surely be baffled by why you're emailing, and they'll be busy marking essays and exams. If you still have questions, once you're here, + after you've heard their taster lectures, then of course ask them questions. But doing it now = unnecessary.
--lastly, it's fun and exciting to think about subject selection now and to think about what you'll be able to do in Oxford. But there'll be plenty of time for that in september and Michaelmas. Don't worry too much about it for now :D
</blockquote>
quote
kml209
I appreciate that this thread is rather old now, but I hope some past BCL students can help. What are your thoughts on opting to do a dissertation? In another thread someone said it is unclear whether this is a wise tactical choice...
I appreciate that this thread is rather old now, but I hope some past BCL students can help. What are your thoughts on opting to do a dissertation? In another thread someone said it is unclear whether this is a wise tactical choice...
quote

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