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Prize-winning postgraduate students on Law modules - 2015

The Open University Law School awards prizes to the top student in each of our modules.

The following students have been selected based on their outstanding performance whilst studying their respective modules/qualifications. They will be able to include this information on their CVs and refer to it in future interviews. Congratulations to all the prize-winners.

Read their comments and stories:

Photo of David Allison

W820: David Allison

The photo is me drinking a Mahour beer on Playo de Borizo in Asturias. I'm a bit of a green fundamentalist - so driving all around Western Europe (from Germany to Calais/Dover, Portsmouth/Santander, Biarritz/Bordeaux, Beaune and back) was doing as I do, rather than as I say. My one excuse is lame: I love the sea and the coast, and the Atlantic coast in particular. A far cry from Stuttgart, Germany, where I've been living and working (first for a bank, now as a translator in a small cooperative) for the last 25 years. The other excuse is that I found the previous 12 months pretty tough going: working full time, political campaigning, finding my feet in a new and unexpected role as an elected city councillor ... and last but not least doing the OU LLM module. My reward for so much travelling was 3 weeks of near solid rain. In Spain the excuse for the bad weather was the "cambio climático", which brings me full circle. Now I'm back, I'm now looking forward to starting the dissertation in November. I'm confident the LLM will be useful to me: in my work, in politics and, who knows, I might even use it to head off in a completely new direction - career wise.

Photo of Joanna Stokes

W821:Joanna Stokes

I was working in London as a lawyer specialising in charity and social enterprise law when I took the module "Exploring the boundaries of International Law" with the Open University. I chose to study for the module in order to develop my understanding of international law, and to help me decide whether to pursue a full masters' degree in international law as part of a change in my career. I studied for the module whilst working full-time, and found that the Open University's facilities and teaching methods allowed to me to fit my study around my work, whilst still engaging fully in the material. I greatly enjoyed studying with the Open University, and my success in the module informed my decision to leave my job to pursue further study. Earlier this year I was admitted to New York University with a Dean's Graduate Award scholarship, and I am currently in New York City studying full-time for an LLM in International Legal Studies.

Photo of David Opdenplatz

W822: David Opdenplatz

I have been working in the regulatory affairs department for Germany's top 4 bank since 2011, after achieving a BA in Business Administration in Germany. During the first three months I experienced that developing the legal skills necessary to deal with complex issues in financial regulation law merely on the job is difficult. I decided to take the bull by the horns by studying law. This strategy proved to be somewhat problematical: Living close to Frankfurt am Main, Germany, having a then two year old daughter, married to a wonderful woman who is supportive but also full-time employed, my options were limited to a study pathway which had to fit into my tight schedule. After monitoring the market for postgraduate legal distance courses I felt that studying with the OU would be flexible enough and a rewarding investment. I do not regret this decision: The flexibility of the OU learning system allows me to continue even my voluntary work for the New Apostolic Church in the pastoral service beside the other responsibilities. Furthermore I was glad to negotiate that the fees for studying were added to my annual salary, even before finishing the LLM. This is due to the fact that my boss noticed that the skills learned in the modules enhance the quality of my work in the bank. At last studying with the OU broadens my intellectual horizon significantly and already proved to be life-changing. I am sure that I will never regret my decision.