Law LLM (by research), MPhil, PhD


Student Profile

About me

Name: Ebiere

Course: PhD in Law

PhD Title: Judicial Approaches to the Resolution of Claims for Oil-Related Environmental Damage in Nigeria

Study mode: Full time

Where I’m from: Nigeria

Choosing Newcastle

“I had earlier obtained an LL.M. in International Commercial Law from the University of Northumbria at Newcastle. I had come to see Newcastle as a vibrant, student-friendly City. The attraction to be back here was irresistible. However, for a change, I decided I must experience a different University environment. After all, they say variety is the spice of life! And as the University of Newcastle is noted for its expertise in Environmental Law, it was the natural choice for me.”

Studying at Newcastle

“I find quite a number of things enjoyable. At the beginning, as a PhD student, I reckoned it was lonely times ahead for me. However, the well-designed workshops and seminars organised by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS) targeted at research students not only afforded me the opportunity to acquire and constantly update the much needed research skills, but also created the platform for me to meet and make friends from all over the globe.

“Secondly, I am particularly satisfied with the University's electronic resources available for use in my research. The array of online resources makes research in Newcastle a delight. Additionally, I am also very happy with the supervision I enjoy from my supervisors. My supervisors show great interest in my research topic; this helps in no small way in motivating me to move ahead. Our mandatory monthly meetings and their incisive comments are just what I need to put my research back in focus whenever the writing bug sets in.

“Being a PhD student is somewhat different from studying for a Master’s programme (which was what I did prior to studying here). As a research student, I not only do loads of independent study, but critique tonnes of academic writings. This undoubtedly requires discipline, hard work and determination (otherwise it is quite easy to lose focus). But, thanks to the HASS seminars and workshops mentioned above, it is difficult to lose steam.

“Besides, there exists a number of opportunities for research students. First, by virtue of my studentship, I have the opportunity to enrol for a Postgraduate Certificate in Research absolutely free of charge. I have had the chance to attend the numerous workshops and seminars organised regularly by HASS. There is also the possibility of attending seminars and workshops organised by other faculties. No doubt, this has afforded me the opportunity to embrace a wider outlook in my research.”

Postgraduate Community

“Absolutely. As I mentioned earlier, PhD research is not a solitary journey in Newcastle University. The PhD research community in which I am actively involved is a very lively one. The teaching staff on the HASS programme are very friendly, approachable and eminently qualified. They make the entire learning process absolutely fun! Quite often, their role as tutors goes beyond teaching. Only recently I had cause to interact with a member of the teaching team regarding a personal issue. The response I had lifted my spirits tremendously. Indeed, students and tutors live as one big family!

“Likewise, I have had the chance to network with students and tutors in and outside the university in the seminars, workshops and conferences organised regularly. While I have had to work with other students, I haven’t yet worked closely with a member of the teaching staff. But as it is, it won’t be too long for that to happen!”


“I live in a beautiful flat in town. I had to use an agent to secure the flat upon the payment of a fee. This was necessary as I had not made accommodation arrangements prior to my arrival in Newcastle. Upon my arrival here, securing a place was of utmost urgency for me. The agents made this happen within the shortest time possible. It is worth mentioning that generally, the cost of living in Newcastle (including rent) is fair, compared to other UK cities. This should be cheering news for prospective students.”

Living in Newcastle

“Newcastle is a diverse, peaceful and beautiful place to live. Its many shops and beautiful malls add colour to the city. The inhabitants of the city are very friendly. Generally, it is quite inexpensive living here as compared to other UK cities. Finding ones way around the city is easy too. Besides, travelling within and around the city especially with a student bus pass, is quite cheap. I often enjoy taking a metro ride to the coast, going to the quayside and walking around the Tyne Bridge. Also, I regularly visit the shops and malls, most times stopping over to refresh in the many bars and eateries dotting the City Centre.”

Funding my studies

“I am sponsored by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), an agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

Career Aspirations

“At the conclusion of my PhD Research Programme, I intend to move back to Nigeria and work as a barrister and solicitor, specialising in litigation practice in the area of oil and gas. My hope is that in the near future, I would be appointed onto the Federal High Court Bench in Nigeria. Amongst others, that Court exercises exclusive jurisdiction in disputes relating to oil and gas.

“Alternatively, I could pursue a career as a legal adviser in the oil and gas industry, either in an oil company or in a Government regulatory agency. As my current research focuses on the resolution of claims for oil-related environmental damage in Nigeria, I have no doubt that I will be eminently prepared for the job ahead.”

Remembering Newcastle

“In addition to pursuing my PhD in Environmental Law, I have been taking modules in Research Methodology that would lead to a Postgraduate Certificate in Research at no extra cost. This is very much like a buy-one-get-one-free bonanza. I consider this a huge part of my postgraduate experience here in Newcastle.”