Law (PhD) Zi Yang

Zi Yang is a third-year PhD Law student. Zi's research focuses on increasing transparency in the UK financial derivatives market. Zi is also an archer, competing for Strathclyde in the Scottish Students Sports and British Universities & Colleges Sport.

Tell us a bit about your background and led to you studying at Strathclyde?

After working two years as a civil servant, I left my home city and went to shanghai for my master degree in Chinese Civil and Commercial Law in Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. One year later, I came to Strathclyde as an exchange student for the LLM Law and Finance project. I like the idea of interpreting between lawyers and economists, hence, decided to do a PhD.

Why did you decide to study at Strathclyde?

I choose to continue my studying here because of the supportive environment. In the second semester of my master degree, I discussed doing a PhD with my lecturers. Then, Dr Randall helped to organise a list of potential supervisors and places where I can go. Dr Rose encouraged me to write up my research proposal and volunteered to proofread it. Furthermore, Professor Douglas saw my passion in this research area and offered me my scholarship. This scholarship not only releases my financial pressure but also shows his recognition and confidence to me as independent research. These supports encourage me to pursue my PhD in Strathclyde.

Describe Strathclyde in three words

Supportive, fun and knowledge

What has been the highlight of your course?

Strathclyde is an enjoyable place. We have more than 50 students’ clubs and a professional gym. I started archery with the University of Strathclyde Archery Club and won two silver medals in the Scottish Students Sports outdoor championship last summer.

How do you find studying in Glasgow?

Strathclyde encourages critical thinking. Our master courses focus on discussion. During the seminars, students have the opportunities to share their views based on their cultural background, experiences and readings. This communication inspires the students to understand the world from different angles.

What advice would you give to someone looking to study here?

Don’t be shy to ask for help. Before I started my master degree, I had limited understanding of common law. Therefore, I asked Professor Brodie a reading list which prepared me for the upcoming courses. In my first year here, my first few assignments weren’t as good as I wished. I approached my lecturer and his detailed feedback helped me to improve my writing skills. There are always help available. We have to have the courage to tell people what we need.

What has been your main challenges?

Unlike a master degree where course materials and tasks are set up by the lecturer, a PhD is my own original work, where I have to set up the research question, organise the reading materials and research methodology independently. Meanwhile, during this process, I have to critic my work from every possible angle, otherwise, the audience would do it for me and I don’t want to be unprepared.

What are your ambitions for the future?

I want to become a professor in law in the future as I enjoy the creative and supportive environment of studying in the university. This job allows me to pursue my passion, find the unknown, and help young people with their dreams.

What specialist knowledge/professional skills have you developed studying your course?

Critical thinking and communication. The former is used to develop my thesis, while the latter enables me to get the supports.

What’s the best thing about studying at Strathclyde?

My friends. My PhD is my platform for meeting amazing people. I feel privileged to have these enthusiastic, ambitious and supportive friends in my life.

How is your course helping to enhance your current career and prepare you for your future career?

My course develops my critical thinking and communication skill, which are essential for getting a lectureship. Meanwhile, I practised these skills in tutoring undergraduate classes.