When you're thinking about undertaking an LLM program you'll probably be thinking not only about what specific course you want to study, but also about the cost and the potential return on your investment.
Tuition fees form a large part of this cost, but so does the time you take out of your career to undertake the LLM in the first place, as well as all of the associated living costs. Studying an LLM overseas can be an even more expensive option, however this can also enhance your CV and future employability immeasurably.
Choosing to study your LLM in South Africa is a decision you won’t regret – but just how much will this cost? In this blog we take a look at how much it costs to study an LLM in South Africa.
Some law schools in South Africa charge international students more tuition fees for their LLM program, but not all students from outside of South Africa are considered international students, so do check with the law school you're planning on applying to for further details. Different South African law schools have different tuition fees, eg University of Pretoria charges R31,430 to R40,000 to South African students for their taught LLM courses and international students have to pay an additional R3,130. Meanwhile the University of Witwatersrand charges R60,440 for their full-time taught LLM course to all their students.
Other Fees & Course Costs
Many law schools in South Africa will charge application fees of around R300 and expect a great deal of the tuition fees to be paid in advance. However, some law schools, like the University of Pretoria, will offer discounts to students who pay in advance or who have members of their immediate family studying at the same time at the same institution. There are little tricks that you might not know if you are an international student to save money on course costs. One is to purchase textbooks that have been printed locally. But whether you can take advantage of tricks like this or not, you should expect to spend from around R2,000 per month on textbooks and other course materials.
It depends on where you are studying and where you want to live when it comes to accommodation costs. Living on campus is a popular choice for international students and each university provides comprehensive guides to the cost of on-campus living. Depending on whether you're planning to live in catered or self-catered halls of residence or share accommodation. The University of Witwatersrand charges between R36,300 to R70,861 per year for their accommodation and Stellenbosch University charges around R60,000 per academic year for their on-campus student accommodation.
What you pay for food will vary depending on your diet and lifestyle as an LLM student in South Africa. Most universities advise between R2,000 and R4,000 per month if you're not living in catered halls of residence.
If you're living on campus, then you'll not have much to consider for commuting costs. But if you are staying at home with your parents, or living off campus, then you'll undoubtedly have costs associated with commuting. It depends on the type of vehicle or the way you plan to travel. You might want to consider using public transport or buying a car. If you’re living close enough to the law school campus you could even buy a bicycle, which will cost around R1,200 to purchase.
International students will certainly want to have health and dental insurance for the duration of their courses. Depending on pre-existing conditions and the provider, you should expect to pay from around R370 per month.
If you’re moving specifically to attend your new law school you would expect to incur some set up costs. Plan to spend around R10,000 to R15,000 on a computer/laptop, and set aside some more cash to make your student accommodation feel a little more like home easing that settling in period.
When deciding where to study your LLM program, you should factor in the costs associated with travelling home. If you are coming to South Africa as an international student your flight costs could be quite high, for example a flight to London will cost around R8,000 one way.