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Posted April 12, 2019

Is An LLM Degree Worth The Money?

Is an LLM worth the money?An LLM is a significant investment in time and money, but is it worth it?

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The tuition fees vary according to the mode of study and the prestige of the individual law schools, but whatever way you look at it the cost of studying a Master of Laws program is quite significant.

So, let’s take a look at the reasons why an LLM is worth the money (and effort!)…

Is an LLM worth the money?Costs less than you think

Prodigy FinanceIf you're already working in the area of the law that you know you want to concentrate on, then you might find that your employer will pay to improve your knowledge, which is amazing. Sadly, not everyone is in this boat, but there are plenty of ways to fund your course and avoid expensive debt. Start with applying for grants, bursaries and scholarships and then move on to using companies that specialise in loans to postgraduate students. And if you don’t strike it lucky there, private loans company Prodigy Finance are able to offer conditions and rates, such as no early repayment fees, that are specific to the needs of postgraduate students. This is a great value tailor-made financing option that is ideal for LLM students – find out more here.

Is an LLM worth the money?Grow network of contacts

Even if you are already working in the area of the law that you are studying, meeting and networking with others whilst studying your LLM is a great way to enhance your legal world and develop your career. While you are studying you can use the contacts of your lecturers and law school to find out about amazing work experience opportunities and get useful contacts for when you've completed the course. You'll find that there will be courses at your law school to help you improve those networking skills as well. 

Is an LLM worth the money?Understanding of the law 

Obviously, growing the depth of your knowledge on a specific area of the law is a good investment, but some specialisations are more rewarding in terms of future earnings potential. If you are just looking at the return on your investment, then consider areas like Corporate Law or Tax Law as these are likely to lead to a high ROI. 

Is an LLM worth the money?Work in another country 

Studying in another language or abroad is a brilliant way to ensure that you know what you are doing professionally in another country or another language. In some countries, such as in the US, internationally trained lawyers are required to undertake an LLM program to qualify to take the Bar Exam. So, if you think you'd like to work in another country, you should invest in an LLM in that country to ensure that you can continue your work as a lawyer. 

Is an LLM worth the money?Improve academic credentials

LLM courses at top law schools require good law degrees and great work experience to gain entrance to the course. This means you're not going to be able to hide a poor first degree by getting onto an excellent LLM course. However, if you have a good first degree you could upgrade the law school and get yourself into one that will give an amazing return on your investment – and lead to a career at a top law firm. And if you have a less impressive undergraduate degree some law schools will still consider you, especially if you have good, relevant work experience, gaining an LLM program could give your CV the boost it needs to land that perfect job.

Top law schools in the UK by graduate salary after 5 to 10 years

UK Law School

Graduate Salary

UK/Home Fees

International Fees

University of Cambridge




London School of Economics




University of Edinburgh




University of Oxford




* Fees for MSc in Law & Finance at Oxford for all students

How much does it really cost to study an LLM in the UK?

Breaking down the cost of studying an LLM is a useful activity to carry out before embarking on the program so you can be confident you have the correct finances in place. But just how much will it really cost you to study an LLM in the UK?

LLM costs

Tuition fees – Master of Laws tuition fees vary between institutions, but students can expect to pay anywhere between £9,000 at the University of Newcastle to £21,500 at the University of Cambridge if you are a UK student. Meanwhile, EU and international students can expect to pay between £21,600 at the University of Newcastle and £37,500 at the University of Cambridge.

Accommodation – costs such as accommodation, travel and socialising can vary between cities. The University of Edinburgh estimates that accommodation in the Scottish capital will cost anywhere between £500 and £900 per month. Meanwhile, the University of Newcastle estimates accommodation would cost anywhere between £400 and £800 per month. In London the University of Westminster expects accommodationand living costs for LLM students in London to be around £475 per month.

Travel costs – if you live on or nearby to the law school campus, then your travel costs will be close to zero. Living in London will mean your annual travel costs could be around £1,900 per year. But don't forget to factor in the cost of travelling to see friends and family if you are studying away from home.

Socialising and time out – spending time away from your studies is a great way to relax. Most universities estimate around £200 to £400 a month on socialising and other things like clothing.

Books and other costs – a budget somewhere between £20 and £60 per month for textbooks is a good guide – although be sure to make the most of your university library and online resources. Don't forget about one-off expenses and settling in costs, such as a mobile phone, if you are an international student. You should also consider costs of insurance, dental treatment and healthcare.

Funding your LLM program

So now you’ve compiled a list of all you expected costs during your LLM studies, it’s a good idea to look at ways to fund your LLM program.

Scholarships and bursaries – you should try the law school you're planning to study at first and see what scholarships and bursaries they have on offer. After that, cast your net wide as all sorts of organisations and charities give them out. Plus, you can always apply for our Global LLM Study Bursaries are worth £500 each towards your LLM tuition fees.

Postgraduate loans – for UK resident students the Student Loans Company will be a familiar face in the search for funding. The UK Government can loan up to about £12,167 for postgraduate study. There are other private loan companies as well and Prodigy Finance is one that specialises in loans to postgraduate students through a unique credit assessment model. It offers collateral-free, no-co-signer education loans to lawyers attending the world’s best LLM programs.

Working while studying – balancing your studies with work is not easy, however, part-time study can take the pressure off and give you time to work alongside your studies. A part-time LLM will take two years to complete instead of the one year that a full-time LLM takes to complete. Otherwise, a job at the weekend is a great way to keep on top of your finances and shouldn't interfere too much with your studies.

Employer funding – If you are one of the lucky ones, then you might find that your employer is happy to fund your studies. You need to remember that your employer will consider it an investment so if there isn't a scheme for postgraduate training you might need to submit a business proposal.

Please note that the information here does not constitute financial advice. Prodigy Finance is one of many potential funding options for international LLM students. Other student funding options are available and advises you to research all your options thoroughly before making such a commitment. accepts no responsibility for your choice of loan and does not endorse or support Prodigy Finance. Prodigy Finance Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, and entered on the Financial Services Register under firm registration number 612713.

Sources: 1 and universities' own websites.

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