With a Common Law system inherited from the UK, Australia is a popular country with international students from countries with Civil Law systems to study law.
There are a number of internationally renowned law schools in Australia, which are recognised worldwide for their research and academics. Law is a popular subject area for Australian students to study and gaining access to some law and LLM courses at highly ranked institutions is very competitive.
The education style in Australia is broadly similar to the European tradition of lectures and tutorials rather than the Socratic Method used in institutions in the US. The biggest challenge for international students who come from Civil Law legal systems is understanding the Common Law system and it's referencing to historical judgements, often from around the world. The advantage of learning about the Common Law legal system is that it is used in a number of countries, including the UK, Ireland, Canada, South Africa, India and Australia.
There are only a few private universities in Australia and these are Bond University, the University of Notre Dame Australia and Torrens University Australia. They are all similar to publicly funded universities and all operate on a not-for-profit basis, but they often offer accelerated study programs to allow students to complete their studies in less time.
The majority of Australia's 36 law schools are in public institutions and all of the most prestigious institutions are publicly funded. These institutions tend to offer Australian students, those with certain residential visas and students from New Zealand and other nearby nations a discounted tuition fee compared with international students.
Some law schools offer postgraduate law courses in specific areas and others offer more general LLM courses that allow students to focus their studies themselves. Popular subject areas include International Law, Chinese Law, Immigration Law, and Environmental and Natural Resource Law. Most LLM courses in Australia are studied on a full-time on-campus basis, but there are options for part-time study or online study that are aimed at domestic students.
Tuition Fees & Funding
Many universities in Australia offer scholarships to both Australian and international students to cover some of the costs associated with tuition fees. For Australian students, there are substantial loans and scholarships available for postgraduate study and many international students considering studying an LLM in Australia may find that their local government will fund a significant portion of their studies. For international students, LLM tuition fees may be around $40,000 for the year and for domestic students for the same course the tuition fee can be around $10,500.
Top Universities in Australia For Law*
*Source: Top Universities
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