Distance and online learning are popular ways to study a Master of Laws program, and there are plenty of benefits to studying your LLM this way.
From keeping the costs down to being able to remain in your hometown with your current family network for support, the benefits can make all the difference – especially if you have to keep working while you study your Master of Laws.
Here are of some of the benefits of studying your LLM via distance learning.
Keeps your finances in check
With none of the extra costs associated with an on-campus course, a distance learning LLM course is an excellent way to get a cost effective postgraduate legal education. Often the online courses are lower in tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts, especially for international students. You'll also find that you'll avoid those pesky pints after lectures if your lecture is online and so are your fellow students – which will save you cash in socialising. Just make sure you don't fall into a social media black hole and waste time checking status updates instead of studying.
Get to stay at home
Plenty of LLM students are a little older and a little wiser, so might find that they have a few more responsibilities than during those carefree undergraduate days. Studying from home and not having to move to a new country or town also avoids all of those extra costs of getting your new place to live in a decent condition. You also won't have to spend time meeting and socialising with your fellow students or trying to make friends while you are settling in.
Study when it suits you
Of course, you will still have to meet essay and course work deadlines, but most distance learning courses will have few or no physical lectures that you need to attend. If you prefer to get up early and work, then you'll be able to do just that, and just the same if you'd prefer to watch a lecture online late at night. You should ensure that you know when you work the best and to work efficiently you should work when suits you so you can – but do make sure you concentrate on your studies properly and avoid multi-tasking.
Plenty of support systems
Distance learning has been revolutionised by online learning and online social networks. Being able to chat online with your fellow students allows you to have the support network of people studying the same modules and pondering the same problems, which is traditionally one of the advantages of on-campus learning. Plus, if you've not had to leave home, then you've also still got your support network of friends and family around you as well. Most distance learning providers offering LLM courses – like the University of Edinburgh – also have substantial support services available for distance learning students.
Improve your standing at work
Working and studying at the same time is an impressive feat, and anyone who has attempted it will understand the stresses and strains it will put you under. Devotion to your career is always well received by an employer, and you never know you might get a bit of sponsorship for your tuition fees from them. You'll need to concentrate on getting your life and work balance right if you're studying after work, but on the plus side you'll also find that you will have a wealth of source material for your LLM course if you are already working in the field you are studying.
... and finally, you can literally study from anywhere!
Yes – you can actually study from anywhere in the world at any university in the world. As this table demonstrates!
Top 5 locations for online students at a UK university 2015-16