Posted Nov. 7, 2016
If you want to start an LLM program and don’t want to wait the best part if a year before beginning your studies – you should consider apply now for a January start date.
Nowadays there are two intakes for LLM programs – one in September and the other in January. Some colleges may offer the same course for both September and January while others may offer courses for January intake only. Law schools often build flexibility around their LLM programs to offer a convenient start on both these sessions offering their students a range of study durations to choose from.
Some key things to note for a January start are:
Deadline for applications
Don’t confuse yourself with the deadline dates for applications, scholarship funding and bursaries. Make sure to clarify any doubts with college program administrators and admission officers on the deadline dates so that you are prepared in advance.
LLM year schedule
You can also ask the law school to give you details on the tentative LLM year planner so that you know when to expect key dates for term-breaks, assessments, thesis submissions, etc, as these are likely to differ from the key dates of the more traditional September start.
Postgraduate open day
If you planned on going to an open day first before deciding on the law school, then make use of your interaction with university contacts whom you meet to get advice on term times and applications.
Now let’s quickly look at a few reasons why January can be a great time to start your LLM!
1. Beginning of the year
If you were looking to take a break from your work experience around December, then a January start would be ideal for your LLM studies. You can come back from your winter break and begin the new year on your LLM study.
2. Funding your course
If you missed the September deadline and didn’t have enough time to consider funding options, then this may be your chance to research and enquire on bursaries.
3. Start afresh
You can take a proper winter break and then start the LLM course in the new year. This way you will feel fresh after holidays and will hopefully have saved up enough energy to last you until the next mid-term break or even the summer holidays.
4. Work experience
For students who plan on doing the LLM straight after their undergraduate studies, a January start can give you time to bridge the gap to gain some relevant work experience or even take a short break before you began your masters study.
5. Less competition
In many cases there is still slightly less competition for admissions onto a Master of Laws program that starts in January as people are more inclined to consider the more traditional September start date. You can take advantage of this and get yourself accepted onto a course that you may otherwise have been overlooked for.
6. Ready for work
Similarly to the previous point – as the LLM starts at a different time to the more traditional option, it will also end at a different time. This means that you will have graduated and be back in the job market at a different time from the hoards of traditional LLM graduates, which will mean there will be less completion should the right job come up at this point.
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