Posted Sept. 2, 2016
An LLM program can be studied in three different ways-
• Full time on campus
• Part time on campus
• Via distant learning
Part-time LLM programs usually offer flexibility to students who have other important commitments going on in the background that they cannot park aside for doing a full-time course.
You may decide to do a part time course if:
- You're working full time or part time
- You wish to gain specialist knowledge relevant to your workplace
- You're looking for more flexibility in study time and assessments
- You wish to dedicate more time on your subject of interest
- You don’t mind waiting for 2 years to complete your LLM degree!
Part-time study is also useful if you had other commitments to balance such as family and children to look after. After all, you wouldn’t want the stress of having to cope with bulky reading when you would rather spend time putting your children to bed!
It is worth noting that part-time students may get some advantage over full-time students in funding their LLM and paying their tuition fees. Firstly, they can spread the cost over the two-year academic period and secondly they can pay the tuition out of their income, which would not be as burdensome as having to pay it entirely in lump sum as a full-time student. You are advised though to check how each college applies rules on its tuition fee methods as they may be different and may offer varied levels of flexibility.
Top 5 reasons for studying a part-time LLM
Let’s look at top five reasons why you would choose to do a part-time LLM degree
1. You're already a professional
If you are a professional already having a full-time or part-time job, then the part-time LLM is aimed at people like you! You would of course attend the same set of modules as full-time students.
2. You don't have enough time
You can make better use of your time if you had a fewer set of modules to focus on during each semester. You can prioritise your study around work timings and dedicate weekends towards catching up on coursework. If you have family or children to look after, you can use the days on the week when you don’t have lectures towards your course work!
3. It's not as big a financial pressure
You can continue to work and gain an LLM degree at the end of two years, either by using your savings or supporting the on-going program through your income.
4. Easier to commit to
You have the flexibility to work out which modules you would want to take and to focus on those that interest you the most. Towards the end you would have gained a firm grip on topics that you are keen on pursuing further later on. You would also have developed a good understanding into your thesis topic.
5. No relocation
One of the good things in doing a part-time LLM course is that since you will be based in the city where you live and work, you would ideally choose a place locally to study your LLM. This way you save up on lengthy commutes and can make use of library resources when you aren’t working.
Pros and cons of studying a part-time LLM
There are some pros and cons of choosing to study an LLM program part time and they are as follows:
Pros of studying an LLM part time:
- The program is flexible – the universities that offer a part-time LLM usually accompany it with a flexible schedule. The students are still expected to attend seminars and complete a certain number of courses but the planning is made so that the program doesn’t get in the way of the students working schedule.
- It improves your employment prospects and salary – future employees consider part-time students as people with good time management skills and commitment. This is because they need to balance different things such as work, family and school at the same time. In addition, the extra knowledge you gain will only work to your benefit when it comes to your salary.
- It acts as a form of practical experience – most people who take a part-time course are usually employed, so they get to put what they learn in class into their job and hence gain even more experience. In addition, they get to link with like-minded people who can help them in their careers.
Cons of studying an LLM part time:
- Other commitments can get in the way – a part-time program is flexible but not easy. The program tends to be just as intense as any other program because of the amount of work and study you need to do. As a part-time student, your other commitments can get in the way of school.
- Funding can be difficult to obtain – sometimes the employer doesn’t help or the student isn’t employed. In such a case funding can prove to be a heavy burden because not many people are willing to sponsor part-time students.
However, all things considered if you have the self-discipline then studying an LLM part time is a great way to gain this prestigious qualification whilst continuing with other aspects of your life.
Full-Time or Part-Time LLM Study
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