Studying an LLM (Master of Laws) program in Singapore

LLM (Master of Laws) in Singapore

Singapore in South East Asia offers a fascinating study destination for international students. Singapore, an island city-state that was established as a British trading colony, combines the best of east and west which makes studying there a unique cultural experience as compared to singlehandedly experiencing Western or Eastern cultures. The population comprises mostly of Chinese, Malays, Indians and Eurasians which are classified as Singaporean but have their own distinct identities and take pride in their own festivals. While English is commonly spoken Mandarin is also a language widely used. This provides for a dynamic and culturally diverse educational experience.

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Life in Singapore also provides the opportunity to experience the struggles of a fast-paced life while also allowing one to relax in some of the most exotic beach resorts. Therefore, for students considering a blend of hustle and bustle of busy city life such as that of New York or London while also looking to travel to some of the most beautiful and scenic locations in Asia, Singapore may well be a perfect option!

Law and Business in Singapore

Singapore enjoys the status of being a cosmopolitan international and financial business hub of Asia and has a thriving economy. It has one of the busiest ports in the world. Multinational companies, banks, insurance companies and law firms have well-established offices in Singapore. In terms of the legal sector all top international law firms have practices in Singapore such as Allen and Overy, Clifford Chance, Baker and McKenzie, Ashurst, DLA Piper etc. with summer and winter schemes operating. Therefore, there is ample opportunity to gain some internationally recognized and valuable work experience while studying for an LLM.

Living in Singapore

Singapore also offers a high quality of life. The factors that are generally considered highly favourable are political stability, personal safety as the crime rate is low, environmental factors such as little air pollution, well developed healthcare and transport system. As per the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) index, Singapore ranked as the 26th most desirable country to live in globally. The country is also booming with restaurants, theatres, clubs, and bars all year long. Eating out is a favourite pastime and if you are a fan of food astounding range of delicacies can be found ranging from Little India, China town to Malay Village as well as Thai cuisine which are reflective of the cultural diversity found in Singapore. Other things to do in Singapore include night safari, adventure sports like mountain biking, water skiing, rock climbing, diving etc. Singapore also provides an ideal location to travel to other parts of Asia.

Faizan Hashmi, a student who studied his LLM at the National University of Singapore, recalled his LLM days remarking, “I chose Singapore because I always wanted to live there. I have always had an attachment with Asian culture and Singapore has a highly reputable educational system. For me the appeal was in the idea of traveling and I am very fond of diving. I travelled to Philippines, Malaysia and Japan from Singapore.”

Where to study your LLM in Singapore

LLM (Master of Laws) in SingaporeThe government of Singapore invests a large amount of funds into the educational sector and ensures quality education for citizens and international students alike. Some institutes offering the LLM include National University of Singapore, and Singapore Management University.

A general LLM programme is available as well as with various specializations including International Business Law, Corporate and Financial Services Law, Asian Legal Studies, International and Comparative Law, Maritime Law and Intellectual Property and Technology Law are offered. There is also the option of pursuing a double degree programme with New York University which provides the unique and appealing opportunity to receive two degrees one from NUS in Singapore as well as one from NYU. It also offers the opportunity to take part of the course in New York if desired. This programme however, is more competitive with higher entry requirements.

Entry requirements for an LLM program in Singapore

Entry requirements for the LLM programme are generally a first degree in law from a recognized university with good academic record and proof of English language proficiency in the form of IELTS/ TOEFL scores. In terms of the application procedure your admission application should include an application form, application fee, personal statement, two letters of recommendation, official transcripts and IELTS/TOEFL score report.

Tuition Fees and Living Costs

The currency in Singapore is Singaporean dollars. The tuition fees depending on the institution and the course you have applied for, however as an estimate the LLM programmes cost from S$20,000-25,000. Further, students must take into account the costs for accommodation, utilities, food, clothing, transport, books and stationery, health and personal expenses. The living costs on average can range from S$1000 to S$2,500 depending on the lifestyle. A student should take into account their lifestyle while budgeting these such as whether you are fond of going out regularly and drinking, clubbing etc, whether you prefer to cook your own meals or eat out. Students should also consider whether they would be required to pay utility bills or not for example in university accommodation halls they may be required to pay a lump sum which includes all utilities.

Part-time work is also a possibility which will help student support themselves but this must be in accordance with visa requirements and students must not exceed permitted hours. It is therefore essential to inform yourself about such restrictions. It is advisable to seek work on university campus as well as to take the rigours of your course in mind while depending on part-time work. There are further various scholarships offered in Singapore by the institutions for example National University of Singapore offers scholarships each academic year.

Visa and Immigration

In order to pursue education in Singapore foreign students will require a valid visa generally in the form of a student pass. The requirements for the visa differ depending on your country of nationality however, admission into a recognized institution on a full-time basis is a precondition for the pass. For detailed information make sure to consult the Singapore Immigration Authorities Website by clicking here

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