Studying an LLM (Master of Laws) Program in Australia

Australia is an attractive, exciting and vibrant study destination for international students across the globe. As an English speaking country it ranks as the third most popular study destination for international students after the USA and the UK, and is globally acknowledged for its high quality education. The attraction lies in the fact that it provides good value for money, as tuition and living expenses in Australia are lower than its European and American counterparts, while offering a high standard of living and a safe environment away from home. There are also many options to relax, enjoy and absorb plenty of sunshine on some of the most beautiful beaches on Australia’s coastline.

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Where can you study your LLM in Australia?

Australian universities also offer a multicultural and diverse study environment due to the high number of international students. Migrants of all cultural backgrounds and ethnicities have also settled in Australia which provides an enriching experience. Students are likely to settle in with ease as Australians are considered to be friendly and warm people and as Australia is an English speaking country most students are unlikely to face a language barrier.

Some of Australian universities offering a Master of Laws program are University of Sydney, Bond University, La Trobe University, Charles Darwin University, University of Melbourne, Monash University, University of New South Wales (UNSW), University of Queensland (UQ) and University of Wollongong.

What LLM programs are on offer in Australia?

There are over 90 LLM programs on offer in Australia. While specialised LLMs are taught at many universities here, these institutions usually offer the following basic options: an LLM by coursework (assessed by exams or research papers); an LLM by research (comprising a thesis of 50,000–70,000 words); or an LLM by coursework and a minor thesis of around 20,000–30,000 words. The choice of coursework options can be bewildering, for example, at the University of Melbourne alone, students completing an LLM by coursework can choose from around 150 different subjects. On the other hand, students undertaking a specialist masters degree must choose subjects from the list prescribed for that specialisation.

The majority of courses can be completed in 12–18 months of full-time study or 24–48 months part time. Most universities, however, stick to a one-year format. The larger universities go out of their way to offer flexible study options for students.

Australian LLM programs cater for both law and non-law graduates, which adds to their appeal. There is also the chance to combine your LLM with other postgraduate awards. At Bond, Monash and UNSW, for instance, an LLM can be combined with an MBA. A more unusual combination is Macquarie University’s Master of International Environmental Law and Master of International Trade and Commerce Law, which can be completed after 18 months of full-time study. Monash University in Melbourne is home to the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, and offers the only coursework LLM in Human Rights Law in Australia. Eight of Australia’s consistently top-ranking universities have formed the ‘Group of Eight’. The Go8 website contains plenty of useful information and links for international students.

Entry Requirements for a Master of Laws in Australia

In order to gain admission into an LLM program in Australia students are generally required to have a bachelors degree in law with good academic credentials (depending on the university you are applying to). Universities also require that international students satisfy certain English-language requirements – some universities will require higher standards than others. Applications are considered individually, and may take into account factors such as other degrees or qualifications, research and writing, special training and/or expertise in a particular area or appropriate work. Admissions to the top universities may be competitive, therefore students are encouraged to highlight participation in extra-curricular activities and work experience.

Tuition Fees & Living Costs

In Australia, you can expect to pay anywhere from A$20,000 upwards (approx £12,500). Note that there is usually an amenities fee or a student union fee added on top of tuition fees. Most university websites can give you a good idea of the cost of accommodation and general living costs. In terms of scholarships, check with the law school, as many have their own scholarships for international students. JASON (Joint Academic Scholarship Online Network) is an excellent starting point for sourcing scholarships to Australian universities. If you are considering part-time work to help you fund your studies your student visa will prescribe whether and how many hours you can work.

LLM (Master of Laws) in Australia

Visa Requirements for International Students in Australia

All international students are required to obtain a study visa to stay in Australia during their course. The Australian Department of Immigration provides extensive information on obtaining student visas, as well as applying for permanent residency should you wish to stay on. To allow ample time to process your application for admission and subsequently the student visa, you should make your application for admission at least six months prior to the commencement of the session in which you wish to enrol.

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