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Australian Scholarships for LLM Programs

Scholarships in Australia are a popular way to fill funding gaps when studying an LLM program in Australia and there are loads of different scholarships for different elements of your LLM course that will need funding.

International students have quite a few options for scholarships that pay for tuition fees, as they don't usually have access to the Australian Government's Fee Help Scheme for tuition fee loans.

Australian LLM Scholarships

How to find out about LLM scholarships

Start your scholarship seacrh with the Australian university that you are going to study at as they will have scholarships available to their students and you might find you qualify for one or even a number of them.

The Australian government also has scholarships available to LLM students so check with Study Australia for a list of all of the scholarships that are on offer.

If you are an international student you might find that since you are applying for a Master of Laws then your own home government might have scholarships or sponsorship available. This is especially true if you cannot study the LLM specialism in your own country or there are very few experts in this area of law in your home country.

Sign up for Australian postgraduate newsletters and attend LLM fairs to keep you up to date on other scholarships that might be around.

Register for updates to keep on top of the global LLM scholarship news, and don’t forget that once you have been accepted on an LLM program you will be eligible to apply for a Global LLM Study Bursary.

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What information do you need to apply for an LLM scholarship?

The information that you need to provide can vary depending on the reason the scholarship exists. Some scholarships are based purely on academic merit so you will find they just want evidence of your academic ability. For example, a number of Australian scholarships are based on gaining an undergraduate first class degree and they don't need much more information other than what and where you are studying next. Others might want you to write a short essay about why you want or need this scholarship and other scholarship might be based on your existing income so they will need evidence of this.

There are scholarships that are based on being a student from a particular area or nation such as scholarships for Indian students or scholarships for students who are of Aboriginal descent. US students who have served in the US military can study at a number of Australian universities under the US GI Bill and get funding for tuition fees and additional living costs. 

Popular Australian scholarships

Since the majority of domestic Australian students have their LLM tuition fees paid by the Government's Fee Help scheme this makes scholarships that pay tuition fees very popular for international students.

The Australia Awards scholarships are very popular, especially as they have a scholarship specifically to cover the Overseas Student Health Cover bill for international students. 

University scholarships

Every law school and university in Australia will have a selection of scholarships that both domestic and international students can apply for. Universities do not wish to turn away academically able students who do not have the funds to pay for their studies because of financial issues. Checking through the list of scholarships, for example, here are the ones at the University of Adelaide, is a good start as these are usually all published online and applications are managed online.

As with most parts of life networking with those currently working in the law or working in the specific area that interests you might uncover lesser-known scholarships. There are many scholarships available at universities for researching, and these are a possible option for LLM students, and are often aimed at groups of people who are not well represented at the institution.

Other ways to fund your LLM in Australia

Australian scholarshipsIf you are unable to find a suitable scholarship for your LLM program in Australia – or if the scholarships you find don’t cover enough of your costs, there are some other ways to help fund your postgraduate law studies. Here is a guide to all the different funding options available to both domestic and international Master of Laws students in Australia.

Student loans – this is the first place most domestic students in Australia will look to is the Australian Government's Fee Help program. This system is similar to the undergraduate loan system and is administered and paid by the Tax Office. These loans have a lifetime maximum limit and can be accessed at any time during your career for assistance in career-related development or study such as LLMs. Students must be at an approved institution and on an approved course. Domestic students include citizens of Australia and some citizens from New Zealand. Plus, other students holding certain types of residency visas are also eligible for Fee Help. The Fee Help limit is quite high, at around $100,000 in 2017 but you must remember that this is a lifetime limit so could quickly be eaten up with two or three years of study at the postgraduate level at an elite institution. Domestic students on Commonwealth Assisted Places can apply for further fees assistance from Fee Help. Those with assessed income under a certain tax level can request assistance with associated student fees like Student Amenity Fees.

Australian government sponsorships – if you are an international student, there is also the possibility of being sponsored by your own government for further training or even by the Australian Government. This does restrict which universities you can attend, as your university of choice must participate in the sponsorship program, but most of the prestigious and publicly funded universities do so.

University assistance – most universities will offer hardship funds if you find that your finances are not covering the cost of your studies. Alternatively, many institutions and law schools offer scholarships to international students to cover individual items such as the mandatory Overseas Student Health Cover.

Part-time work – domestic students are obviously free to take up part-time work in Australia however, you must seriously consider the impact on your studies if you plan this as part of your funding. A full-time LLM is a hectic year, and you shouldn't underestimate the amount of coursework. International students will have to carefully check their visa requirements for part-time work. For those with the student visa 500 can work up to 40 hours in any fortnight and this can only be when your course is in session.

Law firm sponsorship – if you are currently employed as a lawyer, then you should approach the law firm you work for as many companies are happy to sponsor employees through LLM programs. This is because your LLM qualification and the skills that you will acquire will be of great benefit to them as well as to you in the future.

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