Funding Your LLM In Australia

Once you've decided to apply to study an LLM in Australia, your next priority is probably going to be sorting
out your funding.

Some people are lucky enough to have personal wealth to be able to cover their LLM tuition fees without any additional help.

However, for those LLM students who are not in this fortuitous position, there are lots of different ways that you can fund your studies, and not all of them are as expensive as you might think. Methods of funding could include tailor-made student loans, bank loans, scholarships and bursaries – such as our Global LLM Study Bursaries, and even part-time work. So, if you think studying a Master of Laws in Australia could be of benefit to you, then don't let the considerable cost of the tuition fees put you off.

Here is a guide to all the different funding options available to both domestic and international Master of Laws students in Australia. 

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Student Loans

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 in regards to Fee Help include citizens of Australia and some citizens from New Zealand. 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.

Scholarships & Bursaries

Because of the Fee Help system, there are very few private loans providers in Australia for postgraduate loans. If you are an international student, then you might want to look at a career development loan from your home country or into the scholarships that are available. You would also be eligible to apply for a Global LLM Study Bursary from Postgrad Solutions worth £500 towards your tuition fees. Every law school has a large number of scholarships available for their students to apply for including international students. For example, the University of Adelaide has a large number of scholarships and these are for a whole range of students including international students such as those from India. Spend time when you are researching potential LLM programs to check if there is a perfect niche scholarship for you. Many universities offer scholarships for students with the equivalent of Australian first-class undergraduate degree, so if you have excellent grades be on the lookout for them. 

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. Australia Awards are prestigious international scholarships and fellowships funded by the Australian Government and if you are an international student thinking about studying in Australia you should definitely have a look at this funding option. If you are a sponsored student, then you may find your visa restrictions are different. 

University Assistance

Most universities will offer hardship funds if you find that your funding is 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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