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Studying An LLM In New Zealand Overview

New ZealandNew Zealand, located in the South Pacific, offers captivating scenic beauty and diverse geological landscape.
Surrounded by the sea, it enjoys excellent climate with mild summers and cool winters. It is sparsely populated with a lush green and clean environment. Its topography and climate make it ideal for outdoor sports and activities for the adventurous souls throughout the year, be it football, rafting, hiking or water sports.

Cities such as Wellington and Auckland offer urban life with great universities, high quality of living and low crime rate, making them the ideal places to live and studying in as an LLM student. Wellington as the capital city is home to the Parliament, Government Ministries and Departments, banks, multinational corporations and law firms.

There are plenty of job and internship opportunities In New Zealand, as compared to the UK or USA where job markets are saturated as they are the typical areas targeted by most students. Therefore, studying in New Zealand offers a refreshing change at an affordable price and better job prospects.

Let's take a look at what is involved in studying an LLM in New Zealand.


New Zealand's Education System

The education system in New Zealand is modeled on the UK system and offers globally recognised degrees. Universities are accredited for their high standards of education and have been receiving international students over the last 50-60 years. As a result the universities foster multiculturalism and there are very good chances of meeting people from various parts of the globe. The most attractive thing about studying in New Zealand is that if offers the best of both worlds, ie standards of education and quality of life akin to USA, UK and Canada but at a much lower cost. Therefore, studying for the LLM in New Zealand may be an attractive option for those finding it difficult to fund their studies in USA and UK.    

What University Should You Choose?

There are a few good universities for law in New Zealand to choose from. Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city, and the University of Auckland is home to the largest law faculty in New Zealand. Some of the courses offered in the LLM by coursework can be studied on an intensive basis, which involves attending a week of lectures taught by resident and visiting academic staff, and then completing a short dissertation. The Faculty of Law in Auckland is also home to the New Zealand Centre for Environmental Law, and has a Master of Environmental Legal Studies among the other specialised LLMs on offer. The University of Auckland also has an agreement with the University of Melbourne in Australia, whereby students can take up to two courses towards their degree at the partner university. Victoria University of Wellington, situated in New Zealand’s capital city of Wellington, offers a one-year full-time LLM by coursework, dissertation and coursework or by thesis. In the South Island, the University of Canterbury offers an LLM by research papers and by coursework, an LLM by thesis alone, and an LLM in International Law and Politics, jointly organised by the law school and the politics department. The University of Otago in Dunedin offers an LLM by thesis only.

Entry Requirements For Studying An LLM In New Zealand

In order to gain admission into an LLM program, universities in New Zealand require students to have studied law as a bachelors degree and to have received good grades (preferably  2.1 or above). However it is difficult to state what the academic requirements are as they vary from university to university and it is essential students check the entry requirements of the particular university they are interested in attending. For international students English Language proficiency must also be demonstrated at the time of admission and each application is considered on an individual basis.

The procedure of application requires completion of an online application form and submission of supporting documents such as academic transcripts and English Language test results. For guidance on completing a course in English you may wish to refer to our page LLMs in English

Tuition Fees & Living Costs

The costs of studying for an LLM in New Zealand are lower than that incurred in the USA, UK and Canada. The tuition fee depends on the university and may vary, as well as living costs will vary from city to city and individual lifestyle. Generally, international fees for a New Zealand LLM sit at around the NZ$20,000 mark.

In terms of living in New Zealand, there is range of accommodation options such as university dorms, student hostels, halls of residence, and private apartments which may be self-catered, catered, shared or independent. And obviously living costs will vary depending on what accommodation is opted for. On average the living expenses may be budgeted at NZ $10,000- 12,000 including accommodation, food, transport and living.

There are also possibilities of seeking scholarships. While these are generally highly competitive, an added advantage of opting for New Zealand is that there are more chances of securing a scholarship as compared to the USA or UK.

Visa Requirements For International Students In New Zealand

International students are required to obtain a study visa to remain in New Zealand for the duration of their course. The New Zealand Immigration Service’s website provides extensive information on obtaining student visas, as well as applying for permanent residency should you wish to stay on. It is advised that students apply for the visa at least 6-8 weeks in advance in order to ensure that it is obtained in time to take their place on the course. 


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