Studying an LLM (Master of Laws) Program in Italy
Italy is a large country in southern Europe that shares borders with France, Austria, Switzerland and Slovenia. It is also the home of good food, fast cars, Renaissance art and designer clothes, as well as being home to universities that are centuries old. All of this adds up to the possibility that Italy could be the right place for you to study your LLM.
The country is full of historic buildings and monuments, museums, galleries, grand villas and palaces so there is a lot to do when you need a break from all the studying. You could visit the Vatican or Venice, explore Roman ruins or stand in awe of breathtaking art. Alternatively, if you aren’t keen on history and are more interested in the here-and-now, there’s snow-boarding up in the mountains, water-skiing, windsurfing or mountain biking. Join the locals to dance down the street in colourful carnivals and lie in the sun enjoying the music festivals...then get back to the library to study!Find LLM programs in Italy
Where to do your LLM in Italy
Higher education in Italy is mainly conducted in Italian but as Italy is an attractive location for postgrad study, there are institutions offering taught programs in English. Collaborative postgrad degree programs are available, offering students a chance to experience teaching in two or more institutions within and outside Europe. For instance the University of Bologna offers the highly selective European Master of Law and Economics (EMLE), with opportunities to study part of the course in another country. Options include Germany, France, Holland, Austria, Belgium, India or Israel.
The United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Institute (UNICRI), in collaboration with the University of Turin, offers a Master of Laws in International Crime and Justice at the United Nations campus in Turin. The University of Turin also offers several specialised LLM programmes including Intellectual Property Law, International Trade Law and Tax Law. The International University College of Turin offers an LLM in Comparative Law, Economics and Finance, taught in English, while the University of Milan offers a Masters in Law and Policies of European Integration in English and French – learn more about Intellectual Property LLMs.
In the beautiful region of Tuscany there’s the European University Institute Florence where you can, if you’re interested in scholarly analyses, study the LLM in Comparative European and International Law. This one-year course is research-based, with the option to possibly progress to a PhD program.
It is a good idea to give yourself plenty of time to apply, in case your chosen institution asks for your qualifications to be translated into Italian. Evidence of language proficiency is required, whether you are applying for an LLM taught in English, French or Italian. In some courses where complex materials will be studied – for instance Intellectual Property Law – an advanced level of fluency is required. Whether you have only recently learned English, or you consider yourself fairly fluent, read our useful info on studying in English.
While most institutions would expect you to have a bachelor’s degree in law, they do accept non-law degrees provided they are relevant to the course. For instance the EMLE programme accepts degrees in economics, the LLM program in International Trade Law accept degrees in political science while the LLM in Intellectual Property Law also accepts science degrees such as physics, chemistry or engineering. Your work experience also counts for something and some institutions require you to submit your CV as part of your application. There are one year LLM programs available while some extend to two years (full time) and there are institutions that teach part of the program via distance learning. Before you apply check out our info on applying for an LLM.
Tuition fees & living costs
Postgrad tuition fees in Italy vary, depending on whether you are an Italian or EU citizen or not and whether your program is taught entirely face to face or partly via distance learning. Course tuition fees could range from €7,000 to over €10,000 a year. The LLM offered by the European University Institute (EUI) costs €12,000 a year, although EU citizens are exempt from fees. Check out our page on fees, funding and student bursaries.
Living expenses depend on your lifestyle and what city you choose. Accommodation can be quite expensive but if you are willing to share accommodation you could find rent for about €600 a month. If you’d prefer to have your own space, expect to spend €800 or even more a month. If you don’t live too far from campus and want to save on transport costs perhaps consider buying a bicycle. You get to keep fit and save money. For food, groceries and utilities put away about €200-€300 a month. Again this depends on how frugal you are prepared to be while studying. With the ongoing recession in Europe it may not be realistic to expect to find work, so you might be better off planning to bring enough money to support yourself, rather than relying on the prospect of work. If you are a non EU student there may be restrictions on whether or not you can work, or how long for.
Visa requirements for international students
Valid international health insurance is a mandatory requirement for non EU applicants to get an Italian student visa. If you’re a non EU student you also have to demonstrate that you can maintain yourself financially, have secured accommodation in Italy and have a return ticket back to your home country. The university you choose may be able to help you with advice on applying for a student visa so check out their website for further advice.
Other European LLM study destinations
Are you interested in studying your Master of Laws program in another European destination? If so we have a great selection of LLM destination study guides, including:Find your PERFECT LLM PROGRAM