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Studying an LLM (Master of Laws) Program in England
England is one of the few places in the world that gives you the chance to experience all the best things in one place while you spend a year studying! England’s unparalleled reputation of hosting the world’s top universities for LLM programs continues to attract an increasing number of students every year. There are several ‘specialist’ options to pursue instead of doing a ‘general’ LLM and you have plenty of top notch law schools to choose from.
Here’s why should study your LLM in England
Wide-ranging specialist courses
English Universities are renowned for their comprehensive LLM programs offering a wide-range of attractive modules in topics such as human rights, environmental law, alternative disputes resolution, competition law, European Union law, public international law, intellectual property rights, business and trade. More recently they have started offering specialised courses on armed conflict, energy and natural resources law, climate change and IT/telecommunications which are fast gaining popularity. Most of the universities that offer LLM are internationally recognised giving you the exposure to widen your horizons into different sectors while applying for jobs in the future.
Scope for career enhancement
Opportunity to meet other lawyers: LLM degrees from England are recognised by employers throughout the world. Since students belong to different nationalities, you will have the opportunity to interact with fresh graduates, corporate lawyers and attorneys from different jurisdictions giving you the chance to network about career opportunities in their countries and develop long-term associations.
Advancing academic/research interests: Many English universities encourage students to assist with research projects or newsletters working along-side Faculty or in collaboration with law firms/international organizations.
Co-curricular activities: English universities provide ample opportunities for LLM students to participate in moot courts, join law societies, assist in student development programs or undertake editorial work for college legal journals which will all contribute to enhancing your CV and ultimately your future job prospects!
Studying an LLM should ideally give you an international perspective in your chosen area of law. Several English universities are well connected with multinational companies, international organizations and reputed law firms through their research collaborations and initiatives. Law departments receive funding to host conferences, seminars and events to discuss legal topics having global relevance. This provides LLM students with the opportunity of networking, researching and building up their CV for prospective employments. International students who come to England to study LLM also consider BPTC, QLTS and LPC options to be able to work in the UK.
Law departments at English universities collaborate with leading law firms and international organizations to secure internship placements for their students. These options may be available in a plethora of subjects, including human rights, maritime, insurance, intellectual property rights and energy law. Students may be offered bursaries and remuneration for their work and considered for full-time positions in future.
Travel & social life
Studying in England gives you the chance to explore its unique cities and gives you access to its countryside. Apart from being able to travel to neighbouring Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland you also have quick access to travel into Europe while staying in England. A student’s life in England is not complete without social activities. There are several events that are organized through the college. Cities such as London, Manchester, Birmingham and others host exciting social events for students.
What English university should you choose?
Some of the leading universities in the world for LLM programs are in England. Universities are spread out all across the nine regions of England and are recognised for their international, comparative and inter-disciplinary approaches to legal issues. Whether you want to pursue full-time or part-time study or even do a distance learning program, these options are all offered by English universities. Whether you want to study LLM after some work experience or looking to further your academic or research interests, English universities offer abundant opportunities to enhance your career prospects. Moreover the demand to study is always on the rise given the new courses that English universities add to their programs every year in addition to sophisticated facilities including excellent library resources that they provide on campus.
Oxford and Cambridge (commonly referred to as Oxbridge) employ distinguished law faculty and are leading centres for advanced legal research. University of Oxford’s world famous one-year postgraduate Bachelor of Civil Law and Magister Juris programmes together with MSc in Criminology and a Masters in Law and Finance offer outstanding students with a legal background the opportunity to integrate their study of law with finance, to address issues facing business, government, finance, lawyers and regulators.
The renowned University of London colleges include King's College London (KCL), Queen Mary University of London, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and University College London (UCL) which are reputed for their highly-qualified teaching staff several of whom include leading barristers and top-lawyers working in London law firms.
Some of the other universities include Anglia Law School, Birmingham Law School, University of Cambridge, Law, University of Hertfordshire, Law that offer courses in legal theory and practical application of law relevant to international legal practice and business. Among the universities in the northern region of England are Manchester University, School of Law, Liverpool John Moores University, School of Law and University of Liverpool, School of Law.
In the south-east, Brunel Law School has gained a reputation in its cutting edge research in the science of law having being recognised with the ranking of 5A in the national Research Assessment Exercise placing it among the top ten law schools in the UK for research. Similarly Sussex Law School, Kent Law School and University of Surrey, School of Law, are known for their diverse LLM programs. In the South-west, Bournemouth University, Department of Law which is established within its business school, offers non-law graduates the opportunity to complete the first stage of training approved by the law professional bodies to convert a non-law degree into a Qualifying Law Degree, through the Graduate Diploma in Law or Common Practice Exam. Completion of the GDL/CPE guarantees a place on its Legal Practice Course, which is the second stage of professional legal training enabling you to become a solicitor.
“My experience of doing an LLM in England enhanced my educational experience and gave me the chance to interact with people who came from different corners of the globe. Since public transport is excellent, I took the liberty to travel to exciting historical sites apart from visiting the countryside and coasts. My favourite was the summer trip to Brighton with my roommates!”
Bijetri Roy, 2013-2014 LLM, Queen Mary University of London
Expected tuition fees & living costs in England
Contrary to what people might say, studying in an English university is still an affordable choice and you can make the most of your stay by taking advantage of all the exciting things that it offers. Other places may not be able to offer you everything under one roof so you end up spending more.
The tuition fees and costs for LLM programs are reasonable in comparison to other universities abroad. There are several scholarships and bursaries offered by English universities many of which apply to international students. Typically full time LLM course fees range between £10,000 to £12,000 for UK/EU students and between £13,000 to £19,000 for non-EU students. This would differ for each university therefore you are advised to consult the particular university fee structure for updated guidelines.
With respect to living costs, it would essentially include food, local travel, social costs and any specific costs that you may need to incur if you were residing in a shared rental accommodation. Your rental costs should be between £4,000-£7,500 per year depending where you chose to live and study (London of course being your most expensive option). You will be in a position to study and enjoy social life at the same time if you have a well-planned budget and make the most of student discounts that apply to food and travel. The greatest advantage is that LLM courses in England (full-time) take much less time to finish (only 9 months!). This way you spend less on accommodation and travel.
Entry criteria to LLM courses may differ from each university. While few require a first class degree in law, you will be expected to have a 2.1 grade (higher second class score). Some universities may consider previous legal experience for non-law graduates who studied substantial law content. For instance, non-law graduates with good honours who obtained the equivalent of good honours in CPE and Bar Finals/Legal Practice examinations, or passed the solicitors’ qualifying examination, could also qualify. However these criteria can be judged on showing exceptional professional experience and interest in the specialist course.
Graduates whose first language isn’t English would be required to have high IELTS (or equivalent) scores of 7 or above or TOEFL score of 107 or above. Because of ongoing changes in the law you are advised to regularly check with the university on updated requirements. Most individual institutions also have useful information on the Tier 4 requirements for international students.
Things you can do and enjoy in England when you aren’t studying
Join the law society: When you are not studying, join the law society or law associations and attend its events to gain more exposure to current trends and a chance to meet alumni and prospective employers.
Attend events and networking sessions: If you want to stay updated on the developments in your area of interest, look for conferences and events that take place in those topics so you can network with professionals and scholars.
Sightsee and explore places: There are several things to do including exploring food and drink places, arts, sports and cultural activities in the cities of England on a weekend. There are also plenty of places of historic importance scattered across England. First check with your law school for organized tours or better yet, plan with your course colleagues and join a guided tour!
Attend a sports event: People living in England love being a part of sports events. More so if they are for charity purposes! It will be a good social and physical
England - a land of rich cultural heritage and exceptional countryside
England shares its borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west. It welcomes millions of international visitors during the year and is home to UNESCO heritage sites including the Stonehenge and Tower of London. Cities like Bath, Canterbury, Chester, Durham, Oxford, Stratford-Upon-Avon and York are official heritage cities that offer rich cultural and landscape views. You can visit places along the English coastline covering 600 miles with some of the finest beaches, rocky cliffs, salt marshes and the World Heritage Jurassic Coast. The English countryside offers a range of outdoor experiences with national parks including those at the Lake District and Peak district which are designated as areas of outstanding natural beauty and over 4,000 sites with spectacular wildlife and geological locations. England's longest river the River Thames flows through London and is 215 miles (346km) long!
Exciting tours can be done in all manner of diverse places, such as the biodomes of the Eden Project in Cornwall or the theme park Alton Towers in Staffordshire – not to mention the world-famous museums and galleries in London, many of which are free to visit! During your stay in England, you can take advantage of famous music festivals such as Glastonbury, Isle of Wight and Cambridge Folk Festival, as well as enjoying more traditional events such as Royal Ascot and Henley Regatta. What’s more, there are exciting sporting events that take place all over England from tennis at Wimbledon to football at Wembley.
The major cities in England include London, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Bristol and Newcastle that provide excellent transport facilities and offer unique cultural, heritage, and shopping attractions. You wouldn’t want to miss the best shopping experience that high streets provide by hosting luxury brand stores and designer city malls to specialist ‘outlet’ villages that offer exciting discounts! From appealing Cornish pasties and English wines to smoked salmon and wide range of curries, England offers exciting and diverse set of food choices. In whichever part of England you go, you are likely to come across ample food outlets and restaurants.
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