Benefits of starting an LLM (Master of Laws) program in January

LLM studentTraditionally law schools in the UK have intake in September; however, some courses and some universities also have an intake at other times of the year – mainly January. Initially the general consensus was that the two intake opportunities would be beneficial to some but overall wouldn’t increase the number of university signups. Nobody expected the number of university applications as a whole to increase – but in reality they have. This is because there are some great advantages to starting a Master of Laws program in January.

Here we list some of the main reasons why you should consider starting your LLM at the start of the New Year.

Great if you’re from the Southern Hemisphere

Most people in the Southern Hemisphere don't finish their qualifications until December, which means they have to wait until the following September before they are able to enter a UK university, but thanks to the January intake opportunities, they are now able to continue with their postgraduate education seamlessly.

Ideal if you miss the September boat

There are also people that genuinely miss September signup dates, especially mature students that are not prompted by colleges and the end of their exams. These people are now able to join a law school in January instead of September. A whole host of prestigious UK universities such as King's College London, Middlesex University London, and Birmingham City University all offer a range of law qualifications that you can start in January.

There is less competition in January

Many UK and European students that have just finished their undergraduate degree will sign up to start their LLM program in September. For them there is little point in hanging around waiting until January when they can join the intake in September. This means that those wanting to study a Master of Laws may have less competition if they opt for a January intake.

You can use the extra time to gen up on your subject

It’s no secret that LLM courses are difficult, so if you're starting a Master of Laws course in January you can use the time between finishing your bachelors course and starting your LLM to learn more about the Master of Laws subject matter. If you spend the extra time reading books on the subject you'll be well prepared when the course starts.

New Year, New Start, New Course

Some feel there is a motivational element to starting in January. Due to the fact it is a New Year, starting in January can give students a fresh outlook that a September start doesn’t. Obviously this is all psychological, but a student’s attitude towards their qualification is a major contributing factor to how they will get through their LLM course successfully.

More time to apply

One of the best benefits to starting in January is that you don't have to rush your application. You can take your time and really invest a lot of energy into your application form and your personal statement. You may also get the chance to look at the successful applications that other people have used to enter your preferred law school. You should be able to contact people that joined in September via social media, and most will be happy to show you what they wrote on their application forms to get them into college.

Take time off between studies without taking a full gap year

You may find it rather daunting if you have worked really hard during your undergraduate law course and are then faced with the prospect of studying for an LLM without a break. Some students need a little time to get their act together before they re-enter full-time education, and a January intake is just the ticket. Starting in January means you are able to take some time away from full-time education without taking a full year off. This means you won't be away from learning long enough to become rusty on your specialist subject, but you'll still get a break. 

Financial Consideration

There is also the financial side of the coin. Starting in January may be a little less expensive than starting in September. Tuition fees for the courses are sometimes a little cheaper, plus books and learning material may be shared with other students that have started in September. Starting in January also gives students a little more time to work and earn money, so that they have some extra cash to fund them when they start their LLM program.

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