What Does Brexit Mean For LLM Students?

The UK has now formally left the European Union and is currently in a period of transition which is scheduled to be over by 31st December 2020. It is still undecided what the future plans and provisions will be for postgraduate students in the UK and EU so we can currently only guess what potential changes could happen for LLM students as a result of Brexit. So, for the time being we are summarising the situation as it stands – with a view to updating this information as and when the deals have all been formalised

Please note that this information is our best-guess summary of what’s currently in place – please refer to the UK Government website for further advice.

Here we take a look at the main scenarious for Master of Laws students.

Are you a UK LLM student wanting to study at a law school in Europe?

As a UK LLM student EU membership meant that you were treated exactly the same as a home student when studying in another EU country. This meant that you paid the same tuition fees and had access to most of the same funding opportunities. You didn’t need a visa and did not need to sit the same entrance exams or provide the same documentation as international students. However, unless proper arrangements are reached, Brexit could mean that UK LLM students lose access to these benefits when studying in the EU, and some European countries have already stipulated that UK students will need visas to live in their countries post-2020, as well as being required to pay the same tuition fees as international students. So far, only Ireland has stated that they will continue to apply the same current conditions for incoming UK LLM students for 2019-2020. If you are planning on studying in the EU and are a British student, then you should contact the university you are considering directly for guidance. 

Are you a European student wanting to study an LLM in the UK?

The UK’s EU membership meant that European students were treated exactly the same as home students. This meant that they paid the same tuition fees and had access to most of the same funding opportunities as UK LLM students. There was also no need for a visa or to sit the same entrance exams or provide the same documentation as international students. There are guarantees in place for tuition fees in the UK for EU students to continue to be charged at the same rate as home students for 2019-20. This means that LLM students from the EU who are currently studying or planning to start their course in 2019-20 will be charged the same rate as home students for the duration of their course. After 2020 it is not yet clear what will happen to tuition fees for EU students coming into the UK, so it is recommended that EU students contact their UK law school of interest directly to find out where they stand. The UK Government has confirmed that EU students won’t need to hold a visa if they start their LLM program at a UK law school in autumn 2020, however if the duration of the course means they will need to live and study in the UK beyond June 2021 they will need to apply to the UK Government’s EU Settlement Scheme.

Are you an International student wanting to study an LLM in Europe or the UK?

There’s good news here as the conditions in the UK and the EU will remain the same for international students with their tuition fees and visa regulations remaining unchanged whatever the outcome of Brexit.

Are you already an LLM student in the UK or Europe?

If you have already started your Master of Laws program – either as a UK student in Europe or as a European student in the UK – you’re unlikely to be affected by Brexit. EU LLM students in the UK are covered by fees and funding guarantees for courses beginning before or during 2019-20. And it’s unlikely that European law schools would change arrangements for UK students partway through their LLM program.

What does Brexit mean for Erasmus students?

The UK stopped being an Erasmus program country once Brexit happened. The UK Government hasn't yet confirmed whether it will rejoin Erasmus, however the UK's position on this is likely to be established during the transition period.

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