All about an LLM – Part III –Scholarships for UK Universities
Financing an LL.M
Financing/funding is perhaps the toughest part of planning for an LLM from abroad. Most prospective LL.M. students worry about affording the high costs of studying for a postgraduate law course in a foreign university. Not many are in a position to muster their own financial resources in the form of savings, family assistance, etc. And so, outside sources of funding become critical. Ideally, a student would want to rely on a combination of grants, scholarships, awards offered by foreign Universities as well as organisations.
Merit-based scholarships for LL.M. programs are highly prestigious and competitive; and awards are given to candidates who can demonstrate an outstanding academic and/or professional record. Bear in mind that full-fledged scholarships to top law schools/faculties are not easy to get. Also the value of scholarship and the manner in which one can avail it will vary from one law school to another. Do your research well and apply for all the appropriate scholarships. You may get a full scholarship or a partial tuition fees waiver; or a fixed amount of grant depending on the law school you are applying to and your overall performance in LL.B, both academic as well as in extra-curricular sphere. Some scholarships will have a screening interview, and your performance in the same will have a substantial bearing on getting the grant.
A good starting point to search for financial support is by way of researching which grants and scholarships are offered by the following:
- Universities/Law schools;
- Governments; and
Let us look at each of them:
Universities/Law School Funding
Several Foreign universities/law schools offer merit-based scholarships and grants. These awards are highly competitive and are offered to the top LL.M applicants. It is advisable to establish contact with the “financial aid/assistance offices” of the law schools/ universities you wish to apply to. These offices are invariably useful and helpful in the hunt for funding sources. Infact, you may be able to get information about some of the obscure and unknown grants and scholarships offered by the concerned law school/university. Browse the law school/university website for exploring funding possibilities, and drop them a quick e-mail seeking further information.
Given below are the main scholarships offered by some of the LL.M programmes in UK*:
|University of Oxford-Faculty of Law||University of Oxford offers BCL, MJur (Bachelor of Civil Law and Magister Juris degrees, which is equivalent of a Masters degree). || |
Several of these awards are administered by the Faculty. The applicants need to specify for the same in the Departmental Studentship Applications section of the Graduate Admissions Form. For more details, see here.
All graduate applicants who apply at the University by the January deadline, in their respective year of entry, will be automatically considered for this prestigious scholarship funding. See here.
|University of Cambridge- Faculty of Law||The Faculty has a very limited number of trust funds from which grants are made to students.||Students enrolled to study Public International Law will have to make separate applications to the trust funds for availing the scholarship. See here.|
|London School of Economics (LSE)||Students must be holding an offer of a place on an LSE Master’s programme to be eligible for an award and scholarships will be made on the basis of financial need. See here. |
This scholarship is available for full time LLM. Preference is given to Indian applicants resident in India. Students must have completed the LSE Graduate Financial Support Application form and received an offer of admission (conditional or unconditional). See here.
|University College London (UCL)||This scholarship is for prospective taught Master's students from developing Commonwealth countries. See here. Eligible applicants to the UCL’s LL.M. program - in the case of this scholarship, applicants from India - will automatically be considered based upon academic merit using the application form for the LL.M. See here.|
|Warwick School of Law||For both the scholarships, candidates must hold an offer from the School and meet the English language requirements. Relevant work experience is highly valued. See here.|
|University of Nottingham, School of Law||School of Law Competitive Scholarship: Up to 100% tuition fee bursaries for students classed as overseas||This scholarship is based on academic excellence and all overseas candidates with an offer for a full-time taught Masters programme in Law are eligible. A separate application must be submitted to the University by the specified date. See here.|
|King’s College London-School of Law||School of Law LLM scholarships: Full tuition fee||All successful applicants to the programme, whose applications have been received together with the necessary supporting documents are eligible to apply. |
Note: The number of scholarships offered by KCL is limited. See here.
|Queen Mary –School of Law (University of London)||LLM in Law and Economics (New Course) Bursaries: Three bursaries worth 50% of the tuition fee to outstanding overseas full time candidates. These bursaries will be deducted from tuition fees payable to the college.||Students will need to complete the “LLM in Law and Economics bursary application form”. You must also hold an offer to study on the course. See here.|
|University of Edinburgh-School of Law||Principal’s Indian Masters Scholarships: 15 Masters scholarships for students from India for postgraduate Masters study in any subject: £3,000 each||Students from India who have been offered a place at the University of Edinburgh and have firmly accepted that offer are eligible. See here.|
*Please note that the above list of scholarships is not exhaustive and is for reference purposes only. The specific details of the scholarships have been obtained from the relevant web-sites and may change from time to time. For further and up-to-date information, please contact the relevant Universities. Further, this list is in no particular order and is NOT an indication on the ranking of the college or the LLM Programme.
UK Government Scholarships & Grants
Some of the popular and sought after government scholarships for study of LLM in UK are:
British Chevening Scholarships
Chevening Scholarships are UK government’s global scholarship programme, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). The programme gives full or part funding to outstanding scholars for full-time courses at postgraduate level, normally a one-year Master’s degree, in any subject and at any UK university.
A number of higher educational institutions in the UK such as Kings College London, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and the University of Edinburgh co-sponsor the Chevening Scholarships.
Notably, from 2 April 2012, the British Council has ceased to be the administrator of the Chevening Scholarships programme. The FCO and the Association Commonwealth Universities (ACU) have set up an email contact point for the management of 2013/14 Chevening application process. Enquiries may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org – the new email gateway for Chevening enquiries.
Additional information can be found here.
Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CFSP)
The Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) is an international programme under which member governments offer scholarships and fellowships to citizens of other Commonwealth countries. Commonwealth Scholarships for students from developing Commonwealth countries are offered for Masters as well as PhD study in the UK. These scholarships are funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).
As a citizen of a developing Commonwealth country (which includes India), you can apply for any of the following:
- Scholarships for Master’s, PhD, or split-site (PhD) study at UK universities
- Shared Scholarships for Master’s study at selected UK universities
- Distance Learning Scholarships to study UK Master’s degree courses in your home country
The designated agencies for applying for these scholarships are:
1) Deputy Educational Adviser
Ministry of Human Resource Development
Department of Higher Education, New Delhi
2) Director General
Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR)
For more information, visit here.
Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme
Commonwealth Shared Scholarships are a joint initiative between the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission with funding from Department for International Development (DFID) and participating UK universities. This scheme support scholarships for students from developing Commonwealth countries who would not otherwise be able to study in the UK.
Shared Scholarships are offered on an annual basis for Master’s study only. Candidates should normally be under 35 years of age, fluent in English language, and not employed by the government or by an international organization. Several UK Universities participate in the Shared Scholarship Scheme. Complete list of the participating UK Universities can be obtained from the British Council Office, and the British High Commission.
For more information, visit here.
The Rhodes Trust
The Rhodes Scholarships are postgraduate awards supporting outstanding all-round students at the University of Oxford. The Rhodes is the oldest and perhaps the most prestigious international graduate scholarship program in the world. A batch of 83 scholars is selected each year from a number of countries, including India.
A Rhodes Scholarship covers all University and College fees, a personal stipend and one economy class airfare to Oxford at the start of the Scholarship, as well as an economy flight back to the student's home country at the conclusion of the Scholarship.
Academic standing of the candidates must be sufficiently high to ensure admission to the University of Oxford, which itself has very competitive entry requirements. Additionally, the candidates must give the confidence that as Rhodes Scholars they will perform to a high academic standard in Oxford. For detailed information, see here.
The Shell Centenary Scholarship Fund
The Shell Centenary Scholarship Fund (TSCSF) is a registered charity. Under various Masters programmes, it offers postgraduate students from developing countries the opportunity to study in the United Kingdom, with the idea of making a long-term contribution to the development of their countries. Annually, 90 students are given major scholarships (for one year in the UK).
Partners in the scheme are the University of Cambridge, Durham University, The University of Edinburgh, University of Leeds, The University of Oxford; and University College London. These universities also contribute to the funding of scholarships.
Scholarship covers tuition, accommodation, maintenance cost and a return airfare for the scholarship holder only. Notably, the applicant must be:
- under 35 years of age
- national of and resident in developing country and intending to return and take up permanent residence there after completion of the proposed programme of study.
- intending to study a subject that will be of significant value in aiding the sustainable development of their home country.
- of sufficiently outstanding academic ability
- fluent in spoken and written English
Information on how to apply can be obtained by visiting the above mentioned Partner Universities’ web-sites.
Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation
Inlaks Foundation is registered as a charitable trust and has now been renamed as the Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation. Scholarships are granted to Indian citizens for up to 2 years at top UK institutions (besides US and European Universities), for funding requirements including tuition fees, up to a maximum of $85,000 or equivalent. The scholarship is for pursuing post-graduate programme in certain subjects, including law.
Candidates must have prior admission to the Institution/University and course chosen, and the institution concerned must only be top rank. Applicants must be below 30 years of age on the first of July in the year of application. Preference is given to candidates who have not yet studied abroad.
For more information, visit here.
Remember that preparing for an LL.M is a lengthy process. It starts much before the actual application process to the preferred foreign Universities. Any aspiring LLM student must first focus on obtaining good percentage in the LLB course; work towards publishing scholarly articles on law; participate in relevant extra-curricular activities, including moot court competitions; and if possible gather relevant work experience. If you dream of getting accepted to a top law school in US or UK with full or partial funding, you will have to begin the groundwork very early on in your LLB course.
Note from the Author: While every attempt has been made to accurately capture the various scholarships available for study in UK, the information provided herein is subject to change by the relevant organisation/institution. This piece is by no means exhaustive of all the scholarships available for higher studies in UK.
Richa Kachhwaha is Managing Editor at Live Law and you can follow her on Twitter.