Should I move to London?
Choosing a law school for your LLM can be tough, and many students wonder whether or not to take the leap and head to the capital. Maybe you did your undergraduate there and are reluctant to downsize, or you're wondering if you could manage the costs after adjusting to £2.50 doubles at your Northern uni's SU.
What are the benefits of moving to London for law?
Firstly there are a huge number of universities in London, providing 16 options for LLMs. This gives you a lot more choice than if you decide for example to stay in Leicester, where there is only one course.
You'll also be right in the middle of the action, with most law firms and a lot of courts being located in London. If you're looking for work experience during your LLM, you're in the perfect spot for training contracts and vacation schemes, with most other applicants having to commute for hours.
If you're having to fund your studies yourself (that government loan doesn't stretch very far), you're also in a great spot to find some part-time or casual work.
The other benefits are fairly obvious – you're in the biggest city in the UK, so you'll never be short of something to do! You'll have great transport links both around London and the rest of the country, as well as some of the world's best museums, parks, and shopping.
Are there any drawbacks to relocating to London?
The main problem with being a student in London is the cost. Rent can be four times more expensive than elsewhere in the country, and accommodation is usually far from luxurious.
Unless you're surprisingly well off, you'll probably have to live in a flatshare. This can be great if you've got a close group of friends, but most people starting a masters will have to move in with strangers – which can either be brilliant or the living situation from hell.
It's not just the rent that's more expensive either – food, drinks and nights out also cost significantly more. Of course, there might be an increase in quality, too, but you usually won't know until you've already coughed up...
The financial worry of living in London is something that is perhaps more difficult for an LLM student than an undergraduate. If you get a government loan, you only £10,000 loan to cover both your fees and living costs. Scholarships and bursaries at London universities are generally higher, but you might not be eligible for any. It's important you do your research before you make a decision.
No one can tell you whether or not London is the right city for you, and it's a decision you'll have to make yourself. You'll need to weigh up the pros (the excitement of living in the big city, the career opportunities) and the cons (the cost, oh the cost!) before you apply, and also consider the specific courses on offer.