No one needs to be told that training to become a lawyer doesn’t come cheap. For international students studying law in the UK, it can be a very pricey affair. Course fees alone range from around £5,250 to £11,270 for a GDL, a hefty £8,900 to £16,800 for the LPC, and a whopping £14,000 to £19,070 for the BPTC, making scholarships an extremely helpful and desirable asset when studying abroad.
What do international scholarships offer?
Scholarships for international students can differ according to the sponsor. Generally they provide financial support in the form of either partial or full funding for the course fees. They can be granted to merit academic excellence, or else to provide support for financial need in very limited cases.
How to get a scholarship
It’s essential to do your research before you apply for anything as there may be variations in eligibility criteria and you don’t want to waste your own and the provider’s time filling out forms for the wrong scholarship or grant.
So where to start looking? Well, the first port of call is to find out what your shortlisted course providers have to offer. Most UK law schools and law departments offer scholarships for their international students but bear in mind the number is limited and will differ depending on the provider. Check law school websites to get an insight into their scholarships, and try contacting their student finance departments to get specific information on what’s on offer for your year of entry.
Other types of international scholarship
It’s not just law schools who can provide scholarships. International students can also check out scholarships offered by charities, non-government organisations, Inns of Court Scholarships for the BPTC, or government schemes such as the Chevening Scholarships (the government’s global scholarships programme).
Another option is to apply directly to law firms for sponsorship for the GDL or LPC. It is highly competitive and difficult to secure this, so only top candidates will be in with a chance. International students will also need to have a valid work permit.
You can expect to have to fill out application forms for a scholarship, and in some cases undergo an interview process as well (a given if you’re going for an Inns of Court scholarship for the BPTC).
Things to consider…
Ensure you’re clear on the eligibility criteria for the scholarships you apply for! Some specify applications from Home/EU students only, whereas others are aimed specifically at international students. International students are sometimes referred to as overseas, non-EU or non-EEA (non-European Economic Area) students too, so make sure you’re clear on which category you’ll fit into.
Make sure you apply early! Unfortunately, there aren’t enough scholarships for everyone, so research well, know the application deadlines and make sure you’re ahead of the game.