Study LLM in New Zealand: All You Need To Know

The Master of Laws (LLM) in New Zealand requires at least 1 Year of full-time study. New Zealand law schools are ranked in the top 500 in the world. In order to study in New Zealand, students must have a bachelor’s degree in Law from a recognized college with good grades. You will also need the results of tests to study in New Zealand.

In this article, let us look at:

  1. Why Study LLM in New Zealand?
  2. Top Universities
  3. Admission Process
  4. Cost of Studying LLM in New Zealand
  5. Scholarships for LLM in New Zealand
  6. Scope

1. Why Study LLM in New Zealand?

  • Most of the Pacific island nations will have English-speaking legal systems, as do countries like India, and this makes studying an LLM in New Zealand particularly popular.
  • In New Zealand, education is similar to that of the United States and Canada. It has quality of life like the United States and UK, but at a much lower cost.
  • You can apply for a post-study work visa offering a 12 months stay-back to international students to look for jobs in New Zealand.
  • LLM in New Zealand is designed to be flexible. It is offered as coursework, intensive research, and dissertation writing basis or in the form of thesis submission.
  • Environmental law is very popular among Law students. The Faculty of Law in Auckland is home to the New Zealand Centre for Environmental Law and has a Master of Environmental Legal Studies among the other specialized LLMs on offer.
  • The University of Auckland also has an agreement with the University of Melbourne in Australia, whereby students can take up to two courses towards their degree at the partner university.

2. Top Universities

According to QS News Ranking, the following are the top 8 universities in New Zealand offering LLM program:

QS Ranking 2021UniversityFees Per Annum (NZ$)
81The University of Auckland38,998
184University of Otago37,439
223Victoria University of Wellington32,670
270University of Canterbury35,800
272Massey University31,010
375University of Waikato33,660
387Lincoln University28,597
437Auckland University of Technology35,360

3. Admission Process

Most of the law schools have their own portal for accepting applications. Application deadlines in New Zealand universities for LLM mostly lie in the month of January and July.

  • You should start your admission process around six months before the application deadline.
  • Application dates for most of the universities have passed for the 2020 session. In case students are willing to apply to a premier institute for LLM in New Zealand, Victoria University of Wellington application forms for 2020 are open till January 20, 2021.
  • A benefit of applying to universities in New Zealand is they do not charge application fees with a few exceptions like the University of Canterbury charging NZ$300 as an application fee.


UniversityAcademic Requirements
The University of AucklandBachelor of Law with a GPA of 6.0.
University of OtagoBachelor of LawResearch Proposal Submission
Victoria University of WellingtonLLB(Hons) or LLB degree with at least a B average or equivalent
University of CanterburyBachelor of Laws degree (or equivalent) with good grades
Massey UniversityBachelor of Laws and experience in case of specializations opted
University of WaikatoLLB or a combined Law degree
Lincoln UniversityFirst or second class honors degree in a relevant subject.
Auckland University of TechnologyBachelor of Laws, Bachelor of Laws (Honours) or equivalent

English Language Score Requirements

UniversityTest Scores
The University of AucklandIELTS: 6.5TOEFL iBT: 90
University of OtagoIELTS: 7.5TOEFL iBT: 102TOEFL PBT: 600
Victoria University of WellingtonIELTS: 6.5TOEFL iBT: 90
University of CanterburyIELTS: 6.5TOEFL iBT: 90TOEFL PBT: 575
Massey UniversityIELTS: 6.5TOEFL iBT: 90PTE: 58
University of WaikatoIELTS: 6.5TOEFL iBT: 90
Lincoln UniversityIELTS: 6
Auckland University of TechnologyIELTS: 7 overall

Student Visa Requirements in New Zealand

New Zealand student visa is required for anyone willing to study in New Zealand for more than 3 months. The documents you would need during the time of visa application are listed below:

  • Valid Passport
  • Student Visa Application Form
  • SOP for New Zealand Student Visa
  • Application Fee payment receipt
  • Offer a letter from the institution you have been selected for.
  • Health insurance receipt
  • Two passport size photographs
  • Transcripts (Graduation certificates, 10+2 certificate,10th class certificate)
  • Scorecard of the required tests to study in New Zealand ( eg: TOEFL, IELTS)
  • Documents showing how you will pay the tuition fees and the living costs.

4. Cost of Studying LLM in New Zealand

Pre-arrival Cost

ExpensesFees (in NZ$)
New Zealand Student Visa346
IELTS fees420
GMAT fees382
Air Tickets450 – 700

Tuition Fees for LLM in New Zealand for Indian Students

UniversityFees per Annum (INR)
The University of Auckland20,00,477
University of Otago19,20,505
Victoria University of Wellington16,76,178
University of Canterbury18,36,767
Massey University15,91,009
University of Waikato17,27,570
Lincoln University14,67,207
Auckland University of Technology18,14,192

Cost of Living in New Zealand

RequirementMonthly Cost (in NZ$)
Hostel1000 – 1500
Homestay1500 – 2000
Food480 – 550

5. Scholarships for LLM in New Zealand

UniversityName of ScholarshipAmount Granted (in NZ$)
The University of AucklandInternational Masters Degree Scholarship10,000
University of OtagoResearch Masters ScholarshipsTuition Fees Covered
Victoria University of WellingtonFaculty of Law International Students LLM Fee Scholarship5,000
Massey UniversityInternational Excellence Scholarships10,000
University of WaikatoFaculty of Law Graduate Scholarship5,000
Lincoln UniversitySupperstone Law Scholarship1,920

Other Scholarships

1. New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships: Indian students who apply for a master’s degree or Ph.D. can try for the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP). This scholarship offers many benefits such as:

  • Full tuition fees
  • An allowance of NZ$ 491 per week for living expenses

2. New Zealand Excellence Awards: NZEA features scholarships across all eight universities. This scholarship is funded by Education New Zealand (ENZ) and the number of scholarships in PG programs is 28 and in UG is 3.

3. SEG Scholarship: This scholarship program is funded by the Soshi Educational Group. Value of the scholarships

  • Scholarship A: NZ$ 7,000 annually
  • Scholarship B: NZ$ 5,000 annually

6. Scope

Following are job roles with average salaries offered to LLM graduates in New Zealand:

DesignationAverage Annual Salary (NZ$)
Legal Assistant47000
Attorney/ Lawyer68000
Contracts Lawyer71000
Country Lawyer186000
Senior Solicitor104000

Following are the salaries for Lawyers in New Zealand with Experience:

ExperienceSalary Range (in NZ$)
Trainee Lawyer42,000-45,000
Up to 2 Years Experience45,000-70,000
Up to 5 Years Experience and more71,000-250,000


LLM is a very flexible program offered by some of the best law universities in New Zealand. Students can get an LLM by doing a dissertation alone, or they can combine short courses and a dissertation. Choice of over 40 topics for either general study or specialized research is available for LLM in New Zealand.

The fees for LLM in New Zealand for international students is around NZ$30,000. For Indian students, this equals around 15.5 lakhs annually. The cost may seem a little bit much for students who have a small budget, in this case there are plenty of scholarships in New Zealand you can apply for to ease down the financial burden. New Zealand law graduates can earn about NZ$1,23,267 a year on average. 

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