Q&A: What to expect from a an LL.M. program in Sweden
The guide about LL.M. in Sweden was a success and I received many questions about the application process, as well as other practical and inspirational questions.
Thus, I decided to start this Q&A post with the most common doubts and my perspectives about them.
But before we start, I would like to let you know that this post is not finished and whenever I get a unique question I will update it so you all can benefit from the information we gather here.
Now, as an introduction for those who don’t know yet, I am studying a one year program in European and International Tax Law at Lund University.
So, it is natural that my perspectives here are related to the university and course I am enrolled with, but I will try as much as I can to provide general information that could be applicable to all courses.
Is it hard?
Well, that is a relative question and the answer varies according to the course chosen and some personal factors.
But I can guarantee one thing: LL.M. programs in Sweden are very intense and require complete dedication, doesn’t matter where you are from and your academics or professional background.
In my case, for example, I had already finished a similar program in Brazil, worked for three years in a global firm and still, I must confess I am struggling with the intensity and complexity of my LL.M. in International Tax Law.
By saying that, I don’t want to discourage somehow, after all, the courses are usually completely doable by any student with a graduate degree only.
I just want to warn you that it is going to be a LOT (I mean, a LOT) of work, so be sure you are prepared for it.
Also, be prepared to work in a high-pressure environment, with loads of reading to be done in a 2 days deadline or similar conditions.
Well, that is the reality of a 1-year LL.M. program, but I heard from other students enrolled in 2-years programs that their schedules are much lighter.
So, make sure you check the schedule (if the University provides it beforehand) or even write the course coordinator and make sure you understand the dynamic of your course.
How are the courses structured?
We have lectures and seminars, and for the first one, you usually don’t need preparation, whereas you need to be very well prepared for seminars.
We usually have 1 lecture and 2 to 3 seminars per week and that is why the programs are usually so intense – because in a 5 days period you need to prepare for different and complex tasks.
The lectures are usually very elucidative, but most of the work needs to be done by yourself or by group work, so don’t expect to get a passive way of learning here in Sweden.
Each semester, you usually are assigned to 2 subject\modules and for each one you have exams.
Regarding the modules, they cover different topics and you usually have different professors for each theme, which means you get to know many relevant opinions from specialists.
What do you need to know before applying?
Do expect a lot of group work: In fact, 60% of the tasks in my program is supposed to be done through groups discussion, 20% is our own preparation to contribute with the group and only 20% is your personal preparation for exams etc.
My program is pretty much focused on group work, but I know that some others are not predominantly orientated this way.
So, if you don’t feel comfortable with working in groups, ask the course coordinator about it.
Do expect to be constantly exposed and required to be active in class: In seminars, you need to participate actively and your contributions are supposed to be part of your grade.
In my program, for example, you need to sign the attendance list and state if you are prepared or not for the seminars.
If you don’t participate or if you cannot contribute to anything with the questions addressed to you, then you are counted as absent.
That rule is not applicable to all LL.M. programs in Sweden, so if you don’t feel comfortable about it ask your course coordinator and set up your expectations right.
Do expect to get in touch with both theoretical and practical approaches to the themes: My program is very good at providing us both sides of the knowledge.
In only 4 months we were required to read more than 150 case-law and also plenty doctrine about the issues studied.
So, yes, you can feel confident that your masters program will prepare you for the next step of your career.
Any tips for applying to an LL.M program in Sweden?
The admission requirements are usually fairly though and I would say the motivation letter is probably one of the most important documents you need to send.
Thus, make sure you explain very well your background, providing an analysis of why you chose to pursue an LL.M. degree and how your studies in Sweden will contribute to your career plans.
If you can relate to the development of your country that will be awesome, especially if you are planning to apply for scholarships.
Also, the programs usually require an english certification with a high score and good grades from your previous studies.
How much does it cots?
The LL.M.s in Sweden are paid courses for international students, and my course, for example, costs 120k SEK for one year program.
The LL.M. in Human Rights or LL.M. in European Business Law offered by Lund University are two years programs and cost 260k SEK.
This amount might vary for different universities, so make sure you check the specific information in the official web pages.
Also, you should keep in mind that Sweden offers many scholarship opportunities for masters programs and you can check the information here.
If you are planning to apply for the SI Scholarship check this post and don’t forget to check the scholarship opportunities offered by each University, which are many!
Are there work perspectives in Sweden?
Yes, for sure!
Sweden is a very international country and does have a place for international workers that are willing to work hard and contribute to the society.
There are many jobs held in English offered by multinational companies such as Tetrapak, Spotify, and Big 4 companies for example.
However, keep in mind that if you plan to stay in Sweden you will raise significantly your chances on getting a job here if you speak Swedish, so be open to it and dedicate on this matter during your studies.
I am so glad of having the opportunity to pursue my LL.M. degree in Sweden and I can guarantee it has been very rewarding to see how much I have learned in only 3 months.
I have researched a lot before deciding to come here but honestly could not find most of the answers to my questions concerning to LL.M. programs in Sweden.
So, I hope this post will help you with the practicalities and help you on the decision about coming to Sweden.