Bachelor of Laws
UC School of Law's mission statement is 'the internationally recognised, professionally relevant, community focused Law School'.
Students gain a professional degree of outstanding quality in four years. In addition, Law students deal with real people with real problems as part of the innovative clinical studies programme at UC. By helping the community, our students hone critical practical skills in the process.
Features of the Bachelor of Law at UC
- Prestigious Law School founded in 1873
- High employment rates in stimulating, diverse careers
- Many legal textbooks are written by UC lecturers
- Guest lectures by Supreme Court judges and top international lawyers
- Law courses can be credited to most other degrees and students can study towards a double degree
- Numerous scholarships and bursaries
- International exchanges including the prestigious US Congressional Internship Programme
- Active Law Students' Society (LAWSOC) and Te Putairiki Maori Law Students' Association
Bachelor's degrees require University Entrance to gain admission to UC. If you gained your qualifications overseas, these will need to be assessed to ensure they are of an equivalent standard.
You are also required to meet UC’s English language requirements.
Qualification structure and duration
The Bachelor of Laws is made up of the following:
- Eight compulsory Law courses
- 13 optional Law courses
- 75 points of non-Law courses (five 100-level courses)
Typical degree structure for Bachelor of Laws
Compulsory law courses
Optional Law courses
Courses from other undergraduate degrees
Each small block represents a 15-point course. However, some courses may be 30 points or more.
It is possible to combine a Law degree with other degrees, in particular Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Science are highly marketable combinations. The new Bachelor of Criminal Justice degree is also a good fit as a double degree.
The extra time it takes to complete a double degree can be a wise investment, as you will gain additional skills and knowledge to give you an advantage in the workplace.
Normally you can complete the two degrees in five years, but some degree combinations may take longer.
Find out more information about Double degrees.
Subjects and courses
In first year you must take:
- LAWS101 Legal System: Legal Method and Institutions
- LAWS110 Legal System: Research, Writing and Legal Foundations
- And up to 75 points from other degree courses
If you plan on completing the Bachelor of Laws degree in four years must enrol in the courses shown in the diagram.
Second year and beyond
In your second year, if you have completed the 75 points at 100-level, you will take four of the five compulsory 200-level courses (Public Law, Criminal Law, Law of Contract, Law of Torts and Land Law).
If you have not completed the 75 points at 100-level, you will need to take the remainder of those, plus fewer 200-level courses.
In their third and fourth years, you will take LAWS301 Equity and Trusts and any other remaining compulsory courses, plus the 13 optional Law courses. LAWS398 Legal Ethics is required if you later wish to be admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor.
The study of Law does not require a background in any specific subject at school.
You will need to have good reading, writing and analytical skills. Subjects such as English, drama, economics, te reo Māori, languages, history and classical studies are useful preparation.
How to apply
Find out more about how to Apply for undergraduate qualifications.
If you want to differentiate your qualification but do not want to complete a double degree, you could consider graduate or postgraduate study.
Bachelor of Laws Honours
If you achieve a satisfactory standard in your first two years of study for the Bachelor of Laws you may be invited to enter the honours programme.
If you meet the criteria you can enrol in three additional Law courses in fourth year:
Graduate and postgraduate qualifications
Graduates of the UC Law school have high employment rates in stimulating, diverse careers.
With the largest Law internship participation of any New Zealand law school, this UC course and the clinical and community work experience available really gives you an edge over other graduates.
Graduates can become a practice solicitor, in-house lawyer or a self-employed barrister. Recent UC graduates have also found roles as research counsel, judge’s clerk, policy analyst and Māori development advisor.
Legal skills of research, writing, analysis and reasoning are highly prized in many professions such as politics, policy, public service, foreign affairs, journalism, publishing, immigration and business.
Find out more about what you can do with a degree from UC.
For the full degree requirements see the Regulations for the Bachelor of Laws.
For assistance with planning your programme of study contact the Liaison Office (new students) or visit the Liaison Office’s course planning page (new students), or a School of Law Student Advisor (advancing students).