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, Bachelor of Laws (LLB) 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 Laws 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
- International exchanges including the prestigious US Congressional Internship Programme
- Active Law Students' Society (LAWSOC) and Te Putairiki Māori Law Students' Association.
Admission to UC with University Entrance, or equivalent, is required to enrol for a Bachelor's degree. Domestic applicants over 20 who do not hold University Entrance, or equivalent, may gain admission by providing evidence of their ability to complete tertiary study successfully. For information on gaining admission to UC please see how to apply for undergraduate qualifications.
The study of Law does not require a background in any specific subject at school and entry to the first year of the LLB is open to all students with University Entrance.
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.
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
* May include CRJU101 (previously LAWS 150)
Each small block represents a 15-point course. However, some courses may be 30 points or more.
Many Law students also study towards a second degree, with the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Science the most popular. The new Bachelor of Criminal Justice degree is also a good fit as a double degree with the LLB.
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.* Note: ACIS152, ACCT152, ACIS252 and ACCT252 are not approved courses.
Second year and beyond
With good grades in LAWS101 and LAWS110 (normally at least a B) you will be able to advance into 200-level Law courses, all of which are subject to limited entry. 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 the 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.
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:
If you want to differentiate your qualification but do not want to complete a double degree, you could consider postgraduate study. Options include:
With the largest Law internship paper of any New Zealand law school, this UC course and the clinical and community work experience available can really give your resumé the 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 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).