Qualification

Bachelor of Laws

Overview

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

Entry requirements

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.

For full entry requirements see the Regulations for the Bachelor of Laws or use the admission requirements checker.

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

Year 1
LAWS101
LAWS110
100 Level
100 Level
100 Level
100 Level
100 Level
Year 2
200 Level
200 Level
200 Level
200 Level
Year 3
200 Level
LAWS301
300 Level
300 Level
300 Level
300 Level
300 Level
Year 4
300
Level
300
Level
300
Level
300
Level
300
Level
300
Level
300
Level
300
Level
  •  
    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.

Double Degrees

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.

If you are considering a double degree you should get advice from the School of Law or the Liaison Office.

Find out more information about Double degrees.

Subjects and courses

In first year you must take:

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

With good grades in LAWS101 and LAWS110 (normally at least a B) you will be able to advance into 200-level Law courses, 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 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.

Recommended preparation

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.

Further study

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

Career opportunities

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.

More information

For the full degree requirements see the Regulations for the Bachelor of Laws.

For more information email info@canterbury.ac.nz or freephone 0800 VARSITY (827 748).

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).

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Althea Carbon

"I love the fact that I was able to get so much out of my time at university!"