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. Our students hone critical practical skills in the process of helping the community.

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 Pūtairiki Māori Law Students' Association.

Entry requirements

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.

You are also required to meet UC’s English language requirements.

Recommended preparation

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

Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4
    Compulsory Law courses
    Optional Law courses
    Non-Law courses
(1) May include CRJU 101.
Each small block represents a 15-point course. Larger blocks represent 30 point courses.

Double Degrees

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 Bachelor of Criminal Justice degree is also a good fit as a double degree with the LLB.

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.

* Note: ACIS 152, ACCT 152, ACIS 252 and ACCT 252 are not approved courses.

Limited entry into second year

With good grades in LAWS 101 and LAWS 110 (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 LAWS 301 Equity and Trusts and any other remaining compulsory courses, plus the 13 optional Law courses. LAWS 398 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:

Further study

If you want to establish a point of difference from other Law graduates, but do not want to complete a double degree, you could consider postgraduate study. Options include:

Career opportunities

With one of the largest Law internship courses of any New Zealand law school, this UC course and the clinical and community work experience available can really give your résumé 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.

More information

For the full degree requirements see the Regulations for the Bachelor of Laws. For information on facilities, resources and staff visit the College of Business and Law | Te Rāngai Umanga me te Ture

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 a School of Law Student Advisor (advancing students).

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Jessie Cross

Jessie Cross

'I want to have a career that gives me the opportunity to apply my scientific knowledge of the environment in the legal sphere...'

Caitlin Dowden

Caitlin Dowden

'Studying and living in UC Accommodation has exposed me to many new situations, people and opportunities...'