Bachelor of Laws (LLB)

Mock up court session with client talking to lawyer

UC's Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree is internationally recognised, and the Faculty of Law is ranked in the top 150 of law schools worldwide.

Our courses are taught by world-ranked staff who are regarded as leading experts in their fields - many having written the textbooks that underpin legal studies in New Zealand.

The four-year law degree comprises compulsory 100 and 200-level courses (providing a solid background in core legal knowledge and skills), and optional 300-level courses (which allow you to focus on areas of law or study it more broadly).

Course and study choices

Course selection is a personal process, but there are some basic planning tips that you should follow:

  • Plan around your interests. You will tend to do well in things you enjoy.
  • Check you've got the required courses needed for continuing in the subjects you may wish to continue studying (called prerequisites) - you can use the student guide, enrolment handbook or course information on the UC website for this.
  • Make sure you have the prerequisites to get into the second year of another degree, whether you are planning a double degree or not - entrance to second year law depends on your first year marks and is not guaranteed.
  • Map out your year. Take the time to draw up your timetable for each semester. Make sure that you are not attempting to do all your work in one semester and nothing in the other. A timetable template is in your enrolment pack. Use it to check for possible timetable clashes!
  • Plan your workload. Usually a first-year full-time student would take a minimum of 120 points over the February-November academic year.
  • Plan your degree progression. Look at what you must complete for each year of your study in order to progress to the next level.
  • Seek advice if you are not sure. Prospective students should contact the Liaison Office for assistance with degree planning or course choices.

Many law students also choose to complete a second degree during the course of their study. This is facilitated by the provision for cross credits between the LLB and other degrees. Common double degree choices are LLB/BCom, LLB/BCJ, LLB/BA and LLB/BSc. The minimum timeframe for completion of a double degree is five years of fulltime study.

If you are undertaking a double degree you need to plan your courses carefully and should talk to the School of Law Student Advisor  or Senior Academic Advisor (as well as the Student Advisor in the College offering the other degree) to ensure your choices will meet double degree requirements.

Entry to the LLB (Hons) is contingent on grades and is normally determined after two years of LLB degree studies. LLB (Hons) candidates complete three additional courses concurrently with the LLB. These 400-levels honours courses are LAWS 410, LAWS 420, and LAWS 430

Structure of the Bachelor of Laws degree

The Bachelor of Laws degree consists of:

  • 8 compulsory core law courses
  • 12 or 13 elective law courses (depending on whether the compulsory core course in Equity was completed as a 15 or 30 point course)
  • 75 points from other UC degree courses

See full Bachelor of Laws degree regulations.

In the first year, students must take LAWS101 and LAWS110. To make up a full course load (120 points), students select other 100-level subjects and courses on the basis of their individual interests.

Students planning to complete the LLB degree in four years are advised to take LAWS101, LAWS110 and all the required non-LAWS points (75 points) in their first year. Seek advice and plan your courses carefully to ensure you progress through the LLB degree as intended.

The School of Law offers five compulsory 200-level courses:

Entry to these compulsory core courses is limited and depends on performance in LAWS101, LAWS110 and other first-year courses.

About 200 first-year Law students proceed to each of the 200-level compulsory core courses each year.

Gaining a 'B' grade in LAWS 101 and LAWS 110 and satisfactory grades in non-LAWS courses will normally be sufficient to gain entry, but this varies from year to year.

Students who gain entry take one or more of the compulsory 200-level courses in their second year. They may also complete any outstanding points from non-LAWS courses.

Other entry pathways

There are additional quota places in each of the 200-level compulsory core courses. The additional quotas are as follows:

  • 10 places are reserved for people of Maori descent who would not otherwise qualify for a place.
  • 5 places are reserved for people of Pacific Island descent who would not otherwise qualify for a place.
  • 15 places are reserved for full fee paying international students.

Students wishing to transfer from other universities who did not do well enough to be admitted to 200-level compulsory core courses at the other university are unlikely to gain a place at UC.

In their third and fourth years, students will take all remaining 200-level compulsory core courses and the compulsory 300-level course, LAWS301 - Equity and Succession.

Students also choose 12 or 13 elective law courses (depending on whether the compulsory core course in Equity was completed as a 15 or 30 point course). Students seeking admission as barristers and solicitors must include LAWS398 - Legal Ethics, as one of these courses.

Pre-requisites for 300-level courses

Students are not normally permitted to enrol in any 300-level law courses unless they have completed, or will be completing in the same year, all of the 200-level compulsory core courses and the non-law requirements for their LLB.

Follow your interests

In the third and fourth years of a Law degree you have a wide range of options and can choose to specialise in one or more of the following areas.

Skill development and careers

UC Law graduates are seen as well-rounded and highly competent, skilled in critical thinking and legal analysis. They secure jobs not only as lawyers but as judges clerks, governmental policy analysts, and in leadership positions in the business community.

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