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Study Law and Criminal Justice

Ture me te Muru Taihara

08 September 2023

Studying Law and Criminal Justice at UC exposes you to many aspects of the legal system in Aotearoa - from housing and the environment to sexual violence and the prison system. You will also learn about international laws for trade and human rights. Find out about the courses and degrees you can take at UC. 


Real-world law

Your studies will take you out of the classroom with field trips (like to the Christchurch Women’s Prison), lots of class discussions and group work, and volunteering at the Community Law Centre, a free legal service where you work with real people and their issues. 

Student-led projects

You will come across other students who are just as passionate about bringing reform, representation, and fairness to the justice system as you. You can be a part of projects such as Prison Education Project, a rehabilitation initiative run by UC Law and Criminal Justice students

Te Tiriti and the Law

Your studies will expose you to a legal education committed to Te Tiriti partnership and Māori knowledge systems. You will explore the unique nature of law as it exists within the bicultural landscape of Aotearoa New Zealand through topical issues such as water rights; Te Tiriti; Māori land, environment, and tikanga; and how these apply in the context of a nation founded on a relationship between Tangata Whenua (Māori) and Tangata Tiriti (non-Māori people).

Expert lecturers

Our academics have made significant contributions through their research and are well regarded in the international law community. Many of our lecturers have written the books you will learn from, and some have won premier awards for their legal publications. You may be able to research with them and even get published.

Some of our research includes:

  • Law and Sport
  • Serious Financial Crime
  • Specialised research projects impacting Aotearoa, Antarctica, the Southern Oceans, and the Pacific. We also have strong teaching and research links with Gateway Antarctica
  • Rethinking surrogacy laws in Aotearoa
  • Indigenous water rights
  • Forensic Brainwave Analysis technology that indicates whether or not a person has specific knowledge, and used in criminal proceedings as a way of eliminating possible suspects.

Clubs scene

There are many ways to pursue your interests, or discover new ones, outside of your academic study — we have over 160+ active clubs on campus.

You can join clubs like:

  • Law for Change
  • Te Pūtāiki, Māori Law Students’ Society
  • LawSoc
  • Asian Law Students’ Society
  • UC Pasifika Law Students’ Society
  • UC Women in Law
  • Criminal Justice Society (CRIMSOC). 


Professional and Community Engagement (PACE) is an internship component that you may take as a one-off course in your degree. PACE courses are all about applying what you learn in your studies to a non-academic “real-world” setting. You will be matched with your internship based on your studies and your interests.


We provide support including help with injuries or learning disabilities affecting your studies; degree planning; health, sports, and fitness; mental health, and more. 

Learn more about studying Law and Criminal Justice

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