Take your passion for law to the next level with advanced study and research. Be at the centre of debate, analysis and dialogue about law and legal policy issues in New Zealand.
Full time or part time, your study will be relevant, accessible and intellectually rewarding—research an area of law that interests you or tailor a course of study that suits your career goals.
You'll take one core course—Advanced Legal Study LAWS 581 worth 10 points—and make up the rest of your 120 points from a choice of other 500-level LAWS courses. Up to 40 points can be replaced by equivalent courses from another faculty or another university.
500-level LAWS courses differ from year to year and are either taught in block format, intensive format or seminars. Look at the course timetable to see when the intensive and block courses are offered. The seminar courses are mainly led by you and the other students who will prepare papers in advance.
International students can also choose to do a 20-point one-trimester internship. You'll work with a community, government or private sector organisation under the joint supervision of a Faculty member and an outside professional. Assessment is based on the work you produce, a journal and your performance at fortnightly seminars.
You'll take LAWS 581 Advanced Legal Study (10 points), a further 20 points from the Master of Laws course-selection and LAWS 592, a 90-point dissertation of 35,000 words.
The Faculty can provide dissertation supervision on a wide range of subjects. Explore the full list of the Faculty's research areas to help you decide on your own research topic.
The Master of Laws by thesis requires you to complete a 120-point 50,000 word thesis on an area of law that interests you. You'll also do the course Advanced Legal Study LAWS 581 at no extra cost.
The Faculty can provide thesis supervision on a wide range of subjects. Explore the full list of the Faculty's research areas to help you decide on your own research topic.
This is a more flexible combination of coursework and research on an approved topic. You'll take the 10-point Advanced Legal Study LAWS 581 and the 90-point Research Portfolio LAWS 593.
The research portfolio consists of two courses that include two research papers of 12,000 words each on related topics. You'll also complete a 2,500-word linking paper to establish and justify your research, as well as a further 20 points from Master of Laws courses.
Designed to be flexible, the Master of Laws offers courses that are taught in different formats. Some courses meet weekly, others are taught in a more compact format.
Block courses are taught in a concentrated manner over a one-to-two week period, and intensive courses are broken into chunks of eight to twelve hours. They are often taught over two-to-three consecutive evenings or in Friday afternoon and Saturday sessions, with a break of two-to-three weeks between sessions.
The Master of Laws can be completed in one year of full-time study, or in up to three years part time.
If you are studying full time, you can expect a workload of 40–45 hours a week for much of the year. Part-time students doing two courses per trimester will need to do around 20–23 hours of work a week. Make sure you take this into account if you are working.
You can estimate your workload by adding up the number of points you'll be doing. One point is roughly equal to 10–12 hours work.
No matter how you choose to study for your Master of Laws there will be an element of research required. Take advantage of exciting research opportunities at New Zealand's leading centre of academic legal research
And if you're planning on doing a Master's by thesis, or a PhD, you'll have the opportunity to be supervised in wide range of subject areas by New Zealand's best legal scholars.
Victoria University of Wellington
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