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Masters Degrees in Law, New Zealand

We have 5 Masters Degrees in Law, New Zealand

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The Faculty of Law at the University of Waikato places a strong emphasis on the development of research skills. The classes are small and are typically offered in seminar style discussions. Read more

The Faculty of Law at the University of Waikato places a strong emphasis on the development of research skills. The classes are small and are typically offered in seminar style discussions. This approach to teaching at an advanced level creates opportunities for you to share perspectives and discuss issues related to the topic. It'll help you to improve your communication skills and gain expert knowledge. It creates opportunities for you to network with others and renew motivation and confidence. You'll also get a lot of one-on-one time with the lecturing or supervising academic staff.

We offer the largest selection of papers in Cyber Law in New Zealand, and therefore you can complete this Masters focusing on this area.

The Faculty hosts two research centres: Centre for Environmental, Resources and Energy Law (CEREL) and Māori and Indigenous Governance Centre (MIGC). You’ll benefit from the expert knowledge and national and international professional associations in these fields. For example, you’ll be eligible to apply for the International Bar Association scholarship. Waikato Faculty of Law is the only school in New Zealand that offers this opportunity.

Whether your interest lies in Cyber Law, Law of War and Conflicts, Transnational Criminal Law, Indigenous Issues or Environmental Law, you will benefit from nationally and internationally recognised academic staff.

Master of Laws in Māori/Pacific and Indigenous Peoples' Law

Passionate about indigenous issues? This Masters programme will allow you to study in-depth the historical and developing trends within the area of indigenous peoples' rights. You'll develop skills enabling you to participate actively in the development of Pacific jurisprudence and to enhance global understanding of Pacific legal systems.

Read more about Master of Laws in Māori/Pacific and Indigenous Peoples' Law.

Double LLM: University of Waikato and University of Arizona

Interested in holding two LLMs from internationally highly regarded Faculties of Law in significantly less time and in two different countries?

If you’re a dedicated, engaged student and you’ve successfully completed 90 points of LLM at Waikato (or 75% of our LLM), you could receive 6-8 credits towards the LLM degree at the James E Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona.

There are two options on offer for LLM in Arizona: Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy LLM (composed of 24 credits) or International Trade and Business Law LLM (composed of 26 credits).

Cultural experience

The Faculty members come from a wide range of nations and cultural backgrounds, creating a truly multicultural environment. This helps foster in our students an increased awareness of global issues, exposes them to multiple historical and cultural perspectives as well as offer insight into legal systems outside the jurisdiction of the Common Law.

We have the most diverse and vibrant student body of all law schools in New Zealand. Up to 30 per cent of all our students identify themselves as Māori and nearly 16 per cent come from Pacific background. Nearly 40 per cent of our students are over the age of 25.

The Faculty's three dynamic law student associations: Pacific Law Student AssociationTe Whakahiapo (Māori Student Association) and Waikato University Law Student Associations play an important role of fostering great collegial relationships between students and offer plenty of social and learning opportunities.

Our Mentoring Programme will provide extra support and guidance in your studies, help you to navigate through the transition period from school or previous employment to university study as well as advise you on other services and opportunities available to you on campus.

Career opportunities

  • Government departments
  • Law teaching and research
  • Civil and public service and the judiciary
  • Banking, financial services and financial regulation
  • International development organisations
  • Non-governmental organisations such as human rights agencies
  • Private legal practice
  • Business


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Master of Laws in Māori/Pacific and Indigenous Peoples' Law (LLM Māori/Pacific and Indigenous Peoples') provides an opportunity to study in-depth the historical and developing trends within the area of indigenous peoples' rights. Read more

Master of Laws in Māori/Pacific and Indigenous Peoples' Law (LLM Māori/Pacific and Indigenous Peoples') provides an opportunity to study in-depth the historical and developing trends within the area of indigenous peoples' rights.

You'll examine how the United Nations and other international organisations influence the process of Indigenous rights development. You will learn what role the State plays in recognising environmental and economic rights of indigenous peoples.

What will post-settlement New Zealand legal landscape look like? You could be the driving force behind developing truly inclusive New Zealand Jurisprudence that would incorporate the best of the traditional Māori practices and Common Law.

The knowledge and skills developed through our specialist programme are relevant in roles in:

  • Academic teaching and research;
  • Treaty settlement
  • Maori governance
  • Crown Law
  • Local and central government
  • Education
  • Māori economy

The Master of Laws in Māori/Pacific and Indigenous Peoples’ Law programme is offered with the same study

options as those of Master of Laws (LLM). Please see the Master of Laws page for more information.

Cultural experience

The Faculty members come from a wide range of nations and cultural backgrounds, creating a truly multicultural environment. This helps foster in our students an increased awareness of global issues, exposes them to multiple historical and cultural perspectives as well as offer insight into legal systems outside the jurisdiction of the Common Law.

We have the most diverse and vibrant student body of all law schools in New Zealand. Up to 30 per cent of all our students identify themselves as Māori and nearly 16 per cent come from Pacific background. Nearly 40 per cent of our students are over the age of 25.

The Faculty's three dynamic law student associations: Pacific Law Student Association (PLSA)Te Whakahiapo (Māori Student Association) and Waikato University Law Student Association (WULSA) play an important role of fostering great collegial relationships between students and offer plenty of social and learning opportunities.

Our Mentoring Programme will provide extra support and guidance in your studies, help you to navigate through the transition period from school or previous employment to university study as well as advise you on other services and opportunities available to you on campus.



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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. Read more

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.

Programmes

Master of Laws by coursework

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.

Internship

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.

Master of Laws by dissertation and coursework

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.

Dissertation supervision

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.

Master of Laws by thesis

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.

Thesis supervision

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.

Master of Laws by research portfolio

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.

Flexible study

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.

Workload and duration

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.

Research and supervision

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.



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The Master of Laws (LLM) degree requires at least one year of full-time study, or the equivalent in part-time study. It entails completion of a thesis, and there is no requirement for coursework. Read more
The Master of Laws (LLM) degree requires at least one year of full-time study, or the equivalent in part-time study. It entails completion of a thesis, and there is no requirement for coursework. The aim is to develop in a candidate the skills needed to understand recent developments in the Law. Applicants must have a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) or Bachelor of Laws with Honours (LLB(Hons)) degree, or alternative qualifications and experience acceptable to the University.

While it is not a requirement that the findings presented in the thesis shall represent a substantial contribution to knowledge in the field of Law, a candidate is expected to choose an appropriate topic that can be completed with 12 months of full-time study, conduct the research professionally and appropriately, and report the findings clearly, accurately and succinctly.

This degree prepares candidates for employment in law firms, local and national government agencies, commerce and higher education. It is also a recognised entry qualification for the PhD degree.

Programme Requirements

-Thesis: LAWS 5

Structure of the Programme

-A candidate shall present a thesis embodying the results of research undertaken under supervision.
-The research should be of a kind that a diligent and competent student should complete within one year of full-time study.

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