Master of law Level 9

A Master of Laws will deepen your legal knowledge and legal research skills.

We offer a range of study options to suit your needs - you can complete the Master of Laws entirely by thesis, entirely by coursework, or through a combination of coursework and research.

One area of focus for our taught programme is advanced criminal law, enabling you to gain further expertise in that area. Other courses focus on human rights law, and indigenous rights and law.


To qualify for the Master of Laws, you need to complete 120 points, including, if necessary,

  • LAWS901 Legal Research Methodology.

Master of Laws by Thesis
You need to complete:

  • A thesis of 120 points (around 40,000 words) OR
  • A thesis of 90 points (around 30,000 words) and 30 points from additional courses

The thesis question has to be approved before enrolment.

Master of Laws by Dissertation
You need to complete:

  • A dissertation of 60 points AND
  • 60 points from additional courses

We suggest you start by completing the courses. The topic for your dissertation has to be approved.
Master of Laws by Coursework
You need to complete:

  • 120 points from courses


Summer courses for 2020/2021

  • LAWS936 Law and Economics
  • LAWS963 Ideas of Property
  • LAWS969 Local Government Law
  • LAWS975 Commercial Criminal Law

Semester 1 courses for 2021

  • LAWS903 Advanced Private Law
  • LAWS908 Legal Philosophy
  • LAWS931 Problems in Patent Law
  • LAWS932 Remedies in Private Law
  • LAWS939 Social Justice Law and Society
  • LAWS971 Indigenous Private Law
  • LAWS972 Law of Democracy
  • LAWS974 Youth Justice
  • LAWS976 Mental Health and the Law
  • LAWS991 Gender and the Law

Semester 2 courses for 2021

  • LAWS902 Climate Change Law
  • LAWS918 Corporate Governance
  • LAWS934 Workplace Law, Rights and Policy
  • LAWS947 Maori Legal Issues
  • LAWS955 Non-Adversarial Justice
  • LAWS973 Justice
  • LAWS988 Laws of Armed Conflict
  • LAWS992 South Pacific Law

Career Outcomes

Master of Laws you can include a specialization or focus area.

You can complete the 120-point Master of Laws without a specialization, or you can choose to have a specialization marked on your degree parchment by having at least 90 points from the courses in the listed specializations below:

  • Corporate and Commercial Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Employment Law
  • Environmental and Resource Management Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • Property and Development
  • Regulation and Competition

Focus areas you can also choose to have a focus area marked on your transcript by completing at least 90 points from the courses in the listed focus areas below:

  • Climate Change Law
  • Human Rights Law
  • Indigenous Rights an d Law
  • International Law
  • Jurisprudence
  • Non-Adversarial Justice
  • Private Law
  • Public Law
  • Trusts/Trusts and Fiduciary Obligations

What will I learn?

A graduate of the Master of Laws will be able to:

a. Apply advanced theoretical and practical knowledge a wide range of law and legal issues and will be able to better integrate this with their existing knowledge and Experience. (Knowledge/Understanding)

b. Adjust to a rapidly changing commercial and professional environment by developing their capacity to carry out independent and self-directed research and study. (Personal/Intellectual Autonomy; Inquiry/Research/Creativity)

c. Demonstrate enhanced ability to identify the underlying and sometimes unexpressed concepts and theories that inform judicial opinions and legislative proposals. (Ethical/Professional Dispositions)

d. Demonstrate sophisticated critical-thinking skills, and have an enhanced ability to employ a wide range of electronic legal databases. (Inquiry/Research/Creativity; Skills/Application)

e. Demonstrate effective and coherent written and oral communication skills with regard to advanced legal concepts and theories. (Communication)