Graduate Diploma in Law

Convert your overseas law degree or gain an equivalent of a second major to your non-law bachelor's degree with a Graduate Diploma in Law.

This law diploma will add value in your workplace and provide the opportunity to hone your legal knowledge and skills. You'll get to choose the papers you want to do and focus on what's really important in your career. Select Contract Law and Commercial Transactions Law; or focus on Dispute Resolution, Mediation or Property Issues in Family Law.

All level 100 to 400 papers are available to you. Some papers are offered during Summer School and could be completed within four to eight weeks. Choose from the list of all law papers offered in 2017.

The GradDipLaw would also suit New Zealand law graduates who are seeking to enhance their knowledge of the law by studying papers in new areas. This programme meets the requirements of the New Zealand Law Society’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD). To find out more about CPD requirements, please visit NZLS' website.

Degree structure

You'll need to attain 120 points or equivalent of two semesters of study to gain this qualification. At least 80 points should come from papers at 300 level (third year) or above.

Aiming for a higher level degree?

This qualification can also be a pathway for entry to a master's degree in law. We offer a generic Master of Laws qualification and one specialising in Pacific legal thought and indigenous peoples’ rights.

Master of Laws (LLM)
Master of Laws in Māori/Pacific & Indigenous Peoples' Law (LLM Māori/Pacific & Indigenous Peoples')

Overseas law degree conversion

If you gained your law degree abroad and wish to practice as a Barrister or Solicitor in New Zealand, you'll need to apply to the New Zealand Council of Legal Education (NZCLE) for assessment of your qualifications and experience.

NZCLE may prescribe you to complete a paper or papers that you could credit towards your GradDipLaw.

Further information is available on the NZCLE website.

Key information

Study Locations Hamilton
Faculty Te Piringa - Faculty of Law
Start Dates Semester A (February) and Semester B (July)

Scholarships and prizes

Visit our Scholarship Finder for information about possible scholarships

Graduate Diploma in Law could be your pathway to Master of Laws (LLM) degree. We offer a generic Master of Laws qualification and one specialising in Pacific legal thought and indigenous peoples’ rights.

Master of Laws (LLM)
Master of Laws in Māori/Pacific & Indigenous Peoples' Law (LLM (Māori/Pacific & Indigenous Peoples'))

Explore our other undergraduate qualifications in law:

Diploma in Law (DipLaw)
Bachelor of Laws (LLB)

If you have already gained a bachelor’s degree in a subject other than law, you may be interested in our
Graduate Diploma in Dispute Resolution (GradDipDR).

If you are considering studying for a higher degree in law, Waikato's Faculty of Law offers the following qualifications:

Doctor of Philosophy in Law (PhDLaw)
Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD)
Doctor of Laws (LLD)

For more information on these and other options, please contact us at Law Reception.

To be accepted into the Graduate Diploma in Law programme, you need to have:

  • completed a bachelor's degree at the University of Waikato or an equivalent qualification at another university; or
  • demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Academic Board that you have adequate training, experience and ability to proceed with the proposed programme.

In exceptional circumstances, candidates who do not meet these requirements, but who have proven record of academic merit and relevant experience may be accepted into the programme. The Academic Board may require you to complete any qualifying papers that could be completed either prior to or concurrently.


Faculty of Law:
Phone: 07 838 4167 or 0800 924 528
Opening hours: 8.30am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday
Location: N Block, Gate 7, Hillcrest Road, University of Waikato, Hamilton

Degree Structure

Candidates must gain 120 points at 100 level or above, including at least 80 points at 300 level or above, in the Graduate Diploma subjects. See the Regulations for further information.

* From one subject area.

** You may select 100 level papers. This choice would mean you need more than one paper.