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BA - Law as a major

If you’re fascinated by the history and creative activities of humankind and how this shapes societies and our future, then a Bachelor of Arts (BA) is for you. Our graduates are in demand for their flexible skills, practical outlook and depth of understanding they bring to their roles.

Studying law is empowering as it affects every aspect of our life. Study Law at the University of Waikato - ranked as one of the world's top 250 universities for Law - and you'll be looking into why laws are made, who makes them, how they work and how to change them.

Everyone, not just lawyers, needs to know the law

The BA in Law is a non-practising law based qualification ideal for those that want to develop knowledge of the law and its implications and a sense of justice and public responsibility. Studying law within your BA develops the ability to argue from a basis of evidence, hone your research skills, and develop well rounded critical analysis abilities - all skills that can be transferred to many careers.


Apply to enrol

Key information

Years: 3
Points: 360
Start Dates: Semester A (February) and Semester B (July)
Fees (Domestic): $6,117-$7,132 per year
Fees (International): $25,160 - $32,750 per year
Entry Requirements: Undergraduate International
Faculty:
*Tuition fees shown are indicative only and may change. There are additional fees and charges related to enrolment please see the Table of Fees and Charges for more information. You will be sent an enrolment agreement which will confirm your fees.

Career opportunities

  • Policy Analyst & Advisor
  • Mediator and/or Negotiator
  • Legal Researcher
  • Board Member for Iwi or other organisations
  • Local government advocacy

Degree Planner

Degree planner — Bachelor of Arts in Law (single major)

Law is now offered as a major in the Bachelor of Arts from 2019.

Year 2

Law of Public Sphere
LEGAL208 available from 2020*

Law Policy & Pract
LEGAL209 available from 2020*

Maori Law & Treaty
LEGAL210 available from 2020*

One from List B
(Recommended: LEGAL211)

Field of the Degree
200 level

Elective

Elective

Elective

Year 3

Regult New Frontiers
LEGAL309 available from 2021*

Issues in Justice
LEGAL310 available from 2021*

Privte Law & Litigtn
LEGAL311 available from 2021*

LEGAL3XX
Major Specific Selection (400 paper list)

One from List C
Work Intregrated Learning

Elective

Elective

Elective

  • Major
  • Elective
  • Compulsory

It is recommended that students studying towards a Bachelor of Arts Law Major when selecting from LISTB select - LEGAL211 International Law: Global and Comparative.

When looking at paper choices for List C - please get advice from your program or school.

This information is provisional and subject to change.

Want to be a lawyer? See the LLB

To become a barrister or solicitor requires a Bachelor of Law (LLB).


The Rule of Law is a cornerstone of a civilised society. It defines rights and obligations and provides structure to institutions of government and commerce. The LLB programme follows a course of study which, in addition to giving students a broad understanding of legal principles, meets the professional requirements to practice as a barrister and solicitor in New Zealand.

Law is available as a major for the LLB and the BA. Law may also be taken as a second major within other undergraduate degrees, subject to academic approval of the Faculty of Law Admissions Committee and the Faculty or School of Studies in which the student is enrolled.

To complete a major in Law for the LLB, students must complete the requirements specified in the LLB regulations.

To complete a major in Law for the BA, students must gain 135 points from the papers listed for Law, including 105 points above 100 level, and 60 points above 200 level. Students must complete LEGAL103, LEGAL104, LEGAL208, LEGAL209, LEGAL210, LEGAL309, LEGAL310, LEGAL311 and 15 points from any 400 level LEGAL paper.

To complete Law as part of a double major, students must gain 120 points from the papers listed for Law, including 90 points above 100 level and 45 points above 200 level. Students must complete LEGAL103, LEGAL104, LEGAL208, LEGAL209, LEGAL210, LEGAL309, LEGAL310 and LEGAL311.

To complete a minor in Law, students must complete 60 points from the papers listed for the BA Law major, including at least 30 points above 100 level. Students must complete LEGAL103 and LEGAL104.

The Law programme for the LLB is structured as follows:

Law 1 introduces students to the legal system, the relationship between culture and the law and legal system, legal reasoning, writing and research, and the constitutional framework

Law 2 introduces the theories of law, the relationship between the state, administrative agencies and the individual, the law of contract, and the law of tort

Law 3 covers the principles of private law and dispute resolution

Law 4 focuses on specialist papers in Law.

100 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
LEGAL100Pre Law20X (Hamilton)
Introduction to core topics and skills in legal studies. Topics include law making and the legislature, the court system, common law and cases. Skills include written and oral advocacy skills, legal research, client interviewing, and group work.
LEGAL103Legal Method A20A (Hamilton) & 20A (Tauranga)
This paper introduces students to the study and practice of law in New Zealand. With a particular focus on criminal law, the paper will teach you the basics of legal methods, including legal research, reasoning, opinion writing, statutory interpretation and case analysis.
LEGAL104Legal Method B20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
Using the law of contract by way of illustration, this paper teaches students crucial approaches to statutory interpretation and case analysis, and introduces students to the key legal skill of mooting.
LEGAL105Introduction to New Zealand Law and Society20A (Online) & 20C (Online)
An introduction for non lawyers to the nature and functions of law and the processes of lawmaking. The relationship between law and society will be illustrated by relevant examples.
LEGAL106Legal Systems and Societies20D (Hamilton) & 20D (Tauranga)
An introduction to the history, sources, context and institutions of law in Aotearoa/New Zealand, with particular reference to statute, custom as illustrated by Maori customary law and the common law, and the distinctive position of the Treaty of Waitangi.

200 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
LEGAL201Public Law20D (Hamilton) & 20D (Tauranga)
Part One examines the principles of constitutionalism and the framework of the New Zealand system of government. Part Two examines the exercise and control of executive power in New Zealand and the relationship between the state, its agencies and the individual.
LEGAL203Jurisprudence20D (Hamilton) & 20D (Tauranga)
An analysis of legal theories and ideologies, emphasising different approaches to the meaning of law, examining the relationship between theory and practice, illustrated by the concepts of sovereignty, liability, property, justice, rights and personality.
LEGAL204Contracts20D (Hamilton) & 20D (Tauranga)
This paper is an introduction to the theory of contract; the general principles relating to the operation, formation and discharge of contract; and the general principles of agency. It is a core paper for the Council for Legal Education (CLE).
LEGAL205Foundations in Legal Studies20B (Online)
A paper to provide students with a basic understanding of the New Zealand legal system, and an introduction to the law of torts, contract, agency, sale of goods and services, persons, including corporate bodies, property and consumer legislation.
LEGAL207Torts20D (Hamilton) & 20D (Tauranga)
An analysis of the general principles of civil liability; interests protected by the law of torts; negligence; specific torts such as nuisance and defamation; and the law relating to compensation for personal injury by accident in New Zealand.
LEGAL208Law of the Public Sphere20A (Hamilton)
This paper will examine the New Zealand constitution and the framework of the New Zealand system of government, it will also examine the exercise and control of executive power in New Zealand and the relationship between the state, its agencies and the individual.
LEGAL209Law, Policy and Practice20A (Hamilton)
This paper will examine the policy process in New Zealand and the translation of that policy into the law through a consideration of specific case studies. The case studies will include employment relations, electoral issues, and issues relating to gender.
LEGAL210Māori Law and the Treaty20B (Hamilton)
This paper will examine Maori tikanga as the first law of Aotearoa. An examination of the Treaty of Waitangi 1840 in contemporary Aotearoa/New Zealand. Consideration will be given to ways in which the Treaty guarantees might best be realised in relation to the legal system, health, education, resource management and local governmen...
LEGAL211International Law: Global and Comparative20B (Hamilton)
An introduction to public international law: evolution, sources, relationship between international and municipal law, the law of treaties, the law of the sea and international institutions, particularly the United Nations.
MNMGT201Business Law and the Legal Environment20A (Hamilton), 20A (Tauranga) & 20B (Hamilton)
This paper overviews the sources of New Zealand business law and obligations that arise under this law, and critically examines the importance of key aspects of: the Legal System and Treaty of Waitangi; Jurisdiction; Business forms; Directors duties; Agency; Contracts and On-line Contracts; Consumer Law - Fair Trading Act 1996 and ...

300 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
HMDEV340Perspectives on Counselling20A (Hamilton) & 20A (Tauranga)
This paper examines the philosophical, psychological and sociological principles that underpin the aims and methods of the helping professions in general, and counselling in particular.
LEGAL301Crimes20D (Hamilton)
An analysis of the general principles of criminal law and selected offences chargeable under New Zealand law; an introduction to criminal procedure from arrest to sentencing in both jury and judge-alone trials (excluding evidence); and an introduction to the criminal justice system.
LEGAL305Corporate Entities20D (Hamilton)
An introduction to the concept of corporate personality in the law including an introduction to the general principles of law relating to companies and other corporates.
LEGAL306Dispute Resolution20D (Hamilton)
The objective/ethos of the paper is to expose students to the theory, general principles and practical dimensions of client interviewing, negotiation, mediation, arbitration, adjudication and advocacy. Once the students have a basic knowledge of these skills, the paper then examines how these skills are applied within certain conte...
LEGAL307Land Law20D (Hamilton)
An analysis of the history, principles and bicultural context of land law.
LEGAL308Equity and Succession20D (Hamilton)
An analysis of the principles of equity with particular reference to the laws of trusts, the principle of the law of succession and the administration of estates, and choses in action and the assignment thereof.

400 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
LEGAL401The Law of Evidence20B (Hamilton)
An examination of the principles of the law of evidence in criminal and civil cases.
LEGAL402Civil Procedure20A (Hamilton)
An examination of the jurisdiction and procedure of the District Court, High Court and Court of Appeal in civil cases, with particular emphasis on High Court proceedings, the principles of pleading and the drafting of documents.
LEGAL405Treaty of Waitangi in Contemporary Aotearoa/New Zealand20B (Hamilton)
An examination of the Treaty of Waitangi 1840 in contemporary Aotearoa/New Zealand. Consideration will be given to ways in which the Treaty guarantees might best be realised in relation to the legal system, health, education, resource management and local government.
LEGAL406Maori Land Law20B (Hamilton)
An examination of the legal practices applicable to Maori land; the history of Maori land legislation, present laws and practices, the effective utilisation of Maori land and proposals for future utilisation.
LEGAL407Climate Change Law20A (Hamilton) & 20B (Hamilton)
This paper addresses the law concerning climate change, including international law, emissions trading and other carbon pricing systems, sectoral regulation to mitigate emissions, sequestration, and adaptation.
LEGAL408Family Law20A (Hamilton)
A focus on the law and social policies involved in the formation and breakdown of family relationships. The paper specifically examines the matrix of legislation and case law that underpin common family law disputes and legal proceedings in the Family Court.
LEGAL411Comparative Law20B (Hamilton)
A critical study and comparison of legal systems and structures outside the domestic system (in this case New Zealand).
LEGAL413Ngā Tikanga Māori/Māori Customary Law20X (Block)
This paper is designed for students who wish to function skillfully in the field of Indigenous and Maori law and/or deepen their knowledge of Tikanga Maori.
LEGAL420Employment Law20B (Hamilton)
This course is a practical survey of employment law in New Zealand. It examines the formation, operation, and termination of the employment relationship as well as personal grievances, remedies and the employment institutions.
LEGAL424Revenue Law20B (Hamilton)
An introduction to some of the key principles and concepts of New Zealand's taxation system. Selected aspects of income tax law as well as the law on indirect taxes, such as the goods and services tax, will also be examined.
LEGAL426Commercial Transactions20B (Hamilton)
An examination of the law on sale of goods, personal property securities, credit contracts and consumer finance, and aspects of fair trading and consumer guarantees law.
LEGAL427Competition Law20B (Hamilton)
A study of competition law and policy in New Zealand including the regulation of takeovers and mergers, and restrictive trade practices.
LEGAL432Energy Law20B (Hamilton)
An examination of the law concerning global energy problems, oil and gas, renewables, markets, energy efficiency and climate change, with an emphasis on regulation and commercial aspects. The course provides an introduction to themes in modern energy law.
LEGAL434Environmental Law20A (Hamilton)
An examination of the general principles of the law concerning natural and physical resources, sustainable development, pollution control, town planning and Treaty of Waitangi principles.
LEGAL435Cyber Law20A (Hamilton)
An exploration of the impact of the internet, including aspects of both criminal and civil arenas, with special emphasis on cybercrime, intellectual property, and e-business.
LEGAL436Legal Ethics20A (Hamilton)
An introduction to the concept of a profession and the ethical and professional duties of practitioners and an introduction to ethical analysis, the applicability of legal analysis to legal practice and the wider responsibilities of lawyers in the community.
LEGAL437Public International Law20B (Hamilton)
An introduction to public international law: evolution, sources, relationship between international and municipal law, the law of treaties, the law of the sea and international institutions, particularly the United Nations.
LEGAL440Special Topic: Issues in Comparative Criminal Law and Justice20B (Hamilton)
No description available.
LEGAL442Human Rights Law20B (Hamilton)
An introduction to the laws governing the protection of human rights both at the national and international level. Students will explore the framework of human rights protection and the enforcement mechanisms.
LEGAL444Special Topic: Critical Issues in Space Law20A (Hamilton)
This paper is a study of selected issues in space law. Issues will include legal developments in military uses in outer space, public manned spaceflight and space station operations, space tourism, space transportation, satellite communications, satellite remote sensing and navigation, space resource utilisation, environmental asp...
LEGAL447Mining and Petroleum Law20B (Hamilton)
This paper inquires into the legal framework of mining and petroleum activity in New Zealand and internationally.
LEGAL449Mediation: Law, Principles and Practice20G (Hamilton)
This paper will offer students an opportunity to understand mediation at an advanced level. It will examine legal aspects of mediation, theories in relation to practice as well as practical training and skill development.
LEGAL450Contemporary Issues in Sports Law20S (Hamilton) & 20S (Tauranga)
The law is now an integral part of sport. This course explores the application of numerous legal principles to a specialist environment, the uniqueness of which invites innovative and interesting legal arrangements. It is hoped that by the end of the course, students have a working knowledge of legal problems associated with sport....
LEGAL451International Criminal Law20A (Hamilton)
International criminal law introduces students to the development of the basic concepts and institutions of international criminal law, the legal nature and elements of international crimes and the general principles of international criminal law, and to the rules of international criminal procedure and evidence.
LEGAL456New Zealand Animal Law - What, Why and Where to?20A (Hamilton)
A survey of New Zealand's current regime of Animal Law, including related to animal production, welfare, use in/as sport, research, control, trade and conservation.
LEGAL457Insurance Law20G (Hamilton)
This paper provides an introduction to the principles which underpin indemnity insurance, with particular reference to those principles which set insurance contracts apart from other contracts.
LEGAL458Advocacy20B (Hamilton)
This paper aims to introduce the role of the advocate in society. Participants will develop practical advocacy skills, informed by examination of the function of the advocate in trial and non-trial settings.
LEGAL468Intellectual Property20A (Hamilton) & 20B (Hamilton)
A study of the law of intellectual property in New Zealand, including the law of copyright, trade secrets, patents, designs, trade marks, fair-trading and passing off.
LEGAL472Issues in Family Law20B (Hamilton)
A focus on Family Court procedure, processes and common family law issues stemming from the formation and breakdown of family relationships and the matrix of family law legislation. Includes an examination of the dispute resolution process, legislation and case law, filing of legal documents, options available for settlement, resul...
LEGAL473Introduction to the Law of International Trade20A (Hamilton)
This paper will provide students with an in-depth understanding and knowledge of the law and policies of present-day international trade regulations, both on the multilateral level (and hence an intensive examination of the procedural and substantive law of the World Trade Organisation (WTO)) and on the regional level (the law of F...
LEGAL490Directed Study20A (Hamilton), 20B (Hamilton), 20G (Hamilton) & 20S (Hamilton)
This paper is open to suitably qualified students who, under supervision of one or more academic staff members with experience in the appropriate area(s), engage in research leading to the production of the equivalent of a 6000 to 8000 word research assignment.
LEGAL492Law and New Technologies20A (Hamilton)
New technologies often present novel problems for regulators and the legislature. This paper will explore selected new technologies through the lens of law, by analysing legal issues and responses to new technologies.
LEGAL496Work Placement20X (Hamilton)
This paper enables students to undertake work placement in an area related to their specialisation as part of their LLB and to consolidate that work placement with a 3,000 - 4,000 word research paper.

500 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ACCTN576Commercial and Corporate Law20A (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to the New Zealand legal system and laws regulation specified business activities. The initial focus is given to the laws applying to business contracts. The paper also cover principles applying to companies.
LEGAL509Legal Research: Theory and Methods20A (Hamilton)
This paper tackles the key areas and aspects of conducting scholarly legal research and guides students through the research and writing process.
LEGAL526Legal Aspects of Cyber Security20A (Hamilton)
This paper explores the legal aspects of cyber security and cyber crime, by analysing selected legislation and case law relevant to the area of cyber security. The paper covers the ethical and legal boundaries of rights and liability of security professionals.
LEGAL527Advanced Issues in Charity Law20A (Hamilton)
Charity law retains its ancient roots, whilst at the same time, striving to reflect its relevance in a contemporary world. This paper enables students to explore advanced issues in national and international charity law, which is a growing area of legal practice and research.
LEGAL531International Environmental Law20B (Hamilton)
This paper provides a synthesis of theory and specific case studies (such as development, growth, trade, debt and aid - as they relate to the international environment), so that the student will be able to understand the most formidable international environmental problems in international law and the context from which these probl...
LEGAL562Law of International Trade20S (Hamilton)
This paper will provide students with an in-depth understanding and knowledge of the law and policies of present-day international trade regulations, both on the multilateral level (and hence an intensive examination of the procedural and substantive law of the World Trade Organisation (WTO)) and on the regional level (the law of F...
LEGAL574Law and Information Technology20B (Hamilton)
The primary goals of this paper are to examine the impact of the internet on law; how the internet is influencing the interpretation of current law and the development of new law.
LEGAL576The Laws of Armed Conflict & International Humanitarian Law20A (Hamilton)
This paper is designed to provide the postgraduate student with an advanced understanding of the basic principles of the Laws of Armed Conflict and International Humanitarian Law through an examination of the principles of international law that are to be applied before, during, and after armed conflict.
LEGAL580Special Topic: Equality and the Law20A (Hamilton)
This paper examines the key principles and concepts, legal issues, and applicable laws concerning a specialised legal topic or research area. This special topic is the subject of in-depth study because it has a significant legal and social impact and it will provide advanced knowledge and skills to law students.
LEGAL590Directed Study20X (Hamilton)
Completion of a 10,000 word dissertation regarding a legal research subject that can properly be supervised in the Faculty.
LEGAL591Dissertation20X (Hamilton)
Completion of a 12,500 word dissertation regarding a legal research subject that can properly be supervised in the Faculty
LEGAL592Dissertation20X (Hamilton)
Completion of a 25,000 word dissertation regarding a legal research subject that can properly be supervised in the Faculty.
LEGAL593Thesis20X (Hamilton)
Completion of a 38,000 word thesis regarding a legal research subject that can properly be supervised in the Faculty.
LEGAL594Thesis20X (Hamilton)
Completion of a 50,000 word thesis regarding a legal research subject that can properly be supervised in the Faculty.

800 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
LEGAL800Law MPhil Thesis20X (Hamilton)
Completion of a 50,000 word thesis regarding a legal research subject that can properly be supervised in the Faculty.

900 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
LEGAL900Law PhD Thesis20I (Hamilton) & 20X (Hamilton)
Completion of a 80,000 - 100,000 word thesis regarding a legal research subject that can properly be supervised in the Faculty.
LEGAL994SJD Thesis20X (Hamilton)
Completion of a 60,000 word thesis regarding a legal research subject that can properly be supervised in the Faculty.
LEGAL995Research Portfolio20X (Hamilton)
The production of two publishable quality research papers, and the production of a research proposal to the same level as a PhD proposal, regarding a legal research subject that can properly be supervised in the Faculty.

Scholarships and prizes

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Are you keen to study in another country?

Studying law in a foreign jurisdiction is not only valuable on its own merit but it also enables you to re-examine the foundations of the New Zealand legal system through a comparative lens.

In your fourth year of study, you'll have the opportunity to spend one semester of study towards your degree at one of our many partner law schools in Europe, North America or Asia.

To be eligible you must have completed Year 3 Law and have a sound academic record. For more information, contact the Law Student Administrator

University Exchange Programme

If you’re studying a conjoint law degree, you may be able to participate in an exchange from second year onward by studying some non-law papers overseas.

Find out more about our student exchange programmes.


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, Te 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. Our Mentors are law students in their senior years. They will provide 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.



The Law programme is offered through a combination of online lectures and in-class tutorials. Tutorials are an integral part of the programme. They are run in small groups of up to 30 students and are held in Hamilton and Tauranga. Evening options are available. You will have access to all resources available to Te Piringa – Faculty of Law students including the online library, mentoring programme, internship opportunities, competitions and scholarships.


Contacts

Te Piringa - Faculty of Law

Law Reception
Phone: 0800 924 528 Ext: 4167 or +64 7 838 4167
Email: law.reception@waikato.ac.nz
Website:www.waikato.ac.nz/law
Opening hours: 8.30am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday
Location: N Block, Gate 7, Hillcrest Road, University of Waikato, Hamilton