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BA - Law as a major

Students in Tauranga are able to enrol in all of our Law programmes.

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 - one of New Zealand / Aotearoa’s leading law schools - 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: Trimester A (March) and Trimester B (July)
Estimated Fees* (Domestic): $6,776 - $7,821 per year
Estimated Fees* (International): $29,425 - $38,305 per year
Entry Requirements: Undergraduate International
Area of Study:
All amounts are in New Zealand Dollars (NZD). *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)

This structure applies to study starting in 2020.

Year 2

Any 200 level
LEGAL paper

Any 200 level
LEGAL paper

Any 200 level
LEGAL paper

One from List B

Field of the Degree
200 level

Elective

Elective

Elective

Year 3

Any 300 or 400 level
LEGAL paper

Any 300 or 400 level
LEGAL paper

Any 300 or 400 level
LEGAL paper

Any 300 or 400 level
LEGAL paper*

One from List C

Elective

Elective

Elective

  • Major
  • Compulsory
  • Elective

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 first major for the Bachelor of Laws (LLB), the Bachelor of Arts (BA), the Bachelor of Climate Change (BCC), and the Bachelor of Social Sciences (BSocSc). Law may also be taken as a second major in other undergraduate degrees, subject to approval of the Division in which the student is enrolled.

To complete Law as a single major for the LLB, students must gain 390 points from the papers listed for Law, including LEGAL103, LEGAL104, and LEGAL106; and LEGAL201, LEGAL203, LEGAL204, and LEGAL207; and; LEGAL301, LEGAL304, LEGAL306, LEGAL307, and LEGAL308; and 120 points of 400 level LEGAL papers. The remaining 90 points of the Bachelor of Laws with Law as a single major must be gained from non-Law subjects. Of these 90 non-Law points, 60 points must be at or above 100 level, with 30 of those points being in the same subject; and 30 points at or above 200 level.

To complete Law as part of a double major for the Bachelor of Laws, students must gain 390 points from the papers listed for Law, including LEGAL103, LEGAL104, and LEGAL106; and LEGAL201, LEGAL203, LEGAL204, and LEGAL207; and; LEGAL301, LEGAL304, LEGAL306, LEGAL307, and LEGAL308; and 120 points of 400 level LEGAL papers. A further 120 points are required in the double major subject taken by the student.

To complete a major in Law for the BA, BCC or BSocSc, 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, a minimum 45 points from any 200 level LEGAL papers, and 60 points from any 300 or 400 level LEGAL papers.

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, 45 points from any 200 level LEGAL papers, and 45 points from any 300 or 400 level LEGAL papers.

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.

100 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
LEGAL100Pre Law15.024JS (Hamilton) & 24JS (Tauranga)
While this paper is tailored to prepare new students who would like to study Law, it will also be of interest for students who will be studying for qualifications in Arts, Psychology, and Social Sciences. It offers an introduction to the core topics and skills in legal studies. Topics include: law making and the legislature, the co...
LEGAL103Legal Method A15.024A (Hamilton) & 24A (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. With a particular focus on crimes, this paper will teach the...
LEGAL104Legal Method B15.024B (Hamilton) & 24B (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. With a particular focus on contracts, this paper will teach students essential skills in Legal Method, including case analysis, st...
LEGAL105Introduction to New Zealand Law and Society15.024A (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 Societies30.024D (Hamilton) & 24D (Tauranga)
An historical introduction to, and a descriptive outline of, the legal systems in England and New Zealand, including the structure of government, civil and criminal proceedings, the sources of law and the main divisions of substantive law. Legal reasoning and the judicial process, including an introduction of statutory interpretati...

200 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
LEGAL201Public Law30.024D (Hamilton) & 24D (Tauranga)
The principles and working of the constitution, the institutions of government, the exercise of public power and relations between the citizen and the state. Controls on the exercise of public power, including an introduction to judicial review.
LEGAL203Jurisprudence15.024B (Hamilton) & 24B (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.
LEGAL204Contracts30.024D (Hamilton) & 24D (Tauranga)
The general principles of the law of contract and agency.
LEGAL205Foundations in Legal Studies15.024A (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.
LEGAL207Torts30.024D (Hamilton) & 24D (Tauranga)
General principles of civil liability. The law as to the various kinds of torts. The law relating to compensation for personal injury by accident in New Zealand.

300 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
HMDEV340Perspectives on Counselling15.024A (Hamilton) & 24A (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.
LEGAL301Crimes30.024D (Hamilton) & 24D (Tauranga)
The general principles of criminal liability.
LEGAL304Corporate Entities15.024A (Hamilton) & 24A (Tauranga)
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 Resolution15.024B (Hamilton) & 24B (Tauranga)
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 Law30.024D (Hamilton) & 24D (Tauranga)
The history and principles of Land Law
LEGAL308Equity and Succession15.024A (Hamilton) & 24A (Tauranga)
The principles of equity with particular reference to the law of trusts. The principles of the law of succession and of the administration of estates. Choses in action and the assignment thereof.
LEGLR300Summer Research Project15.024C (Hamilton)
This paper has been developed specifically for students who will be undertaking a summer research scholarship.

400 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
LEGAL401The Law of Evidence15.024A (Hamilton) & 24A (Tauranga)
An examination of the principles of the law of evidence in criminal and civil cases.
LEGAL402Civil Procedure15.024A (Hamilton) & 24A (Tauranga)
An examination of the jurisdiction and procedure of the District Court and the Senior Courts in civil cases, with particular emphasis on High Court proceedings, the principles of pleading and the drafting of documents.
LEGAL404Commercial Transactions15.024B (Hamilton) & 24B (Tauranga)
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.
LEGAL405Treaty of Waitangi in Contemporary Aotearoa/New Zealand15.024B (Hamilton) & 24B (Tauranga)
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.
LEGAL407Climate Change Law15.024B (Hamilton) & 24B (Tauranga)
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 Law15.024B (Hamilton) & 24B (Tauranga)
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.
LEGAL413Ngā Tikanga Māori/Māori Customary Law15.024G (Hamilton) & 24G (Tauranga)
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.
LEGAL414Indigenous Peoples Rights15.024B (Hamilton) & 24B (Tauranga)
This paper will explore the construction, development and implementation of indigenous peoples rights domestically and internationally.
LEGAL420Employment Law15.024B (Hamilton) & 24B (Tauranga)
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.
LEGAL421Health Law15.024B (Hamilton) & 24B (Tauranga)
A detailed examination of Aotearoa New Zealand law in health care including issues across the lifespan from the beginning to the end of life, disability, consent, confidentiality, and professional discipline.
LEGAL424Revenue Law15.024B (Hamilton) & 24B (Tauranga)
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.
LEGAL434Environmental Law15.024A (Hamilton) & 24A (Tauranga)
This paper examines the foundations and principles of environmental and resource management law, their expression in key areas (biodiversity, climate change, freshwater, and oceans), and the planning, adjudication and compliance techniques used to implement the law.
LEGAL436Legal Ethics15.024A (Hamilton) & 24A (Tauranga)
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 Law15.024B (Hamilton) & 24B (Tauranga)
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.
LEGAL440Pacific Peoples and the Law15.024A (Hamilton) & 24A (Tauranga)
A critical study and comparison of legal systems and issues within the Pacific Region.
LEGAL442Human Rights Law15.024G (Hamilton) & 24G (Tauranga)
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.
LEGAL446Construction Law15.024C (Hamilton) & 24C (Tauranga)
A detailed examination of Construction Law encompassing contracts and dispute resolution for building works, engineering, improvement, renovation, and property maintenance in Aotearoa New Zealand.
LEGAL449Mediation: Law, Principles and Practice15.024A (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.
LEGAL452Digital Lawyering15.024B (Hamilton) & 24B (Tauranga)
This paper examines the role of technology in legal practice, research, and access to justice, and how these new tools can be applied to transform the delivery of legal services.
LEGAL453Organisational Psychology15.024A (Hamilton) & 24A (Tauranga)
This course offers a general introduction to how psychology can be used to build better workplaces and work lives. It takes a problem-solving approach, introducing key work psychology concepts and building student understanding of how to apply them to work, while providing an awareness of how business priorities inform applied psyc...
LEGAL454Fundamentals of Project Management for Lawyers15.024A (Hamilton), 24A (Online), 24B (Online) & 24C (Online)
This paper will provide insights into the fundamental approaches and applications for managing projects. Key material will be drawn from the Project Management Body of Knowledge. In the form of a micro-credential, students will have the option to sit the exam to become a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) from the Pro...
LEGAL460Transnational Law15.024B (Hamilton) & 24B (Tauranga)
A detailed examination of Transnational Law: the developing field of hybrid cross-border law that does not fit into traditional categories of domestic, comparative, and international law.
LEGAL466International Environmental Law15.024G (Hamilton) & 24G (Tauranga)
This paper provides a synthesis of theory and specific case studies, to enable students to understand the most formidable international environmental problems in international law, and the context from which these problems originate. Working with thematic areas of international environmental law, ranging from climate change to biol...
LEGAL468Intellectual Property15.024B (Hamilton) & 24B (Tauranga)
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.
LEGAL469International Indigenous Rights15.024B (Hamilton) & 24B (Tauranga)
A detailed examination of law relating to the historical and developing space in international law of the rights of indigenous peoples, including the influence of the state on this process together with the coinciding indigenous rights to development, education, environmental and economic rights.
LEGAL480Banking and Finance Law15.024A (Hamilton) & 24A (Tauranga)
An examination of the law relating to the structuring and implementation of all forms of financing, funding and finance structures, including unit trusts, subordinated debt issues, and structured finance and securitisation transactions.
LEGAL481Immigration and Refugee Law15.024H (Hamilton) & 24H (Tauranga)
A detailed examination of Immigration and Refugee Law as applied in the New Zealand and International contexts.
LEGAL490Directed Study15.024X (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.
LEGAL496Work Placement15.024X (Hamilton) & 24X (Tauranga)
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 Points Occurrence / Location
LEGAL501Advanced Evidence Law30.024A (Hamilton) & 24A (Tauranga)
This research seminar paper provides an advanced-level examination of critical issues in Evidence Law. Students complete a supervised research project of up to 12,500 words.
LEGAL504Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Research Methodologies30.024A (Hamilton) & 24A (Tauranga)
This paper will introduce students to core Maori, Pacific and indigenous research methodologies, principles, methods and ethics that will equip students for culturally responsive, meaningful and innovative research with Maori, Pacific and indigenous peoples.
LEGAL505Critical Issues in the Treaty of Waitangi in Contemporary Aotearoa New Zealand30.024B (Hamilton) & 24B (Tauranga)
This research seminar paper provides an advanced-level examination of critical issues regarding the Treaty of Waitangi in contemporary Aotearoa New Zealand. Students complete a supervised research project of up to 12,500 words.
LEGAL507Academic Legal Research and Writing30.024A (Online), 24B (Online) & 24C (Online)
This paper will guide students through the principles and process of academic legal research and writing. They will learn how to develop, present and write scholarly work.
LEGAL508Advanced Family Law30.024B (Hamilton) & 24B (Tauranga)
This research seminar paper provides an advanced-level examination of critical issues in Family Law. Students complete a supervised research project of up to 12,500 words.
LEGAL515Advanced Construction Law30.024C (Hamilton) & 24C (Tauranga)
This research seminar paper provides an advanced-level examination of Construction Law encompassing contracts and dispute resolution for building works, engineering, improvement, renovation, and property maintenance in Aotearoa New Zealand. Students complete a supervised research project of up to 12,500 words.
LEGAL520Intellectual Property Law and Policy30.024B (Hamilton) & 24B (Tauranga)
This research seminar paper provides an advanced-level examination of critical issues in Intellectual Property Law and Policy. Students complete a supervised research project of up to 12,500 words.
LEGAL521Advanced Employment Law30.024B (Hamilton) & 24B (Tauranga)
This research seminar paper provides an advanced-level examination of critical issues in Employment Law. Students complete a supervised research project of up to 12,500 words.
LEGAL523Advanced Civil Litigation30.024A (Hamilton) & 24A (Tauranga)
This research seminar paper provides an advanced-level examination of critical issues in Civil Litigation. Students complete a supervised research project of up to 12,500 words.
LEGAL526Legal Aspects of Cyber Security30.024A (Hamilton) & 24A (Tauranga)
This research seminar paper provides an advanced-level examination of critical issues regarding the legal aspects of Cyber Security. Students complete a supervised research project of up to 12,500 words.
LEGAL535Advanced Environmental Law30.024A (Hamilton) & 24A (Tauranga)
This research seminar paper provides an advanced-level examination of critical issues in Environmental Law. Students complete a supervised research project of up to 12,500 words.
LEGAL540Critical Issues for Pacific Peoples and the Law30.024A (Hamilton) & 24A (Tauranga)
This research seminar paper provides an advanced-level examination of critical issues for Pacific Peoples and the Law. Students complete a supervised research project of up to 12,500 words.
LEGAL560Advanced Transnational Law30.024B (Hamilton) & 24B (Tauranga)
This research seminar paper provides an advanced-level examination of Transnational Law: the developing field of hybrid cross-border law that does not fit into traditional categories of domestic, comparative, and international law.
LEGAL569International Law - A Place for Indigenous Rights30.024B (Hamilton) & 24B (Tauranga)
This research seminar paper provides an advanced-level examination of critical issues regarding Indigenous Rights in International Law. Students complete a supervised research project of up to 12,500 words.
LEGAL576The Laws of Armed Conflict & International Humanitarian Law30.024G (Hamilton) & 24G (Tauranga)
This research seminar paper provides an advanced-level examination of critical issues in the Laws of Armed Conflict and International Humanitarian Law. Students complete a supervised research project of up to 12,500 words.
LEGAL580Advanced Banking and Finance Law15.024A (Hamilton) & 24A (Tauranga)
This research seminar paper provides an advanced-level examination of critical issues in Banking and Finance Law. Students complete a supervised research project of up to 12,500 words.
LEGAL583Advanced Immigration and Refugee Law30.024H (Hamilton) & 24H (Tauranga)
This research seminar paper provides an advanced-level examination of critical issues in Immigration and Refugee Law. Students complete a supervised research project of up to 12,500 words.
LEGAL587Advanced Health Law30.024B (Hamilton) & 24B (Tauranga)
This research seminar paper provides an advanced-level examination of critical issues in Health Law. Students complete a supervised research project of up to 12,500 words.
LEGAL591Research Project30.024X (Hamilton)
Completion of a 12,500 word research project regarding a legal research subject that can properly be supervised in the Faculty.
LEGAL592Dissertation60.024X (Hamilton)
Completion of a 25,000 word dissertation regarding a legal research subject that can properly be supervised in the Faculty.
LEGAL593Thesis90.024X (Hamilton)
Completion of a 38,000 word thesis regarding a legal research subject that can properly be supervised in the Faculty.

800 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
LEGAL800Law MPhil Thesis120.024I (Hamilton) & 24X (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 Points Occurrence / Location
LEGAL900Law PhD Thesis120.024I (Hamilton), 24J (Hamilton), 24K (Hamilton) & 24X (Hamilton)
Completion of a 80,000 - 100,000 word thesis regarding a legal research subject that can properly be supervised in the Faculty.
LEGAL990Doctor of Laws0.024X (Hamilton)
The degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) may be awarded to a candidate who has successfully presented for examination a collection of work, or a specially composed thesis based on such work, which constitutes an original, substantial and distinguished contribution to scholarship and establishes the candidate as an international authority...
LEGAL994SJD Thesis120.024X (Hamilton)
Completion of a 60,000 word thesis regarding a legal research subject that can properly be supervised in the Faculty.
LEGAL995Research Portfolio120.024X (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

Visit our Scholarship Finder for information about possible scholarships

Find your scholarship


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: [email protected]
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