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Doctor of Juridical Science

The Doctor of Juridical Science is a structured programme that incorporates coursework and independent research. Individually tailored, it’ll help you achieve a PhD degree with maximum support.

If you have an established professional or academic record, this degree may suit you. You'll achieve mastery of content, acquire skills and develop attributes appropriate to senior positions in academia, law and related professions.

The Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) is structured to ensure that you have optimal supervision to contribute to these outcomes. The University of Waikato has developed strong relationships and networks with national and international communities of researchers to ensure that this doctoral programme is relevant and responsive to your needs as well as to the needs of the profession.

Programme structure

Part 1

Part 1 requires you to complete the Research Portfolio paper (LAWS995). You'll attend selected seminars and cohort meetings with your supervising academic staff.

You'll have to produce two research papers of publishable quality demonstrating your expertise in an area of law of your choice. You'll also have to produce a research proposal at the level of a PhD proposal.

Part 1 counts for 120 points and you must gain a pass grade in the Research Portfolio. You'll have 1 year to complete Part 1 if you study full-time (and 2 years if you study part-time).

Part 2

For part 2, you'll complete a major thesis at the doctoral level of a maximum of 60,000 words. You'll be required to undertake approved and supervised research, and present the results lucidly in a thesis of publishable quality, which:

  • Critically investigates an approved topic of substance and significance
  • Demonstrates expertise in the methods of research and scholarship
  • Displays intellectual independence, and
  • Makes a substantial original contribution to the subject area.

Part 2 counts for 240 points. You'll have 3 years to complete Part 2 if you study full-time and at least 6 years if you are enrolled in part-time studies.

SJD Regulations

For more information, please read the Doctor of Juridical Science programme regulations.

Apply to enrol

Key information

Years: 3
SJD Study Locations:Hamilton, Tauranga, Online
Papers offered differ by location. The Catalogue of Papers has full location info.
Start Dates: Trimester A (March) and Trimester B (July)
Estimated Fees* (Domestic): $6,591 - $7,067 per year
Estimated Fees* (International): $6,940 per year
Area of Study:
*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.

Degree Planner

To qualify to enrol in the Doctor of Juridical Science degree, you’ll be required to:

  • Hold a bachelor's degree with honours or a master's degree, and must have achieved first or second class honours (first division) or distinction, or
  • Hold a Master of Philosophy, or
  • Have passed qualifying papers at a satisfactory level.

In exceptional circumstances, if you have produced other evidence signifying that you hold adequate skills and knowledge to proceed with the proposed research to the satisfaction of the Postgraduate Research Committee you may be permitted to enrol in the DJS programme.

Scholarships and prizes

Visit our Scholarship Finder for information about possible scholarships

Find your scholarship

Graduate study options

View our other graduate and postgraduate study options:

Master of Laws (LLM)
Master of Laws in Maori/Pacific and Indigenous Peoples Law (LLM(Māori/Pacific and Indigenous Peoples'))
Doctor of Philosophy (Law)
Doctor of Laws (LLD)

Other higher degree qualifications offered by the University of Waikato:

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

PhD research opportunities

Browse our available PhD or Doctoral opportunities, our research areas and potential supervisors.

Find a PhD opportunity


Law Postgraduate Handbook


Te Piringa Faculty of Law
Ms Anna MacGillivray - Graduate Administrator
Phone: +64 7 838 4466 extension 6734
Email: [email protected]

Opening hours: 8.30am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday
Location: N Block, Gate 7, Hillcrest Road, University of Waikato, Hamilton

School of Graduate Research
The School of Graduate Research is located at Level 0, downstairs in the Student Centre, M Block
Email: [email protected]
Website: School of Graduate Research 
Phone: +64 7 858 5096

Have a chat with one of our friendly advisers to help you plan your degree.

Phone: +64 7 807 9275
Email: [email protected]

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