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Graduate Diploma in Law

Expand your career prospects with a Graduate Diploma in Law or gain an equivalent of a second major to your non-bachelor's degree with a Graduate Diploma of Law.

For those with an existing law degree from an overseas university, please seek advice from the Council of Legal Education around requirements needed to meet New Zealand standards.

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 can be completed within four to eight weeks.

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 trimesters 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.

Apply to enrol

Key information

GradDipLaw Study Locations:Hamilton, 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* (International): $33,710 per year
Entry Requirements: Postgraduate 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.

Degree Planner

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.

Scholarships and prizes

Visit our Scholarship Finder for information about possible scholarships

Find your scholarship

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.



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

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

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

Enquire Now