Master of Laws

With a one-year Master of Laws qualification from the University of Waikato you can tailor your programme through a selection of taught papers and/or research thesis.

Willow-Jean Prime

Recent developments in Treaty settlements, Maori governance and indigenous development are the focus for Waikato University masters student Willow-Jean Prime. She studied for her Bachelor of Laws at Waikato and after working in Wellington for three and a half years is now back studying and self-employed working on various whanau, hapu and iwi projects and Treaty claims.

Leilani Tuala-Warren

Leilani Tuala-Warren was raised in Samoa and attended Leififi College. Leilani graduated with a Master of Laws degree (LLM) from the University of Waikato in 1998.

The Faculty of Law at the University of Waikato places a strong emphasis on the development of research skills. The classes are small and are typically offered in seminar style discussions. This approach to teaching at an advanced level creates opportunities for you to share perspectives and discuss issues related to the topic. It'll help you to improve your communication skills and gain expert knowledge. It creates opportunities for you to network with others and renew motivation and confidence. You'll also get a lot of one-on-one time with the lecturing or supervising academic staff.

We offer the largest selection of papers in Cyber Law in New Zealand, and therefore you can complete this Masters focusing on this area.

The Faculty hosts two research centres: Centre for Environmental, Resources and Energy Law (CEREL) and Māori and Indigenous Governance Centre (MIGC). You’ll benefit from the expert knowledge and national and international professional associations in these fields. For example, you’ll be eligible to apply for the International Bar Association scholarship. Waikato Faculty of Law is the only school in New Zealand that offers this opportunity.

Whether your interest lies in Cyber Law, Law of War and Conflicts, Transnational Criminal Law, Indigenous Issues or Environmental Law, you will benefit from nationally and internationally recognised academic staff.

Master of Laws in Māori/Pacific and Indigenous Peoples' Law

Passionate about indigenous issues? This Masters programme will allow you to study in-depth the historical and developing trends within the area of indigenous peoples' rights. You'll develop skills enabling you to participate actively in the development of Pacific jurisprudence and to enhance global understanding of Pacific legal systems.

Read more about Master of Laws in Māori/Pacific and Indigenous Peoples' Law.

Double LLM: University of Waikato and University of Arizona

Interested in holding two LLMs from internationally highly regarded Faculties of Law in significantly less time and in two different countries?

If you’re a dedicated, engaged student and you’ve successfully completed 90 points of LLM at Waikato (or 75% of our LLM), you could receive 6-8 credits towards the LLM degree at the James E Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona.

There are two options on offer for LLM in Arizona: Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy LLM (composed of 24 credits) or International Trade and Business Law LLM (composed of 26 credits).

 Career opportunities

  • Government departments
  • Law teaching and research
  • Civil and public service and the judiciary
  • Banking, financial services and financial regulation
  • International development organisations
  • Non-governmental organisations such as human rights agencies
  • Private legal practice
  • Business

Key information

Study Locations Hamilton
Faculty Te Piringa - Faculty of Law
Years 1.0
Start Dates Semester A (February) and Semester B (July)
Domestic Fees $6,616-$7,443 per year
See if you're eligible for fees-free study in your first year
International Fees $29,625 per year
Tuition fees shown above 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.


These are all the subjects available for the Master of Laws

Applied Linguistics
Computer Science
Development Studies
Earth Sciences
Education and Society
Health, Sport and Human Performance
Human Resource Management
International Relations and Security Studies
Labour Studies
Management Systems
Materials and Processing
Political Science
Population Studies and Demography
Public Policy
Public Relations
Screen and Media Studies
Social Science Research
Strategic Management
Supply Chain Management
Theatre Studies
Tourism Management
Women's and Gender Studies

Scholarships and prizes

Visit our Scholarship Finder for information about possible scholarships

The Honours Degree may be awarded with

  • First Class Honours, or
  • Second Class Honours (first division), or
  • Second Class Honours (second division).

To be eligible for the award of honours, you would need to complete your Master of Laws qualification within 12 months (if studying full-time) or within 24 months (if studying part-time) and pass all your papers.

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

Other higher degree qualifications offered by the University of Waikato

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

Explore our other undergraduate qualifications in law:

Bachelor of Laws (LLB)
Bachelor of Laws conjoint degrees

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

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

The Faculty members come from a wide range of nations and cultural backgrounds, creating a truly multicultural environment. This helps foster in our students an increased awareness of global issues, exposes them to multiple historical and cultural perspectives as well as offer insight into legal systems outside the jurisdiction of the Common Law.

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 and 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.

To be accepted to the LLM programme, you need to have:

  • Completed an LLB or a combined Law degree at the University of Waikato with at least a 'B' grade point average or an equivalent qualification at another university; or
  • Completed an LLB (Hons) at the University of Waikato with at least a 'B' grade point average or a combined Law degree at the University of Waikato or an equivalent qualification at another university; or
  • Satisfied the prerequisites for graduate study in the subject at a level that is considered appropriate by the Academic Board.

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.

Students whose first language is not English are required to provide satisfactory evidence of their English language proficiency. An overall score of 6.5 (with at least 6.0 achieved in the Writing band) in the IELTS or equivalent.


Faculty of Law

Ms Anna MacGillivray
Graduate Programme Administrator
Opening hours: 8.30am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday
Location: N Block, Gate 7, Hillcrest Road, University of Waikato, Hamilton

Degree Structure

LLM by taught papers

Te Piringa – Faculty of Law offers papers that are taught on an intensive basis and semester long papers.

A Semester

LAWS526 - 16A (HAM)  - Legal Aspects of Cyber Security
LAWS528 - 16A (HAM)  - Foreign Investment
LAWS570 - 16A (HAM)  - Special Topic: Electronic Surveillance and Human Rights
LAWS571 - 16A (HAM)  - Special Topic: Sales and Finance Law

B Semester

LAWS527 - 16B (HAM)  - Law of Wills, Charities, and Trustees
LAWS562 - 16B (HAM)  - International Trade
LAWS569 - 16B (HAM)  - International Law: A Place for Indigenous Rights
LAWS576 - 16B (HAM)  - Laws of Armed Conflict and International Humanitarian Law

C Semester

LAWS593 - 16C (HAM)  - Law Thesis
Papers are offered subject to demand & staff availability.

A Semester papers

LAWS526-15A Legal Aspects of Cyber Security
This paper will be one of the core papers in the new Master of Cyber Security degree. It is also open for Law Masters and honours students. It 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.
Convener: Wayne Rumbles

LAWS528-16A Foreign Investment
International investment law is one of the most dynamic and controversial areas of international law. The topic will be more relevant to New Zealand in the coming years given the likely inclusion of a Chapter on Investment Protection and investor/State arbitration in the future Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. This course will assess the standards of protection of foreign investment, the main features of investor/State arbitration, and some of the most contentious aspects of this field of law: its interactions with the protection of human rights and the environment.
Lecturers: Alberto Alvarez-Jimenez

LAWS570-16A Special Topic: Electronic Surveillance and Human Rights
The purpose of this paper is to study the evolution and current state of legal protection of information in view of electronic surveillance. Is information susceptible to ownership or not? This crucial question guides the paper Surveillance and Human rights. Using the Dotcom case that took place in New Zealand as a case analysis, this paper seeks to compare the international state of the art of privacy protection as a human right with the local situation.
Convener: Eliana Herrera-Vega

LAWS571-16A Special Topic: Sales & Finance Law
This course discusses the most important legal issues in international sales and finance in the modern global era. Principal topics include: international sale of goods most commonly adopted terms such as FOB, CIF etc., international sale of goods under the terms of the United Nations Convention on the International sale of Goods 1980, passing property and risk, delivery, bills of lading, letters of credit, disputes resolution, jurisdiction and governing law of contracts for international sales and finance.
Convener: Leo Liao

B Semester papers

LAWS527-16B Law of Wills, Charities, & Trustees
A detailed examination of issues arising out of contemporary matters relating to trusts, wills and equity, both nationally and internationally.
Convener: Juliet Chevalier-Watts

LAWS562-16B International Trade
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 Free Trade Agreements).
Convener: Sadeq Bigdeli & Alberto Alvarez-Jimenez

LAWS569-16B International Law: A Place for Indigenous Rights
The purpose of this paper is to focus on the historical and developing place within International Law, and the United Nations, of the rights for Indigenous Peoples. The influence of the State on this process together the coinciding Indigenous rights to development, environmental rights and economic rights will be examined. The role and effect of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples will be pivotal.
Convener: Valmaine Toki

LAWS576-16B Laws of Armed Conflict & International Humanitarian Law
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.
Convener: Claire Breen & Al Gillespie

LAWS593-16B Law Thesis
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.