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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 needs to know the law, not just lawyers. The Rule of Law is the cornerstone of the civilised society. It defines rights and obligations and provides structure to institutions of government and commerce. As an individual it governs all aspects of our lives, shapes our behaviour and provides the building blocks for our community. Law underpins many professions - business people, financial consultants, police officers, forensic scientists, parole officers, policy advisors and many other professions all need an understanding of the law.

By choosing to study law at Waikato you have the choice of an LLB degree or majoring in Law as part of a Bachelor of Arts. Gain the skills and knowledge that meet the high demands of a wide range of careers, both inside and outside the legal profession.

Study towards a Bachelor of Laws:

Choose to study an LLB and you will gain a practical set of skills designed to meet the demands of any legal career and the ability to go into to practice as a barrister or solicitor. You will gain a thorough knowledge of the law, its implications and how it applies in today’s context, you will gain well developed analytical and research skills, and be able to think critically with well-developed communication skills and a sense of social responsibility

Transform your BA with law as a major:

Choose to study a Bachelor of Arts with a Law Major and transform the study of Humanities. This is a non-practicing 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

Internationally Recognised:

The QS World University Subject Rankings has recognised the University of Waikato among the worlds top 250 universities for studying 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.

Apply to enrol

Key information

Study Locations:Hamilton, Tauranga, Online
Papers offered differ by location. The Catalogue of Papers has full location info.
Faculty:

Career opportunities

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

A range of Law papers are available in Tauranga. You can complete the entire one-year Diploma in Law (DipLaw) at our CBD campus, which gives you the option of either finishing with a Diploma or crediting your study towards a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) which you'd complete in Hamilton.

The BA in Law is also available to Tauranga students through a combination of online lectures and in-class tutorials.


Prescriptions for the DipLaw

To complete a DipLaw students must complete LEGAL103, LEGAL104, LEGAL106, LEGAL201, LEGAL204 and LEGAL207.

Prescriptions for the GradDip(DR)

The Graduate Diploma in Dispute Resolution provides a practical and theoretical exploration of the processes of dispute resolution, and utilises the experience and expertise developed within the Schools of Law, Management, and Education. Graduates of this qualification will satisfy the academic requirements for Associate status of the Arbitrators' and Mediators' Institute of New Zealand (AMINZ). For entry to the Graduate Diploma, candidates must have either a bachelors degree in any discipline or relevant work experience considered to be equivalent.

The programme consists of papers totalling 120 points, comprising LEGAL205, LEGAL306 and MCOM331, either LEGAL449, MCOM431 or MCOM336, and electives totalling 40 points chosen from HDCO340, LEGAL205, LEGAL306, LEGAL405, LEGAL420, LEGAL434, LEGAL449, LEGAL490 or MCOM431. For the purposes of the Graduate Diploma, LEGAL205 is a corequisite for LEGAL306, and a prerequisite for the Law elective papers.

Note: LEGAL205, LEGAL306 and LEGAL449 are requirements for admission to Associate status in AMINZ.

Prescriptions for the GradCert(Law), GradDip(Law) and GradDip(NZLegSt)

A Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma are available to graduates who have not included Law at an advanced level in their first degree. A Graduate Diploma in New Zealand Legal Studies is also available.

For further details, contact the Faculty of Law Office.

Prescriptions for the LLB(Hons), PGCert(Law), PGDip(Law), LLM and LLM(Maori/Pacific and Indigenous Peoples)

The LLB(Hons) includes 60 points chosen from LEGAL509, LEGAL523, LEGAL526, LEGAL528, LEGAL531, LEGAL555, LEGAL569, LEGAL574, LEGAL576, LEGAL580, LEGAL590, LEGAL591, LEGAL592, LEGAL593 or LEGAL594. Students enrolling in the Honours programme may be subject to prerequisite and corequisite requirements.

The LLM comprises 120 points chosen from LEGAL509, LEGAL523, LEGAL526, LEGAL528, LEGAL531, LEGAL555, LEGAL569, LEGAL574, LEGAL576, LEGAL580, LEGAL590, LEGAL591, LEGAL592, LEGAL593 or LEGAL594.

The LLM(Maori/Pacific and Indigenous Peoples) comprises a total of 120 points, normally selected from LEGAL516, LEGAL525, LEGAL531, LEGAL551, LEGAL555, LEGAL569, LEGAL575, LEGAL576 or LEGAL577.

Prescriptions for the MPhil

The Master of Philosophy is a one year research-based degree in which students undertake a programme of approved and supervised research that leads to a thesis 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 concerned, and is of publishable quality.

Prescriptions for the PhD and SJD

The Doctor of Philosophy is a four year research-based degree in which students undertake a programme of approved and supervised research that leads to a thesis 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 concerned, and is of publishable quality.

The Doctor of Juridical Science consists of a research portfolio and a thesis which makes a contribution to knowledge consistent with at least three years of full-time research.

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)
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).
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: Pacific Peoples and the Law20B (Hamilton)
A critical study and comparison of legal systems and issues within the Pacific region.
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)
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 Property20B (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

New to Waikato? The International Excellence Scholarship is worth up to $10,000.

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.



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